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Thread: Is Ni like Fi?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier. I don't know, I see how Fe is influencing the subjects that I'm thinking about (although not everything I think about is Feeling-related), but I still think that the algorithms/archetypes are from Ni itself. [...]
    Okay, I read your post, and I’m still having a problem with the concept that “the algorithms/archetypes are from Ni itself.”

    One way I like to analyze these things is in real-world examples. Usually all these cognitive processes have analogies or metaphors or results in the real world. For example, about Si you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    From what I understand, Si is more about taking chunks of things that happened in the past and building principles off of these larger chunks and having an affinity towards having these chunks repeated.
    I pretty much agree with this. Sensors seem to use repetition to compare similar items and categorize things or derive unifying principles or derive best practices and rules.

    The traditional example of Se was an athlete practicing a jump shot in basketball or a pitch in baseball over and over, comparing the feel and results of each repetition, until he can pin down the absolute perfect way to make that shot or pitch.

    As for Si, I gave the example of a scientist working up a taxonomy, i.e., taking a jumble of objects and analyzing their features with the goal of categorizing the elements of that jumble into a coherent system. And the more elements they can analyze, the tighter they can make the system.

    Or think of an accountant going through a company’s books, taking disordered records and creating order from them and standardized financial statements.

    And I said that this resembles Ni and Ne in that it involves holding a set of items in one’s mind and contrasting among and between those items with the goal of extracting data.

    Now here you talk about Ni:

    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    Ni is more about taking much smaller hints of things that happen in the present and trying immediately to construct principles out of this conglomeration of little bits and then these constructs become the universal principles which don't have an inclination for trying to keep things the way they've been in the past. So I believe these archetypes/algorithms are inherently a part of what Ni is.
    Now I’m not really understanding that. At this point it would be good if you could do as I suggested above, that is, offer some kind of real-world example: An analogy or metaphor or result of the Ni process in the real world.

    For what it’s worth, I talked in my previous post about how I experience my Ne and noted that I don’t notice any such archetypes/algorithms in using it. My Ne just tends to use whatever's at hand to generate new combinations and new spins on things; but it's a haphazard process, at least until it suddenly stumbles in the right direction and gets close to a desired solution. To back that up, here’s an old post I wrote about my real-world experience of Ne. It’s kind of “cutesy” in the way that I presented it, but hopefully it will convey the sense: http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=1#post1651001

    In turn, it would be good if you could spell out the Ni process a little more tangibly than you’ve done so far. I realize it’s tougher for introverted functions than for extraverted functions. But I’m not getting much understanding from your explanation so far, and I really am curious about this. Or even if you could quote some Jung or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    In turn, it would be good if you could spell out the Ni process a little more tangibly than you’ve done so far. I realize it’s tougher for introverted functions than for extraverted functions. But I’m not getting much understanding from your explanation so far, and I really am curious about this. Or even if you could quote some Jung or something.
    Yeah, I know my explanation was kinda vague. Like you said, it's hard to really explain. I have no idea what real world example I could compare Ni to, but here's something more tangible:

    Someone using Ni could go through life and see things like flowers wilting after they are in full bloom, people's bodies deteriorating as they age, books becoming more and more yellow with every decade they exist, and they will make a principle out of this: Things deteriorate with time. They will use this principle in their life dealings; for instance, it may make them afraid to get married because they believe that relationships inherently will deteriorate with time. On the other hand, this principle will continually be refined because they will see things that do NOT deteriorate with time, like maybe they’ll see a 50-year marriage where the two people are still deeply in love. So they’ll have to refine this principle to include caveats that accommodate this and other things like it.

    They will see this in symbols too. One day, they may be looking at an old broken down house that’s been abandoned for years, and they will be reminded of that principle again. So now the image of that old house stands for that principle. If a year later, they are talking to someone who is telling them about how they need a new air conditioner because the one they’ve had for years is falling apart, the image of the house will flash in their mind. They may not even realize at first why they are suddenly remembering this house.

    Another example of Ni at work is if someone using Ni is looking at a book by an author they never read, and they only read the back cover and maybe the first chapter, and they already are thinking that they know how it will end. This is because this person has stored up pieces of data throughout all their reading in their life. Everytime they read a book, they remember what the characters are like, what genre it is, if it has a happy ending, etc. But looking at the one book as a whole is not as important as comparing pieces of the book to other pieces of other books. They may see over reading many books that authors who tend to write lots of descriptions of setting also tend to have characters who are borderline between good and evil. Or they may see that books where the male main character is violent in the beginning AND there is an innocent-seeming female character who is getting as much scene-time in the beginning will end with the two of them falling in love. There are many, many little patterns that they will develop over time. These little patterns will also start combining together to make bigger patterns. To the point where if they see just a few little pieces together in the beginning of a book, they will see that it is part of a bigger pattern and will predict that the rest of the pattern will play out in the rest of this book that they’ve never read.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

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    Everything seems to mix in with everything until a clear understanding of how judgement/perception manifests in yourself is established.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    Yeah, I know my explanation was kinda vague. Like you said, it's hard to really explain. I have no idea what real world example I could compare Ni to, but here's something more tangible:
    Great! Thank you for accommodating me on this. I appreciate that it’s not your preferred mode for dealing with your internal processes.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    Someone using Ni could go through life and see things like flowers wilting after they are in full bloom, people's bodies deteriorating as they age, books becoming more and more yellow with every decade they exist, and they will make a principle out of this: Things deteriorate with time. They will use this principle in their life dealings; for instance, it may make them afraid to get married because they believe that relationships inherently will deteriorate with time. On the other hand, this principle will continually be refined because they will see things that do NOT deteriorate with time, like maybe they’ll see a 50-year marriage where the two people are still deeply in love. So they’ll have to refine this principle to include caveats that accommodate this and other things like it.
    Okay, what you’re describing here sounds very much like the creation of an Fe judging model. That is, your Ni notices patterns in the environment and extrapolates a principle: "Things deteriorate with time." In turn, that principle becomes the foundation for an Fe model for judging the world around you: “Things grow old and deteriorate, and I don’t like that. So I’m not going to get married--the marriage will just deteriorate.”

    Why would Fe work this way? Because for INFJs, Fe is a gatekeeper function. Processing info via Ni takes a long time because it involves juggling things around on a matrix. So it uses Fe to keep out unnecessary info. From PersonalityPage.com:

    If the psyche is presented with information that looks anything like something that Introverted iNtuition has processed in the past, it uses Extraverted Feeling to quickly reject that information. The psyche uses Extraverted Feeling to reject the ideas, rather than taking the information into its intuitive framework, and therefore potentially causing that framework to be reshaped and redefined.

    http://www.personalitypage.com/html/INFJ_per.html
    So basically Ni is generating the “principles” that you described in your first paragraph, and Fe is incorporating them in judging models to sort through incoming info, keep out unnecessary items, and thereby lighten the workload for Ni and speed up Ni processing.

    But as you noted, your Ni will notice some variations in patterns over time, it will issue some new principles, your Fe will become more sophisticated in its judging/gatekeeper role, and you will start to consider marriage; IOW, the Fe gatekeeper will start letting that concept into the Ni inner sanctum where Ni can play with the idea some more.

    Let me skip to the final paragraph:

    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    Another example of Ni at work is if someone using Ni is looking at a book by an author they never read, and they only read the back cover and maybe the first chapter, and they already are thinking that they know how it will end. This is because this person has stored up pieces of data throughout all their reading in their life. Everytime they read a book, they remember what the characters are like, what genre it is, if it has a happy ending, etc. But looking at the one book as a whole is not as important as comparing pieces of the book to other pieces of other books. They may see over reading many books that authors who tend to write lots of descriptions of setting also tend to have characters who are borderline between good and evil. Or they may see that books where the male main character is violent in the beginning AND there is an innocent-seeming female character who is getting as much scene-time in the beginning will end with the two of them falling in love. There are many, many little patterns that they will develop over time. These little patterns will also start combining together to make bigger patterns. To the point where if they see just a few little pieces together in the beginning of a book, they will see that it is part of a bigger pattern and will predict that the rest of the pattern will play out in the rest of this book that they’ve never read.
    Again, this is a pretty good example of your Fe judging/gatekeeper function at work. You pick up a book, skim the first chapter, and your Ni extrapolates where the book goes from there. It compares that extrapolation against the plot models contained in your Fe based on past book reading, and Fe turns thumbs down on the book: “We’ve seen this before, and there’s no reason investing time on this book.”

    Note that these kinds of quick Fe judgements aren't always a good thing. You’re cutting off information based on an extrapolation (assumption) about where the book is headed. Your assumptions may be right or may be wrong. PersonalityPage.com has warnings about using your Fe judging/gatekeeper function too quickly:

    Using Extraverted Feeling in this manner may effectively serve the immediate needs of Introverted iNtuition, but it is not ideal. It causes the INFJ to not consider information that may be useful or criticial in developing a real understanding of an issue. It may cause the INFJ to come off as too strongly opinionated or snobbish to others.

    The better use of Extraverted Feeling for an INFJ would be to use it to assess the INFJ's rich insights and weigh them against the external world. When the INFJ personality uses Extraverted Feeling to cut off incoming information, rather than to judge internal intuitions, it is effectively cheating itself. It's like getting the answers to a test without having to really understand the questions. It's easier to get the answer right away, rather than to have to figure everything out. For the INFJ, who has a tremendous amount of information and "studying" that needs to be done, it's very tempting to take shortcuts. Most INFJs will do this to some extent. The real problems occur when an INFJ personality has become so imbalanced that its owner is extremely self-important and rarely consider anyone else's opinions or ideas.
    Please understand that I’m not questioning your book-reading habits specifically. I’m just using the example you provided to show you how your Fe gatekeeper/judging function works and how it can sometimes work against you.

    Finally, your second paragraph:

    They will see this in symbols too. One day, they may be looking at an old broken down house that’s been abandoned for years, and they will be reminded of that principle again. So now the image of that old house stands for that principle. If a year later, they are talking to someone who is telling them about how they need a new air conditioner because the one they’ve had for years is falling apart, the image of the house will flash in their mind. They may not even realize at first why they are suddenly remembering this house.
    As for your example of older images coming into your head (the old house), that just sounds like free association. Every type does that to some extent.

    In this paragraph, you have an Fe model for judging the world around you: “Things grow old and deteriorate, and I don’t like that.” Then a real-world scenario of oldness unfolds in front of you, and for various reasons it may take you back to those earlier “formative” experiences of oldness that are at the core of your Fe model. IOW, your Fe model gets stimulated to the point of shooting off a free association.

    All types free associate. With some it’s more about a smell or a taste bringing them back. But it can also be an emotional link too.

    **********
    Anyway, you notice that a lot of this material was about Fe judging. There are no Ni search algorithms. In your examples, you talked somewhat about the Ni process and the extrapolation of data to a conclusion. But after the extrapolation is made, that extrapolation is then incorporated in Fe as a judging principle/model; it's no longer part of Ni at that point. And then the Fe judging model acts as a gatekeeper to keep new data away from the Ni if the Fe deems it negative or even just unnecessary or superfluous.

    Ni feeds Fe with gatekeeping rules, and Fe protects Ni by keeping out superfluous stuff and keeping Ni's workload light. The material at PersonalityPage.com will spell this all out at greater length: http://www.personalitypage.com/html/INFJ_per.html

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    In some ways, I do see what you're saying with the idea that Fe is the gatekeeper of Ni and can dismiss info to keep from being overwhelmed; I was not noticing that as much as I should have. By the way, the examples I used were not from myself; it was just things I thought of to try to explain what I was saying.

    When I wrote the sentence about marriage, I was thinking that this was Fe and wondering if I should make a note or something about that. I guess I should have, so . . . I already knew that

    However, in some of the things that you're saying, you're adding emotional judgments where I didn't intend them.

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Again, this is a pretty good example of your Fe judging/gatekeeper function at work. You pick up a book, skim the first chapter, and your Ni extrapolates where the book goes from there. It compares that extrapolation against the plot models contained in your Fe based on past book reading, and Fe turns thumbs down on the book: “We’ve seen this before, and there’s no reason investing time on this book.”
    I never mentioned deciding whether or not to read the book. I just mentioned the extrapolation and how it occurred. I recognize that the deciding is Fe. Actually, since extrapolating a book's ending is something that happens with almost every book I read, I would read far less books if I decided to dismiss books like this. It's interesting to me to see how the book's real ending compares to the one I thought in the beginning.

    Also,

    As for your example of older images coming into your head (the old house), that just sounds like free association. Every type does that to some extent.

    In this paragraph, you have an Fe model for judging the world around you: “Things grow old and deteriorate, and I don’t like that.” Then a real-world scenario of oldness unfolds in front of you, and for various reasons it may take you back to those earlier “formative” experiences of oldness that are at the core of your Fe model. IOW, your Fe model gets stimulated to the point of shooting off a free association.
    All types free associate. With some it’s more about a smell or a taste bringing them back. But it can also be an emotional link too.
    I never mentioned the idea of "not liking" that things grow old and deteriorate (except for the part about someone not wanting to get married). I see emotional reactions to Ni principles as something separate from Ni. I wasn't talking about what someone would do with this principle in that paragraph, just what the principle is itself and the symbol of it. Maybe I shouldn't have used the example of the person seeing a physical house and being reminded of it. Symbols often don't start like that (at least for me).

    Also, I realize that all types free associate. But I’m talking about something different than this.

    It is often said that human beings rely more heavily on vision than any of the other senses. This seems especially true of INJs, who often report a strong visual element to their Introverted Intuition. They often think by way of images rather than words. Their intuitions often manifest in the form of symbols, images, dreams, or patterns.
    http://personalityjunkie.com/10/intr...n-infjs-intjs/
    I sometimes get reminded of instances from my past or emotional connections through images, smells, and tastes. But some images stand for something instead of just having a connection to something else. Then these are symbols. When I was a teenager, I used to write poetry that was full of seemingly random and bizarre images and gave no attempt in the poem to explain what they meant, and when I read them to anyone, people looked at me like I had three heads and had no idea whatsoever what the topic of the poem was. And yet, to this day, when I read these poems, I can see exactly what they mean. Each image is a representation of a concept that I could not describe with words, not necessarily a connection to a memory (although I will sometimes put the images that are a connection to a memory in my poems as well). Also, if I have an image in my head that represents something, and I tell it someone to try to explain a concept and tell them what each part of it represents, and then the person twists it or misunderstands it, it affects me a lot and feels like they just misused a part of myself. (I realize that having the emotional reaction is not part of Ni.)

    So I recognize that in general, on some level I was not understanding parts of how Fe works with Ni, and I’ll have to think some more about this. But I think you were adding Fe to some things I said that were not there.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

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    Okay, sounds like we have some agreement on the earlier points, i.e., that Fe is present in the mix (at least when you decide to move beyond the pure Ni analysis/extrapolation phase). I appreciate your open-mindedness and willingness to see my points; you’re a great interlocutor for this kind of discussion.

    Let me jump on down to the one big remaining point of contention, i.e., concerning the use of symbols as an organic part of the Ni process.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    Also, I realize that all types free associate. But I’m talking about something different than this.

    [quote from personalityjunkie.com]

    I sometimes get reminded of instances from my past or emotional connections through images, smells, and tastes. But some images stand for something instead of just having a connection to something else. Then these are symbols. When I was a teenager, I used to write poetry that was full of seemingly random and bizarre images and gave no attempt in the poem to explain what they meant, and when I read them to anyone, people looked at me like I had three heads and had no idea whatsoever what the topic of the poem was. And yet, to this day, when I read these poems, I can see exactly what they mean. Each image is a representation of a concept that I could not describe with words, not necessarily a connection to a memory (although I will sometimes put the images that are a connection to a memory in my poems as well). Also, if I have an image in my head that represents something, and I tell it someone to try to explain a concept and tell them what each part of it represents, and then the person twists it or misunderstands it, it affects me a lot and feels like they just misused a part of myself. (I realize that having the emotional reaction is not part of Ni.)
    Okay, I get your point, and I agree that it isn’t free association.

    I think what you’re describing is the end result of taking an outer-world item or event or phenomenon and reducing it to its principles so that it can be studied and manipulated in an introverted fashion. In a sense, it’s the process of moving from Te to Ti, Se to Si, Fe to Fi, and Ne to Ni. Often that process involves using symbols as a representation or substitution for the outer-world thing.

    A simple illustration, not necessarily MBTI-related:

    I get in my car in the morning, look at my gas gauge, and estimate whether I have enough gas to get to work. It’s a simple calculation, one I do every day, and it involves the things themselves: Gas, distance, car, etc. Now let’s say that I’m in charge of a motor pool with lots of vehicles and storage tanks of gasoline. When I calculate whether I have enough gas in the storage tanks for all the vehicles for the coming month, it’s too clunky to think in terms of individual cars and distances; I’m going to convert the problem into math where everything can be handled with mathematical symbols and manipulated more easily.

    Again, that’s a simplistic illustration. But you get the picture. Here’s another example, more directly related to MBTI:

    As an Fi-Dom (INFP), I don’t handle emotions very well; INFPs are kind of emotion-phobic in the real world. Strong emotions stress us; we would rather play with delicate nuances of emotion in our heads than deal with a big emotional scene IRL. So let’s say that I get involved in an emotional situation at work or when socializing. I may get through the situation okay at the time; but later that night is when I’ll really sit down to process the event in my mind. And if the event is particularly tangled or has lots of ramifications, I will probably convert the elements into symbols or color models or even mathematics so that I can parse the various claims of all the different parties and sort out how to parcel out blame or reward.

    This process of converting emotional scenes to things like colors or symbols or mathematics makes it easier for emotion-phobic Fi-Doms to “sanitize” the emotions of real-world events and handle them for analysis purposes. It also makes it that much easier to store that “model” for future use, i.e., dredging up that model for comparison to similar events in the future. (Note that Fi is a little different from Fe and has a "storage" orientation, as opposed to the Fe "gatekeeper" orientation.)

    Maybe this is where terms like “feeling-tones” gets used to describe use of Fi-Dom. Again, emotion-phobic Fi-Doms are not necessarily empathizing directly with the emotions of others; instead we create symbolic constructs of emotions for analysis and storage.

    ***************

    To sum up:

    What I’m seeing here is a process of conversion of a real-world event/thing/phenomenon to its underlying principles for purposes of introverting the event for further study. And that process often involves converting the elements of the real-world event or thing into symbols or math or logical principles (or even color codes and “tones”) for ease of handling. You could even take a single problem and analyze it through multiple paradigms (math, symbols, pictorially, flow charts) to see which will work best for that problem. When I use my Si, I play with the data and convert them to abbreviations or symbols and plug them into categories or other mnemonic devices to figure out the best way to compare, store, and retrieve. And one can only imagine the symbolic model-building and storage systems of the logical Ti way of thinking.

    IOW, I don’t think what you’re describing is Ni-specific or that it’s necessarily a “search algorithm,” properly speaking. I think it’s just a way of breaking down tough problems and streamlining them for processing in an introverted manner.

    I think what’s different about you and me is that you see this kind of conversion or substitution as part of your perceiving function (Ni), whereas I see it as part of my judging function (Fi). That is, you see it as part of a “churning” process where you're wrestling with symbols on an ongoing basis, whereas I see it as a temporary model-building process for quick judgement and storage. But in fact, as I understand it, it’s just part of the overall process of internalizing things; everyone has an introverted function in their top two functions, so presumably everyone does it to some extent.

    Let me stop here. In a follow-up post I could provide additional examples of how this “conversion to underlying principles” works: For example, there are times when a real-world phenomenon gets too tangled or clunky for my Ne and I convert to a symbolic equivalent of the problem and start working in a full-blown Ni mode of sorts. But again, I think this is a good place to wrap up this post and get your comments.

    Again, you seem like a great interlocutor in this discussion, as well as having a good handle on how your Ni works. So I’m curious to hear any thoughts you may have on these ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Okay, sounds like we have some agreement on the earlier points, i.e., that Fe is present in the mix (at least when you decide to move beyond the pure Ni analysis/extrapolation phase).
    I agree that I will have to think about how Fe acts as a tool for cutting off or restricting info to the Ni in general, but I feel like some of my points were lost where you added some feeling-judgments that weren't there. For instance, I mentioned getting a sense of how a book will end to talk about the idea of extrapolation. You agree that this extrapolation itself is Ni. There are some “calculations” going on in order to reach this extrapolation. The word “algorithm” isn’t a perfect analogy to this because it’s impossible to perfectly define all of the components that make up the equation, but my point is that there is some kind of calculation going on. Some Se data comes in (reading the first chapter of the book), and it triggers Ni to make the extrapolation. And these calculations are not just random combinations of things (going back to some earlier posts that we made); they come from constructs of what has been seen in the past. I tried to give some idea of these constructs when I talked about the different patterns that an Ni-user sees in different books that they have read all throughout their life (these specific constructs/patterns I'm talking about are made up to illustrate my point).

    This person has stored up pieces of data throughout all their reading in their life. Everytime they read a book, they remember what the characters are like, what genre it is, if it has a happy ending, etc. But looking at the one book as a whole is not as important as comparing pieces of the book to other pieces of other books. They may see over reading many books that authors who tend to write lots of descriptions of setting also tend to have characters who are borderline between good and evil. Or they may see that books where the male main character is violent in the beginning AND there is an innocent-seeming female character who is getting as much scene-time in the beginning will end with the two of them falling in love. There are many, many little patterns that they will develop over time. These little patterns will also start combining together to make bigger patterns. To the point where if they see just a few little pieces together in the beginning of a book, they will see that it is part of a bigger pattern and will predict that the rest of the pattern will play out in the rest of this book that they’ve never read.
    About symbols and Ni: You said,

    I think what you’re describing is the end result of taking an outer-world item or event or phenomenon and reducing it to its principles so that it can be studied and manipulated in an introverted fashion.
    I mentioned this process in an earlier post:

    Someone using Ni could go through life and see things like flowers wilting after they are in full bloom, people's bodies deteriorating as they age, books becoming more and more yellow with every decade they exist, and they will make a principle out of this: Things deteriorate with time.
    But I don’t agree that this is going from Ne to Ni. This is taking Se and using it to have the raw bits of data that make up the foundation of Ni. Every introverted function has a connection with the opposite extraverted function (meaning if it’s a perceiving function, it’s the other way of perceiving, and if it’s a judging function, it’s the other way of judging), and they work together.

    Also, in talking about how an Fi-dom thinks about the emotions of situations when alone, you said:

    And if the event is particularly tangled or has lots of ramifications, I will probably convert the elements into symbols or color models or even mathematics so that I can parse the various claims of all the different parties and sort out how to parcel out blame or reward.
    Are you sure that converting it into symbols is not influenced by Ne? Or mathematics influenced by Te?

    About symbols and Ni overall, I agree that there are other functions besides Ni that can use symbols. But what I hear you saying is that because other introverted functions use symbols to some extent that there’s no reason to think that symbols are inherently a part of what makes Ni, Ni. This is like saying that because the Ti function has a sense of something being “right” or “good” (in the sense of being accurate or true) that there’s no reason to think that Fi is inherently different in the way that it uses the sense of being right and wrong. Morality is an inherent part of what makes Fi, Fi—and when people talk about the differences between functions and what their main qualities are, people connect morality and Fi, but not so much other functions. And in this sense, people connect symbols and Ni. This is what I was trying to bring out with the quote from Personality Junkie. People have morality and wrestle with questions of right or wrong if they are not Fi-users, but this doesn’t mean that morality is not a defining attribute of Fi. Also, people who aren’t Ni-users use symbols to make sense of what they’re thinking, but this doesn’t mean that symbols aren’t a defining attribute of Ni.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    I agree that I will have to think about how Fe acts as a tool for cutting off or restricting info to the Ni in general, but I feel like some of my points were lost where you added some feeling-judgments that weren't there. For instance, I mentioned getting a sense of how a book will end to talk about the idea of extrapolation. You agree that this extrapolation itself is Ni. There are some “calculations” going on in order to reach this extrapolation. The word “algorithm” isn’t a perfect analogy to this because it’s impossible to perfectly define all of the components that make up the equation, but my point is that there is some kind of calculation going on. Some Se data comes in (reading the first chapter of the book), and it triggers Ni to make the extrapolation. And these calculations are not just random combinations of things (going back to some earlier posts that we made); they come from constructs of what has been seen in the past. I tried to give some idea of these constructs when I talked about the different patterns that an Ni-user sees in different books that they have read all throughout their life (these specific constructs/patterns I'm talking about are made up to illustrate my point).
    Okay, I think I understand better what you’re referring to here.

    To spell it out as I understand it:

    When we repeat certain processes hundreds or thousands of times, they become automated and eventually even unconscious. Examples:

    1) When we first learn to drive, we have to think about everything we do: gas pedal, brake pedal, turn signal, etc. But after driving for months or years, the entire process becomes largely automatic and unconscious. We can drive though the countryside conversing with a passenger and never once think about the mechanics of the driving itself.

    2) When a kid first picks up a baseball bat, he has to be taught how to hold it and swing it. But later, after years of practice, athletics become largely automatic and unconscious. The professional athlete reacts at lightning speed, doing the right thing at the right time without having to think about it.

    3) It works for me as well when it comes to my Ne. For years I translated documents from Russian to English in an office. When I first started out, it was slow going: I had to use conscious Ne to work with the Russian and craft a well-written English equivalent. But over the years I developed my favorite ways to craft translations, got quicker at it, and eventually a lot of it became rote and automatic. If the material was easy, then I could zone out and just type away, with barely a thought in my head.

    Anyway, they say that this is largely the process by which the Dominant function becomes automatic when we are kids. We follow favorite thought or experiential pathways often enough, and they become automated to the point that we don’t even notice them happening any more.

    I had discounted those processes in our discussion up to now because they’re so automated and rote, like driving or eating. Everyone has them; they’re part of the definition of the Dominant function. But we are talking about your Dominant function here. So maybe this is what you mean by “algorithms”: these rote, automated thought processes that become unconscious through repetition and make up the Dominant function.

    Your example of the books is increasingly starting to sound like the process of developing those rote, automated thought processes that make up everyone’s Dominant function. So in that sense, one could talk about an Ni algorithm, an Si algorithm, an Fi algorithm, etc. IOW, the word “algorithm” basically becomes a way to designate how each function works as a whole.

    I would be curious to hear your thoughts on that idea.

    As for the rest:

    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    But I don’t agree that this is going from Ne to Ni.
    Actually I didn’t mean a strict progression from Ne to Ni. I meant the difference between Ne and Ni, Fe and Fe, etc. Sorry, I phrased that poorly.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    About symbols and Ni overall, I agree that there are other functions besides Ni that can use symbols. But what I hear you saying is that because other introverted functions use symbols to some extent that there’s no reason to think that symbols are inherently a part of what makes Ni, Ni.
    That’s an interesting point about whether symbol use is a defining attribute of Ni. I wasn’t really considering that aspect one way or the other. When it comes to intellectual challenges I don’t tend to get much guidance from my Ne; my Aux Ne puts problems through lots of different analytical tools and paradigms and cranks through the combinations and permutations until something comes out close to what I want. So I see iNtuition as a whole as more just a generalized churning-and-juxtaposing function. And use of symbols seems so universal that I wouldn’t have thought to make it a defining attribute of N in general or even Ni specifically.

    But who knows; if we’re now talking about those automated, rote functions that become unconscious through repetition, then a certain specific kind of symbol use might be prevalent in Ni-Doms. That is, we all develop preference for our Dominant processes as kids, and once those processes become unconscious we can’t really access them to alter them after that. So use of Ni by Ni-Doms may get frozen into one mode of use, i.e., play with symbols.

    On this point, it would be interesting to hear from personality types who have Aux-Ni. They have more direct, conscious access to their Ni, and it would be interesting to hear whether they see their own Ni as defined primarily or solely by use of symbols; or whether they experience their Aux-Ni more like I experience my Aux-Ne: as a churning function that can use multiple paradigms as tools for crunching numbers or solving problems.
    Last edited by RDF; 07-28-2012 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Shuffled around 2 of the paragraphs

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