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:
- Software Developers
- Accountants and Auditors
- Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Human Resources, Training and Labor Relations Specialists
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators
- Sales Representatives (Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific)
- Information Security Analysts
- Mechanical Engineers
- 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.