If life is, as Voltaire wrote, “a game—play it,” then the Spider seems to be playing chess while the rest of us are playing checkers. Not only do they always have a plan, but they usually have multiple contingencies if something in that plan were to go awry. And as opposed to Killer Whales, Smith siblings who willfully show their motivations like a poker player slamming their winning hand onto the table, the serious and reserved Spiders very rarely reveal the personal agenda that drives their farsighted machinations.
All the reasons which made the initiation of physical force evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.
– Ayn Rand
If research is a god, consider the Spider a true believer. More studious than Killer Whales and more grounded than Chimpanzees and Owls, Spiders rely primarily on empirical evidence to power their reasoning. Thus, they’re commonly perceived to be the most “reasonable” of their Smith brethren. Spiders place a greater emphasis on the application of theory than the creation of it, a trait they share with the Killer Whales, though Spiders are far more detail oriented. They have the uncanny ability to not only follow all the various twists and turns a complex theory can take, but to also develop a system in which these ideas can flourish in the real world. Spiders view knowledge as a means of reaching an objective, one that can hopefully change the world for the better.
Much of this work is performed behind-the-scenes, as a Spider, on the outside, can seem similar to the introverted Owl and—their Shaman cousin—the Giant Panda. However, unlike those types, who tend to be pacifists, a Spider is not opposed to war in and of itself. Like all things in their sphere of understanding, war is just an abstract concept, the virtue of which is dictated solely by practicality and context. After all, to a Spider, ideas are primarily vehicles for tangible impact, and to automatically judge something as being positive or negative, without understanding its context in the real world, is prejudicial. In this manner, Spiders are quite objective, expressing an enormous amount of skepticism when it comes to value judgments such as “good” and evil.” Though to accuse them of not believing in such things would be an overreach; they’re merely agnostic, trusting the data they’ve been compiling—a lifelong enterprise for most Spiders—to lead the way.
The Reserved Contradiction
It’s not that easy to find someone I can relate to. I’m tough to crack because I’m shy.
– Kristin Kreuk
Spiders are a living oxymoron. On one hand, they’re industrious, career-minded individuals. On the other hand, they create systems with the expressed goal of avoiding doing more work than they deem necessary, and career ambition as a means to material success is an anathema to them. They can be terse in general conversation, but if asked about their current project they will ramble on and on about every detail. Their thoughts are methodically collated. Their workspace is a cluttered disaster. A Spider will utilize an online system to schedule a meeting that perfectly fits every attendee’s schedule, a meeting in which they will be presenting the intricate details of a plan they have meticulously crafted, and just prior to said presentation, they will proceed to accidentally run into a pole on the way to the office.
The most tragic contradiction: Spiders are frequently viewed as cold and indifferent despite the wellspring of intense emotions bottled up inside of them. Perhaps it’s their desire to always be in control of a situation—only the Killer Whale is a bigger control freak—that causes Spider to repress their feelings, for fear that expressing them might leave them vulnerable. A Spider might choose to just shut most people out entirely, which invariably decreases their interpersonal skills, as their insight into people will be limited to what books they can research on the subject. Thankfully, mature Spiders are able to relinquish the need for absolute control, opening up to a small selection of trusted individuals.
The Contingency Planner
Let’s set the meeting. Get our informers to find out where it’s gonna be held. Now, we insist it’s a public place, a bar, a restaurant, some place where there’s people, so I feel safe. They’re gonna search me when I first meet them, right? So I can’t have a weapon on me then. But if Clemenza can figure a way to have a weapon planted there for me, then I’ll kill ’em both.
– Michael Corleone, The Godfather
The master of the algorithm, it’s not unusual to hear a Spider using conditional statements like “if this, then that…” when devising a strategy. Spiders pride themselves on always being three steps ahead of everyone else; don’t be surprised if you find out that a Spider has already prepared a plan B and C for the fifth likeliest outcome of a given scenario.
Long term planning is common for the objective-minded Spider. Days, weeks, years, even decades could pass before a Spider gets what they want—every Spider would’ve passed the marshmallow test. This is not evidence of fear or dispassion, but merely the patience to wait until certain conditions have been met and the Spider’s goal is ripe for the taking. Unfortunately, there can be negative consequences to such narrow-minded dedication, as Spiders are not the most self-aware individuals, and the vigilance they devote to their plans doesn’t always extend itself to their emotional well-being. A Spider might find themselves in a situation where they’ve spent years of planning to achieve an outcome that they’re just beginning to realize they don’t want.
The Efficient Problem Solver
I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.
– Bill Gates
The Spider’s gift is their ability to integrate a myriad of disparate, even discordant, ideas into a harmonious web of synchronicity, an elegantly practical, working system that solves an existing problem or fulfills a foreseeable need. For a Spider, the beauty of the design lies in its tangible efficiency, a strong departure from the other Smith designers, the fanciful Chimpanzee and speculative Owl. The Spider’s plan is always to minimize input and maximize output in a way that can be easily incorporated into the general operations of the company or institution they work for.
Because of this, it’s common to find Spiders in fields that possess a strong need for structural precision, such as corporate business, education, software design, and academic research. Whether they’re devising a hostile takeover, a curriculum, an SaaS platform, or an experimental study, Spiders work tirelessly to create a system that, at worst, will increase productivity, and at best, will revolutionize their respective industry.