Sunday, June 28, 2020

Typing Video: Vision

Today we are typing "Vision". This is obviously a pseudonym, and one which already tells you something about him. A recurring theme is his vision for the future, which he has thought about in quite a lot of detail (I followed up with him to make sure of this). This suggests an Ni triad type, seeing as his long-term plans are a conscious part of what is important to him (rather than an unconscious part as the suggestive function often is).

But what is his vision? The main part of it concerns him and his family, rather than realizing some larger vision for society. This would suggest Gamma rather than Beta. Vision places a lot of importance on relationships: someone who is there to "have your back" in facing the world and going through rough times (so, more SeFi than NeFi). He is willing to cut people off when called for, a typical Gamma (FiSe) sentiment. He isn't against being friends with people who have different beliefs as long as they support him and his goals — a pragmatic approach that suggests lower priority Ti and maybe higher Ne as well. He occasionally uses harsh language at other points to describe people who have done him some kind of wrong. "Get over it buttercup" — Gammas are quick to emphasize personal responsibility when things go wrong.

Vision has difficulty thinking of weaknesses and things he needs help with. This is very unusual and suggests maybe higher Ne and possibly Te. The one that he does mention is a lack of trusting others — again a typical Gamma trait (Ni + Fi), though not a weakness in the Model A sense. His strengths include farsightedness and tenacity: never giving up, eventually succeeding even if he fails multiple times. This suggests some access to both Se and Ni, so likely not Ni leading.

Beyond the responses to the questions, it's worth noting that Vision proceeds quickly, even impatiently, through the questionnaire, often giving brief answers when he feels like it. Most people choose to use the full time allotted, whether because they want to get their money's worth or because they enjoy talking about themselves. His affect is bright and positive, suggesting higher Fe. He describes being "needlessly enthusiastic" and social around strangers which suggests bold and possibly weak Fe. All in all it's very difficult to see Vision as an introvert and especially an introverted Gamma.

What he dislikes in people is essentially the opposite of his own long-term thinking, which he describes as hedonism. He doesn't care for simply "enjoying" himself mostly, he would rather "use [his] youth effectively]" and "get power at the right time". While hedonism can be related to either Se or Si, in this case it is clearly about Si (+ Fe), in opposition to Se and Ni.

If it wasn't clear yet, the most obvious typing for Vision is LIE — the only type with bold and valued Se, valued Fi, and strong Ni. TeNi is further supported by his enthusiastic response to the "starting a business" question. And not only does he seem to have thought about starting a business before, for the lottery question he offers a breakdown with specific numbers (!). For the business he would do the "elbow grease" at first but eventually transfer the day-to-day management to someone else, and possibly sell it, suggesting a disinterest in Si. It's also notable how he doesn't have a strong preference about what type of business to start, focusing instead on capitalizing on whatever economic opportunity exists, e.g. selling hand sanitizer for the COVID pandemic. (Financial) autonomy comes up here, a common Gamma theme. He describes jumping into the stock market as a significant step in his life, where he took a risk despite the naysayers.

Even though Vision mostly seems to be a clear LIE, it's worth considering possible alternatives. The main ones that come to mind are EIE and SEE. He is unusually frank on the topic of relationships, suggesting maybe higher Fi. But SEE doesn't really work for multiple reasons: his focus on the future, just walking around and thinking while on vacation, being seen as a cool-headed person, etc.

As for EIE: He has no shortage of large-scale judgments about society or "this culture", and does wax romantic sometimes — even the name "Vision" is arguably a bit dramatized. But it's hard to see an EIE emphasizing personal loyalty and character judgment to such a degree, not to mention the economic focus. He also does criticize people for being overly autonomous, for not caring about others — despite his own emphasis on autonomy. But I'm prone to viewing this kind of social responsibility as simply a more mature, self-reflective Gamma outlook. And he doesn't care about, or even like, getting attention either.

Vision's attitude towards conflict is maybe unusually restrained for an LIE — he says he generally walks away from it, and doesn't get angry much in general. (But he contradicts this somewhat by saying that he would have gotten in a lot of trouble at high school.) It doesn't contradict the overall picture of Se valuing extrovert, but it's probably more likely for an Fi valuer, and someone with greater Ni. So it would suggest EIE and SEE even less so.

Vision, more than most people, fits the classical idea of the LIE's "unbridled optimism". He has no shortage of Ne: the purpose of life is "to make something better". But other LIEs are much more negative and skeptical, which is why I find the classical descriptions misleading. Nonetheless most would likely agree with his principle: "I live my life so I don't regret things.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Typing Video: Micah

In this video Micah takes an unusual approach to the questionnaire. Many people have asked me whether they could write out notes beforehand. I prefer that they don't because this affects the spontaneity of the answers. It's my fault for not adding this to the instructions earlier, but the point is that Micah wrote some notes because he felt that his self-presentation would not be what he would like it to be if he were to just answer off the cuff. This suggests attention to Fe and in particular Fe with Ni. It is framed as a question about accuracy but the psychological motivation seems to be about what is expressed externally.

In fact Micah has an extremely consistent emphasis on Fe and Ni throughout the video. His main professional interest is in storytelling, a common NiFe theme. He is attracted to stories, literature, everything mythical and symbolic. He focuses on writing now but also liked the "energy" of the theater. Stories for him are a way to travel through a world that you have not directly experienced, a kind of escapism. This is a common theme with Ni ego types, including Gamma NTs, who are often found creating or consuming speculative fiction.

He enjoys the emotional aspect of stories; it's important for him to impact someone emotionally with his writing and he is attracted to stories that have an emotional impact on him. This impact can be negative but is usually positive. (more Fe with Ni)

Even more striking is Micah's statement that art is not "completed" until someone experiences it and emotionally reacts to it. This is an attitude that not many people would find relatable, let alone express it themselves - unless they had high Fe. Along similar lines: "art is a social concept", the audience "gives their energy" (8:57). If art stands still, or has no audience, then it's not alive. All Fe with Ni. Micah notes that this doesn't mean he just writes what people want to hear, but the idea of someone getting excited about it drives him to create.

Micah occasionally uses lofty, dramatic language - people are "concepts", the most "worthy" things to study in the creation - as opposed to God, the creator. Every great writer is a "philosopher" - that is, they give some kind of deep commentary on the nature of life. He naturally views things in terms of the large-scale of society - the idea of authenticity being "very cliche in today's age", "just the culture we live in". It's very common for Beta NFs to want to make some social commentary with their art.

Occasionally some Se comes forward too: putting on a happy face at work is a "battle thing", "tactics" - "won't be at a disadvantage", "can influence them".

Ti values can be seen in the emphasis on fairness, treating everybody equally, and the analysis of belief systems like religion. Micah sees it as "lazy, cowardly" to not broaden your understanding by thinking about your religion. He values "intellectual bravery" in considering different perspectives (Ne), but although he is good at doing it, he would prefer to "clear out the nonsense", going back to valued Ni.

Micah views his relationships in terms of external emotional cues (Fe), and needs to have shared interests to talk about, things he is passionate about (also Fe). He would need them to give positive reactions, or the "right" reactions to his writing, especially in the context of a romantic relationship.

Respect is important to Micah. In context it seems like this is coming from Se: "I want this respect". He finds it disrespectful to be dismissive or interrupted, which can make him angry and lash out. However he sometimes does not express the anger outwardly and may just leave.

Micah describes having difficulty finishing things, likely due to lower Se, which is involved with willpower and self-discipline. However he also becomes hyperfocused about certain things - "have tons of energy but I don't use it productively". This may suggest somewhat higher Se (with low Te), such as Se mobilizing.

Weak Ti is also apparent in his difficulty structuring times, such as a plan for the day.

The disinterest/annoyance with dealing with mundane things such as replacing shoes is an example of subdued and weak SiTe.

Now, all of this makes Beta NF likely, but when it comes to EIE vs. IEI the evidence is less clear. Micah seems more like a classic introvert: he keeps to himself, doesn't display a lot of emotion externally, and most of his interests involve him being by himself, taking in information.

But looking at things functionally, we see something else:

For Te: Micah doesn't seem totally averse to evaluating his career path in terms of usefulness. He would be interested in starting a business, and considers whether it would be financially successful (maybe due to some awareness of typology here).

For Fe: He describes himself as an attention seeker and is very sensitive to how he's perceived. He views relationships purely in terms of the external cues, and is unsure of how they are "under the surface", suggesting ignoring Fi rather than demonstrative Fi. It's also a bit odd for an IEI to be so extremely focused on the reaction to their work - normally I'd expect them to describe at least some internal motivation for it. (Not that Micah doesn't have one, but it's not described in any detail.) He also describes difficulty in structuring his time, needing external help with it.

For Se: Maybe the most striking piece of evidence for EIE is when Micah says that he has "tons of energy". IEI is a type with low Se and are more likely to feel a deficit of energy if anything. (There may be exceptions to this such as Alexander Grothendieck, who was sort of a workaholic, but they seem rare.) He also describes demanding respect in his interactions as noted.

For Ne: Here his discussion of examining one's views comes to mind, as well as his interests in crime, typology, and tying things back to his interests in creative ways.

Overall this video suggests EIE, with bold extroverted elements, but IEI is not out of the question. Micah eschews physical appearance, which may suggest lower Se (maybe less so in men), and despite having lots of energy he has issues with willpower and self-discipline. He says comfort is his "drug" but it's hard to see whether this is more about his self-perception or whether it actually stands out as a quality in his life. His attitude towards conflict is also maybe more subdued than normal for an EIE - more "freeze" than "fight".

I also followed up with Micah after watching the video, but I find the evidence presented here is more clear. Micah is active in the typology community so hopefully his type will become clearer over time.

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