Monday, December 19, 2016


Some words used to describe Te occasionally are efficiency or optimization. However, these do not exactly capture what Te is about in the sense of trying to manage resources and use them effectively. There is, however, a neologism that captures it much better: satisficing.

The idea of optimization  to find the absolute best method of doing something  contains an element of Ti in it as well, in the sense that you have a fixed goal or framework and need to work within that. Using Te means having a much more holistic attitude, and realizing that perhaps a particular problem is not even worth the use of resources in the first place. Wikipedia gives the example:

A task is to sew a patch onto a pair of jeans. The best needle to do the threading is a 4 inch long needle with a 3 millimeter eye. This needle is hidden in a haystack along with 1000 other needles varying in size from 1 inch to 6 inches. Satisficing claims that the first needle that can sew on the patch is the one that should be used. Spending time searching for that one specific needle in the haystack is a waste of energy and resources.

A Te ego type is much more likely to go the pragmatic route of using the first needle that can do the job, as opposed to optimizing according to the needle-length quantity, while a Ti type (most typically an LSI, the type who cares most about detailed, well-defined standards) may take needle-length as being the thing to optimize. When you have multiple variables there is generally not a unique way to mathematically optimize them together  thus requiring a more situational approach.

There is a quote often attributed to Bill Gates (LIE): "I choose a lazy person to do a hard job, because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it." The quote seems not to be by him (which makes sense, as it is really more of an Si-with-Te statement) but it does capture the Te attitude towards resources.