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  1. #41

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    One of the best Computer programmers I have ever known claimed he tested ESFP (on the full paper version, they gave us in high school).

    There are very few people I know who tested that way. All of them have been intelligent.

    My x-programmer friend was also an "intellectual." He had his mind set on a ph.D almost as soon as he started college, and got 4 degrees in 4 years (2 Bachelor's degrees and 2 master's degrees). After he got his ph.D. he became a program manager at a big-name software company.

    FWIW, I roomed with him in college and l I found out he talked to people he knew well for hours and hours on the phone. I'm sorry to say it, it but the part of a long conversation I heard, conjured-up an image of a stereotypical 14 year old girl. But, he could possibly be the most intelligent person I've ever known personally.

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  2. #42
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    That's interesting, ygolo. It sounds as if your ESFP friend most likely developed Te and Ni, perhaps even other functions. I know some INTJ's who end up with similar problems/situations to xSFP's, so I'm beginning to think some people have a way of accessing the weaker "shadow" side of their personality almost as well as their "conscious" side if their will/intelligence is high enough (in addition to the normal negative manifestations of a shadow function).

    Of course, those conversations hint that he was still an ESFP at core, even if he focused much energy into the weaker functions... so your stronger functions indicate your general ambiance and tendencies, but not your abilities or even your desires.

    What do you think?

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    That's interesting, ygolo. It sounds as if your ESFP friend most likely developed Te and Ni, perhaps even other functions. I know some INTJ's who end up with similar problems/situations to xSFP's, so I'm beginning to think some people have a way of accessing the weaker "shadow" side of their personality almost as well as their "conscious" side if their will/intelligence is high enough (in addition to the normal negative manifestations of a shadow function).

    Of course, those conversations hint that he was still an ESFP at core, even if he focused much energy into the weaker functions... so your stronger functions indicate your general ambiance and tendencies, but not your abilities or even your desires.

    What do you think?
    I don't know. It could be that we was using Ni and Te, but I think it is possible he was actually using Se very effectively towards activities that are usually associated with N and T. His problem-solving style was very unique. On high-school math contests (I went to H.S. with him as well), he would simply fly through reams and reams of test cases to see if he could get the answer directly. He did MUCH better than I did at these things.

    The more I think about it, the more I believe he was an ESFP. But these things have a strange way of creating confirmation bias.

    He used to make fun of me for taking notes in a statistics class were taking, and had a lot of jokes about "engineers."

    His degrees were in CS and Math and his minors were in English and Economics, I think. He joined a few us in minoring in Physics also, but then dropped it saying it was just a waste of time (or something like that) after another long night on a Thermal Physics problem set.

    When I complained how the engineering department likes to give problems that are simply meant to give "practice"(which would be better done on more realistic problems) instead of elucidation or insight, he commented on how I had "grown."

    Like most of my friends, the N/S distinction is very hard to nail down, though he did test ESFP. My guess is he was close to ENFP, ESTP, and even ENTP. E and P were fairly clear however.

    But if I think about interaction style, he did seem more Get-things-Going than In-Charge. For Temperament, I can see SP or NT, but not NF.

    So in my mind, he was on the boundary between ESFP and ENTP. I often imagine, if I had met Von Neumann in real life, he may have had a very similar personality. My friend really was interested in Math and CS. So I think it drove him to voracious gaining knowledge in those fields(Se or Ne, IMO).

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #44
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Perhaps he simply offered the "social" side of his personality for immediate observation.

    If we platform from your basis that he's one of the smartest people you've ever met, I think its likely his rationalization schematics would naturally follow this general end. Intelligence can often be realized as creativity towards routine. Perhaps his novelty was an expression of this duality?

    Advanced degrees in Mathematics and CS suggest a profound keenness towards diagramming uniformities in a given system. As uniformities align, it becomes logical to assign mechanical law. From here, patterns emerge. From patterns, we realize progress. To this end, I suspect his comeliness was an extension of his appreciation for the indelible subjectivities of social interaction.

    He seemed most at ease (intellectually) with formal logic. Perhaps his exterior was simply offered as a defense.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Perhaps he simply offered the "social" side of his personality for immediate observation.
    In many ways, it was the opposite. He comes off as incredibly "nerdy." You have to interact with him for (a little) longer to find the differences from stereotypical nerds (INTx's).

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    If we platform from your basis that he's one of the smartest people you've ever met, I think its likely his rationalization schematics would naturally follow this general end. Intelligence can often be realized as creativity towards routine. Perhaps his novelty was an expression of this duality?
    I've met a lot of intelligent people. I don't know if that is true. I knew this guy through high-school and college, so I knew him personally. It's hard to gauge comparisons of sorts, but if I had to choose "most intelligent person I've known," he would be a strong candidate.



    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Advanced degrees in Mathematics and CS suggest a profound keenness towards diagramming uniformities in a given system. As uniformities align, it becomes logical to assign mechanical law. From here, patterns emerge. From patterns, we realize progress. To this end, I suspect his comeliness was an extension of his appreciation for the indelible subjectivities of social interaction.
    Being good at Math and CS does not necessarily indicate a particular function or temperament, or even "keenness" towards particular mental tasks. NTs may be the most over-represented in CS, but there are an awful lot of SPs and SJs too.

    People can be really good at something using their own styles. He had an interest and put a lot of energy into the Math and CS fields, but it certainly possible it was mostly Se energy and Fi energy and not N or T.

    FWIW, the best programmer I have known (another one who got the same 4 degrees in 4 years) tested INFP (the idealist temperament is actually fairly clear in his personality). Would you have guessed that?

    Consider, also, that some big names in CS were self-proclaimed INFPs (Larry Wall, Jerry Weinberg).

    That makes me think that Fi, may have a certain place in computing that is essential also.


    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    I think this "subjectivity" premise gains momentum when one analyzes his pattern of academic interest as alignment towards areas of study formally interested in maintaining objectivity.
    CS, Math and objectivity? Hmm... You may need to clarify your hypothesis here.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #46
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Being good at Math and CS does not necessarily indicate a particular function or temperament, or even "keenness" towards particular mental tasks. NTs may be the most over-represented in CS, but there are an awful lot of SPs and SJs too.
    Temperament is incidental, as I yet suspect his behavior was consciously adaptive in design. Perhaps I lack context.

    Sensitivity towards pattern recognition is usually a relevant skill to have when pursuing post-grad Math/CS work. I've some experience with both.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post


    FWIW, the best programmer I have known (another one who got the same 4 degrees in 4 years) tested INFP (the idealist temperament is actually fairly clear in his personality). Would you have guessed that?
    Sure - why not?

    It probably should be noted that I place little value in narrow-handing folks into a series of prescriptivist behaviors as a result of MBTI.




    Out of curiosity (as my initial post is devoid of MBTI/Temperament logic), why such an emphasis on both with your reply?

    Is it cadence with the OP, or something less obvious?

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Temperament is incidental, as I yet suspect his behavior was consciously adaptive in design. Perhaps I lack context.
    Actually, I doubt his "socializing" behavior was consciously adaptive. He seems to "tone it down" with most people.

    It actually drives an ISTJ friend of mine nuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Sensitivity towards pattern recognition is usually a relevant skill to have when pursuing post-grad Math/CS work. I've some experience with both.
    Pattern recognition is an important skill among many things, yes. I never did post-grad work, but I know many who have. It still seems like there is quite some diversity in proclivities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    It probably should be noted that I place little value in narrow-handing folks into a series of prescriptivist behaviors as a result of MBTI.
    That is an important thing to note.

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Out of curiosity (as my initial post is devoid of MBTI/Temperament logic), why such an emphasis on both with your reply?

    Is it cadence with the OP, or something less obvious?
    Mainly cadence with the OP. I guess I misunderstood your meaning, but I also with took issue with the seeming implication that socializing and advanced degrees in and Math/CS were at odds with each other (whatever the correlations may be). For me the association was with F vs. T, but still....

    CS/Math accepts many types, perspectives and skills. Whether we are using Myers-Briggs stereotypes or some other (perhaps just "conventional wisdom"), I don't believe any field or career should be limited by such considerations.

    In fact, I would say the more diverse the traits, perspectives and backgrounds that a career field can accommodate, the healthier and more intellectually honest it is.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  8. #48
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post

    CS/Math accepts many types, perspectives and skills. Whether we are using Myers-Briggs stereotypes or some other (perhaps just "conventional wisdom"), I don't believe any field or career should be limited by such considerations.

    In fact, I would say the more diverse the traits, perspectives and backgrounds that a career field can accommodate, the healthier and more intellectually honest it is.
    Ah!

    I sympathize with your conclusion. I should have elaborated a bit more. Apologies for the confusion.
    Last edited by Night; 02-01-2008 at 11:15 AM. Reason: 42

  9. #49
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    One of the best Computer programmers I have ever known claimed he tested ESFP (on the full paper version, they gave us in high school).
    ....
    Just for the record, I once informally "tested" a group of teenagers, and almost all of them thought they were ESFPs. The same thing just happened to someone else I know. I think it's likely this person didn't really understand who he was at the time he took the test.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Gabe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I asked of genuine interest. For the sake of being PC, people frequently point out that SPs can be dumb but, hey, NTs can be dumb too! Yet outside of citing cartoon characters no one has ever posted any details of a genuinely unintelligent NT they've known.

    I've known NTs who are many undesirable things, but unintelligent has never once been one of them.
    you probably make a point of associating with intelligent people (like me). I bet every stupid theorist you encountered passed right under your radar. Also, 'scalar intelligence' was convieniently described by a (probable) theorist.
    I HAVE met stupid theorists.

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