User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 22

  1. #1
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    1,328

    Default The Toxic Te/Fi Epidemic in Contemporary America

    Alright, first things last-- what's to follow is a theory that I'll be attempting to communicate in factual terms. Despite the style of communication, I am well aware that it is simply theoretical pattern driven speculation, so try to channel your indignation into something other than a thoughtless knee-jerk if you feel compelled to comment. I am mostly spelling all this out because it's been driving me up the Ti/Si-loop wall, and I need to get it out of my head. Hopefully it will at least answer any questions regarding my objective animosity towards introverted feeling. You will also find tinfoil hats, butthurt cream, and programs under your chair.

    Basically, what I see is this-- America's cultural, economic, and political zeitgeist is so dominantly Te/Fi in our modern age, that I believe a tipping point has been reached. Traditionally there has been a rough balance wherein prosperity has been achieved through the combined benefits of both Ti/Fe and Te/Fi, but we're now so deep into only one side of the psychological spectrum that I believe we are to the point of cultivating it in our offspring; the more water a ship takes on, the faster it sinks-- the faster it sinks, the more water it takes on. I believe this is a problem for all of us.

    First of all, I am no enemy of Te/Fi individuals. Despite my antagonism, I recognize the merits of both Te, Fi, and the various combinations of it in regard to order preference and strength. However, on a fundamental level, the distinction between Te/Fi individuals and Ti/Fe individuals is so wide and apparent, that I believe it is attributable to almost all of our polarized differences as human beings. It represents an inversion of collectivist and individualistic principals in thought and feeling; a 'what is best for all' logistically and 'what is best for the one' emotionally, vs 'what is best for the one' logistically and 'what is best for all' emotionally. From this core distinction, the purpose of our individual lives drives forth.

    The benefits of both Te/Fi and Ti/Fe are well documented in the branches of the concept, on the level with which they operate. Innovation, for instance, knows no favorite-- though the styles and motives for it differ. Te/Fi presumes infinite diversity of feeling among individuals (Fi), and spends the bulk of its time and energy on shallow yet wide designs that accommodate it (Te). This is why the traditional Windows operating system is predominately favored by Te/Fi types, as it is built under the idea that the individual will want/need to customize the way it works in a thousand different ways. Ti/Fe, on the other hand, presumes universalist feeling principals (Fe), and spends the bulk of its time and energy on deep yet narrow designs that accommodate it. This is why Ti/Fe individuals predominantly favor the Apple operating system (this OS model/example is dated, think of it in 1998 terms). Depth of thought is what we are losing as a nation-- a key aspect of innovation that is codependent on width of thought for economic prosperity.

    The problem begins with the education system and bleeds into the economic system (which holds hands with the political system), all of which is bound loosely together with the sociocultural system. The american education system has always been, IMO, insanely Te/Fi in its nature and structure. According to a study from OECD "the proportion of adults with poor skills in problem solving in technology-rich environments is slightly larger than average, despite the relatively high educational attainment among adults in the United States." The education system is not designed to cultivate individualistic thinkers (Ti). It is designed to manufacture machine cogs (Te). Any Ti/Fe types who can succeed in the american education system are doing so against the current of their own natural skill sets. Even if they do succeed in making it through to the job market, the economic landscape is just as bleak. Fe dominants are of course exempt from this issue-- they can thrive and survive anywhere there's people (which is pretty much everywhere).

    Here's a list of the top 10 jobs in 2013 according to forbes:

    1. Software Developers
    2. Accountants and Auditors
    3. Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
    4. Computer Systems Analysts
    5. Human Resources, Training and Labor Relations Specialists
    6. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
    7. Sales Representatives (Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific)
    8. Information Security Analysts
    9. Mechanical Engineers
    10. Industrial Engineers


    10 cogs, only two of which might be conducive to Ti/Fe style thought, as engineering remains the the only viable avenue of the entire education system from which content, natural skill-based employment might be obtained. Even so, the positions are still largely just cogs in a much larger Te wheel. Small business skilled labor is the other viable option for Ti/Fe, side-stepping the education system for the most part, but not only is it baffleingly undervalued by our culture, it's under fierce political attack, has been for a long time now, and is teetering on the verge of extinction. According to an analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data performed by economist Tim Kane, there were almost 12 start-up jobs per 1000 Americans back in the year 2006. By 2011, that figure had fallen to less than 8 start-up jobs per 1000 Americans. According to Kane, the number of jobs in the United States at businesses that are less than one year old has fallen from 4.1 million in 1994 to 2.5 million in 2010. Overall, the number of "new entrepreneurs and business owners" has fallen by more than 50 percent as a percentage of the population since 1977. The viability of small business is constantly undermined by Te/Fi political forces, combined with an inability to compete with large 'big-box' style businesses-- which credit their size and success to quality 'conservative' Te. With a consumer base that is also predominately Te/Fi, who don't especially care for the novel (Ti) or 'personal touch' (Fe) of small business, the eventual extinction of the small business model is all but guaranteed. Eventually even skilled labor will be swallowed by big business, and the wages for the Ti/Fe on-the-ground in-the-field problem solvers will be reduced and diminished by the Te overseers to accommodate 'management' appropriately.

    The larger picture is far more dire. The last largely reputable and successful American Ti/Fe producer was Steve Jobs, and he's dead (read: Apple is pretty much over, whether it knows it or not). Without the novelty of ideas (Ti) born from universalist human principals (Fe), Te has nothing new to work with, and begins eating itself. Our economy has shown signs of this since the tech boom ended, and the financial crisis emerged. Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, calls the period from 2008 to now “The Great Stagnation” in regards to innovation and invention. Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook, says that our ability to generate novel advancements is “somewhere between dire straits and dead.” Economically, we've become a nation starved of Ti/Fe-- despite owing most of our success to it in the past. Small business/big church (Ti/Fe) has now become big business/small church (Te/Fi).

    Lastly there's the cultural zeitgeist, which has been catapulted into Fi/Te'dom by the emergence of mobile internet, and the age with which it is thrust upon our youth. Everything I listed above also contributes to it, and it to the zeitgeist, but the mobile internet is what I believe has helped tip the scales the most. It does so by encouraging both Te multitasking combined with Fi narcissism, and does so during a child's adolescence-- the period in which personality is most dominantly shaped. Psychologists Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell believe we are in the midst of what they call a "Narcissism Epidemic," epidemic because it "disproportionately affects a large number of individuals within a population." They point out that narcissistic traits and NPD are not the same thing, and that from a data pool of 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as fast as obesity from the 1980s to the present, with the shift especially pronounced for women...and that it has accelerated dramatically since 9/11. "By 2006, 1 out of 4 college students agreed with the majority of the items on a standard measure of narcissistic traits." The fact that we had to make a law that makes texting-while-driving illegal, and the fact that any time you see a person with a few idle moments between tasks they are face down in their cell phones, is a clear indication that the mobile internet age has encouraged nothing but width of shallow thought (multi-thought-tasking/Te), decreased attention spans, and separate-but-together social climates (facebook/Fi). Churches, the former bastions of Fe types, have been in steady decline for decades-- as the combination of liberal Te/Fi academia attacks, national attention span deficiency, and a perpetual focus of individual (as opposed to universal) wants and desires is pressed from all directions-- while the benefits, and wisdoms, of universalist principals have been all but completely abandoned.

    Entertainment has also largely forsaken Ti/Fe style of thought, which could be both a product and a symptom of the cultural shift. From TV to film, very rarely are there pieces that deal in the quest for collectivist human truths, and the heights of possible human achievement. Instead we are favored with shows like Game of Thrones, or Boardwalk Empire-- wherein characters are all one-trick Fi ponies who Te one another around, and seldom evolve or change, except into 'greater' more egocentric versions of themselves-- not that I am trying to be insulting here, I enjoy both of those shows for their own merits quite a bit. But like the rest of the national landscape, true greatness comes from the place where both Te/Fi and Ti/Fe come together and work together-- shows like The Wire, or movies like Planes Trains and Automobiles.

    So, is all of this valid? Unlikely. But it is a list of patterns, and as such (IMO), is worthy of notice. The only reason I'm so hard on Te/Fi to the point of persecution is simply a response to an imbalance that I see; a desire to share with Te/Fi types at least a tiny iota of what it's like being a Ti/Fe type in this country. If there is any merit to what I've observed, then I'd plea for aid from my Te/Fi brethren, as refining our current infrastructure to better accommodate us Ti/Fe folk will largely be up to them-- something I hoped to demonstrate was in their best interests in the long run with this massive wall of text.

  2. #2
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    yupp
    Posts
    29,782

    Default

    cultivating indivudual thinkers has not once been the goal of society. it's always been what's popular at the time is what everyone else is expected to fit into.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  3. #3
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    1,171

    Default

    If I were going to make the same point, I would have put Te and Fe together and Ti and Fi together. INTPs and INFPs have no home in this world. Perhaps that's something that must happen by default, given what defines them.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    MBTI
    ENFJ
    Enneagram
    9w8
    Posts
    10,093

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    If I were going to make the same point, I would have put Te and Fe together and Ti and Fi together. INTPs and INFPs have no home in this world. Perhaps that's something that must happen by default, given what defines them.
    this^

    and, in regard to the OP, I think it's most apparent in the direction film, television and music has headed in the last 30 years or so. I would say that the period between the late 1960s and the early 1980s saw a mostly healthy balance between Ti-Fe and Te-Fi. That began to change as record company executives and film studios increasingly shunned innovation and a healthy balance between commercial viability and artistic integrity in order to produce product that was "safe" and marketable, not necessarily unique, but forged from cookie cutter formulas derived from test audiences and market research to maximize profit and reach the greatest possible target market--the dawn of the MTV age and also the beginning of the age of blockbuster films (blame George Lucas, perhaps. Ironic that he strove to create new and innovative ways of making films yet his success arguably led to an era of increasingly boring and uninspired big budget Hollywood effects films).

    There was a time when record companies allowed musicians to "grow" as artists--bands might release several albums and singles before achieving major success--but we've come to a point where musicians are surely doomed (if they desire to release anything remotely unique or divergent from popular taste) if they sign with major labels. A group like Talking Heads would surely be dropped after their 1st album if they'd started out in today's music industry.

    There is hope, of course. The internet age has made it easier than ever for independent musicians and film makers to potentially reach a wide audience without having to go through the restrictive process of dealing with corporate suits who, while possibly quite talented in the art of marketing and economics, wouldn't know (or care) about good, original art even if it smacked them in their faces.

  5. #5
    i love skylights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    6w7 so/sx
    Socionics
    EII Ne
    Posts
    7,835

    Default

    Hm. Yes, I do think there is some merit to the idea of overriding Te but I think it's also fairly multifaceted - it's not just overriding Te, it's also e3-ish narcissism and productivity focus and e8-ish power and influence focus. To some extent I think it ends up being this way because those are the attributes that push externally the hardest. The rest aren't as interested in surface control. I do agree that the best world results from a balance.

    I am in agreement that there has been too much focus on end product, the education system is a mess with its insane focus on tests and shunting students down rigid, labeled pathways, and big business. However, I do not think that all of this is attributable to Te culture, and unfortunately I feel like I fall more on your side of things, @anticlimatic - I am typically at a loss in a results-oriented, external structure, logistical world, too.

    On the brighter side, I know plenty of FPs and TJs who are huge supporters and some even owners of small/local businesses. I certainly support small business myself and find large corporations distasteful. I am also surprised by the linking of Facebook and Fi; it seems to me that it can be used either in a very Fi or a very Fe way, depending on the person. I am a sorority member and we use Facebook to encourage group support, engagement, and positivity, which I see as very Fe.

    Personally I was also born, raised, and now live in the American South, which is very Fe in culture, and the rest of my family is on Long Island in NY, where the culture is very Te. There is no way I can really agree that American culture is very dominantly Te/Fi, not where I live and the surrounding states. Southern culture is very rooted in Fe principles and still largely operates on them. And of course we are not a dominant power in the country, but I do think it has long been a bastion for those sorts of principles, and is unlikely to change anytime soon, so even if the country is in a Te-Fi phase, I think plenty Fe-Ti is preserved in much of Southern culture.

    Also - "Networking" and "it's not what you know but who you know" strike me as notably Fe, as well, and those are common sentiments I hear echoed from friends and acquaintances from across the country. So, there are still some strong Fe holds in the country. I think it is Ti more than Fe/Ti that is struggling.

    I would be interested to hear suggestions for improvement in overly-Te-heavy industries.

    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    If I were going to make the same point, I would have put Te and Fe together and Ti and Fi together. INTPs and INFPs have no home in this world. Perhaps that's something that must happen by default, given what defines them.
    Yes, I third this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Socionics
    ILI
    Posts
    1,838

    Default

    We need to raise more JCF freaks like me in this country, that'll solve the problem.
    I enjoy both Ti and Te, and I utilize Fe and somewhat Fi.

    Maybe the actual way to fix it (For T's case), would be to offer specialized public education courses for the youth rather than pander to Te and make everyone learn about everything. (i.e. forced acquisition of Te if you want to succeed in public education)

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    MBTI
    ENFJ
    Enneagram
    9w8
    Posts
    10,093

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    I think it is Ti more than Fe/Ti that is struggling.
    In general, introverted functions will always struggle more than extraverted functions to achieve an equal balance with their extraverted counterparts. By their very nature they can more easily be associated with individual thoughts, desires, and impulses. Extraverted functions can more easily be associated with collectivism.

    You mentioned wanting to hear ways to improve in Te heavy industry. Unfortunately, Ti will always more easily lend itself to speculation, theorizing, and analytical thought with less chance of achieving practical, immediate results and solutions that would be desired in industry. This is really a shame, because as OP mentions, Ti is needed just as much as Te to innovate, progress, and avoid stagnation.

    It's funny that we can speak of Steve Jobs as one of the last great Ti visionaries, and yet the very company he founded has become the sort of corporate beast he originally sought to usurp and surpass. Wow, a new generation of iPhone every year, each one only marginally better and more advanced than its predecessor.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    MBTI
    ENFJ
    Enneagram
    9w8
    Posts
    10,093

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    We need to raise more JCF freaks like me in this country, that'll solve the problem.
    I enjoy both Ti and Te, and I utilize Fe and somewhat Fi.

    Maybe the actual way to fix it (For T's case), would be to offer specialized public education courses for the youth rather than pander to Te and make everyone learn about everything. (i.e. forced acquisition of Te if you want to succeed in public education)
    I'd suggest the Public Education czars and policy makers take a nod from Montessori.

  9. #9
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    1,328

    Default

    I love the idea of viewing it in terms of introverted vs extroverted functions. The only reason I went the Ti/Fe Te/Fi route was an effort to bring it into a reflection of population %, rather than just the more abstract (which I'm also comfortable with).

    Really like all the comments so far, actually. The more holistic psychological approach on this forum really seems to cater to the growth of ideas.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Socionics
    ILI
    Posts
    1,838

    Default

    Just had an insight, maybe it's not that Te/Fi is dominating society, but certain expressions of those functions. For instance, in the business world, Te-Si might lead companies to stay in the comfort zone and to acquire income as quickly and efficiently as possible. Apple publishes a new iPhone every year with virtually the same concept with slightly different aesthetics and I believe that that is a manifestation of Te-Si. Perhaps expressions of Te through Ni would lead to a more innovative yet still efficient approach, but the problem is that introverted intuitives (INTJs and INFJs) make up anywhere between 3-5% of the population while introverted sensors make up 20-28% of the population. I think society might need more intuitives in general that are interested in long term results rather than sensors' short term results (no offense to sensors). Our society is starting to level out and be comfortable where we are, which is simply wasting ample opportunities.

Similar Threads

  1. [Te] Inferior Te-splosions all in your face to anyone ignoring my Fi
    By thistlechaser in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-23-2016, 01:17 PM
  2. The pairings aren't pairings--Te/Fi, Fe/Ti, Se/Ni, Si/Ne--they're identities
    By Kalach in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 06-08-2010, 09:51 PM
  3. Let's end the Fe/Ti - Fi/Te wars once and for all...
    By onemoretime in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 03-16-2010, 12:00 PM
  4. Is Dark Metal the root of evil in the axis of Fi ?
    By entropie in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-27-2010, 07:51 AM
  5. The manifestations of Fi in real life.
    By Virtual ghost in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 12-27-2009, 06:36 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO