Ne is not [simply] about random connections. Random connections can even be a sign of inferior N.
Se apprehends the literal object & its immediate, realistic possibilities
. It also sees connections between these literal objects
. These could be seemingly random. A blue car reminds them of the sky, which reminds them that they want to go skydiving. That is actually quite a Se line of thought.
Ne apprehends the concept behind the object and what that concept implies for future, hypothetical possibilities (they don't need to be realistic ideas; if it can be imagined, then it's a possibility). It sees connections between the underlying concepts of objects
, not their literal attributes. This is why Ne types appear absent-minded, because they are not focusing their minds on what exists around them literally at the moment, but on what exists in concept
in the world in general
. The mindset is still focused on external things, but it's abstract, intangible stuff