This is ONE OF 4 responses to VC 20 Drury 24 ("The Icons")...
What an intriguing observation! I would like to hear some reaction from the other members about this. Are there gender-related patterns in the choice of a member icon?
First, though, you should know a few things about how those icons were picked. Although I encourage each member to select an icon that represents his or her inner self, I am rather picky about what icons can be used. For reasons of consistency and aesthetics, I prefer that each icon has a face, be it animal or human (even the Mac icon has a face). I want to avoid excessively abstract icons or icons which clash or stick out in an unfortunate way.
Therefore, my policy has been to come up with a pool of from three to ten possible candidates and let each new member choose from that pool. When Archipelago first began, I actually chose some of the icons myself after only an over-the-phone consultation. Tomás was the only exception: he designed his monster icon himself.
So the issue is not clearcut. I had an undue influence on the actual icon selections. Even so, I think Drury may be onto something. I was just looking at that old "Thinking Style" quiz that we took back at the dawn of Archipelago. Of course, the memberlist has changed a lot since then, but I can make a rough guess how many of the new members might score.
My theory is that if we tested our personalities on a scale which ranged from the more hard, realistic, pragmatic types to the more soft, artistic, sensitive, idealistic types, and if we arranged our member icons on such a scale, we would find human faces on the "hard" end of the scale and animal faces on the "soft" end. There's a lot of noise in this system, but I sense a pattern lurking in there somewhere.
What do you guys think?