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  1. #1
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Default How daft? (The differences between communication and reality)

    Okay this topic is far too large to write in any real structure that I'm capable of so hang on to your hats and try to follow.

    Marginalization
    Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Ghosties, Limies, Spics whatever, why are these labels kept past their usage?

    I have a friend who's Asian. His name is Joe. That's not his real name but just the one he adopted when he came to England. I call him Joe and treat him as Joe. Why do so many treat him as Asian? Okay as a first contact it possibly should bear in people's minds but after that surely he's just Joe?


    Control.
    Why do people look for control and look to segment people into pigeon holes so they can be categorised and organised with labels instead of responding to instances? Labels are a tool used in communication and are often irrelevant to the reality which presents itself. So why keep labels once the reality is apparent?

    Cats versus Dogs.
    Dogs do not hate cats and cats do not hate dogs. Hell I'd wager that they don't even recognise that the other is of different species, so why do we segment people and try to label them with predefined attributes which determine our love or hatred of them?

    Basically what's the psychological reasoning behind our segmentation? Is it to control, to cope or merely a left over of our communication style?

    Why do we compartmentalise people when it is so obvious that such efforts are futile and inaccurate?

    If our system of labels worked in terms of reality then every person of a given "minority" would have certain similar responses to given stimuli but they don't. Sure you get tendencies and probabilities but at what point do people decide it is logical or reasonable to "convert" such things to definites?

    Are we so fragile of mind that we require such crutches or is it simply laziness which promotes such unreasoned behaviour?

    Oh and just cause I mentioned minorities, this is a side effect or perhaps a reverse assembly of compartmentalisation where people decide that they are "the people of X" and should be treated differently and yet demand equality. If equality is inclusion then is it right to say that 'wants' are more important and trump 'do not wants'?

    If all are to live as one then all must be treated equally and have the same claims to things else the system does not work (well not to my degree of critique that is). However this means that arbitrary lines such as what you believe in or what church you go to or where you/ your parents/ your ancestors were born must become as important to what you require as your hobbies and interests.

    I do not demand any extra facilitation for my hobbies so why should someone else's choice of what they do as an individual be treated as more deserving of special treatment than my own?

    [Hmm this is starting to taste of peace loving anarchy is it not?]
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  2. #2
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    You've pointed out a very real danger that can arise from misapplication of a system of categorizations. However, I don't agree that it is necessarily a negative thing, because generalizations can be useful. It is when tendencies become concrete and definite in people's minds that the problem arises.

    But the truth is, I am a J, and I need labels and such crutches to deal with reality. Maybe a P can just adapt, but I have to fit all stimuli into as many categories as I can in order to understand it, otherwise I can't make sense of it.

    But I am willing to create new categories for individuals that deviate from my mental standard, to explain and describe their deviation to myself, and understand them better. In fact, part of the way I remember people individually is in the specific ways in which they deviate from a particular standard. For me, my categories are how I explain my understanding, and what I create to deal with things, but they don't limit my understanding in the end.

    The trick is to note every difference, and be willing to change your judgment after your initial impression.

  3. #3
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    You've pointed out a very real danger that can arise from misapplication of a system of categorizations. However, I don't agree that it is necessarily a negative thing, because generalizations can be useful. It is when tendencies become concrete and definite in people's minds that the problem arises.

    But the truth is, I am a J, and I need labels and such crutches to deal with reality. Maybe a P can just adapt, but I have to fit all stimuli into as many categories as I can in order to understand it, otherwise I can't make sense of it.
    To be fair J or P doesn't make much difference in terms of how people are treated though. It's not the source of the prejudice. My family is all J (the close one's though my Gran being an ENFP was a shock!), my father in particular is one of those much maligned ENTJs and yet he is better than I at treating people as individuals and not by proximity to pigeon holes. He does this via organised segmentation but that's segmentation of the process of understanding and not necessarily segmentation of the subject of the process, if that makes sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    But I am willing to create new categories for individuals that deviate from my mental standard, to explain and describe their deviation to myself, and understand them better. In fact, part of the way I remember people individually is in the specific ways in which they deviate from a particular standard. For me, my categories are how I explain my understanding, and what I create to deal with things, but they don't limit my understanding in the end.
    Okay as a P that sounds very confusing. How do you recall the vast numbers of categories? Do you not get swamped under the work load of all that filing? Is it not easier to just say "That's Bob he's quite X. That's Cheryl, she's quite Y." ?
    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    The trick is to note every difference, and be willing to change your judgment after your initial impression.
    Exactly. Always in context. One of my favourite mottos
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  4. #4
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Okay as a P that sounds very confusing. How do you recall the vast numbers of categories? Do you not get swamped under the work load of all that filing? Is it not easier to just say "That's Bob he's quite X. That's Cheryl, she's quite Y." ?
    To be honest, I only pay that much attention to my closer friends, of which I only have five or six. With most people, I just respond with the standard persona of socially appropriate mannerisms. I make a slightly larger effort to accommodate my superiors, but not much.

  5. #5
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    To be honest, I only pay that much attention to my closer friends, of which I only have five or six. With most people, I just respond with the standard persona of socially appropriate mannerisms. I make a slightly larger effort to accommodate my superiors, but not much.
    This was one thing that made me think "damn Fs are heartless!!". I cannot classify people in such a manner. My friends blur into my associates and my best friends are only called such because people kept pursuing me about who my best friends are. It's not that they are anything less than exemplary at ticking all the boxes to earn that title, it's just I never think in those terms. I'm a dog, one pat on the head and you're in my pack

    Anyhow... the topic

    Do you recall how you move from presumption (I'm not accusing here mind you it's just the word I thought fitted best) to the "reality" in regard to people?

    Is it a case of arriving with the labels and trying to get a close fit, then noting the differences between the best fit and the subject?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Do you recall how you move from presumption (I'm not accusing here mind you it's just the word I thought fitted best) to the "reality" in regard to people?

    Is it a case of arriving with the labels and trying to get a close fit, then noting the differences between the best fit and the subject?
    Actually, I start with the impact the person makes on my inner reality, and then try to apply labels to that. I look more decisive and final on the outside than I really am.

    The thing is, I'm much better at displaying emotion than knowing what I feel. I'm very likely to act out how I think I should feel based on certain rules even when I don't know what I actually feel. I have to use some kind of self-analysis and hunches to know what I actually feel, but once I do, I find it easy to express.

  7. #7
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    I wonder if Js tend to worry that they are less certain than they appear and Ps worry that they appear more certain than they are?

    I wonder this cause I often am concerned that I appear to have set lines of thinking and am difficult to shift yet in truth I'm in constant re-evaluation.

    Would make sense then why Js and Ps can wind each other up. The other reminds them of their own weaknesses but in opposite so it's like "what are you whining about, try living with this!!".

    Still I wonder though how people can continue to make the glaring mistake of thinking that they have the measure of things well enough to not need to re-evaluate them.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  8. #8
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I wonder if Js tend to worry that they are less certain than they appear and Ps worry that they appear more certain than they are?

    I wonder this cause I often am concerned that I appear to have set lines of thinking and am difficult to shift yet in truth I'm in constant re-evaluation.

    Would make sense then why Js and Ps can wind each other up. The other reminds them of their own weaknesses but in opposite so it's like "what are you whining about, try living with this!!".

    Still I wonder though how people can continue to make the glaring mistake of thinking that they have the measure of things well enough to not need to re-evaluate them.
    First one... I think that can be true. At least on the J end of things. Although in my case I'm worry because I'm less certain about something than I would like myself to be, rather than being overly worry that I appear more decided on an issue than I intended. Don't forget that labels are mental shortcuts we use to understand things. It's human nature to be lazy... I think that's why some people apply stereotypes and make judgments based on only on that... due to pure laziness. Of course they usually don't realize that's what they're doing... but that's besides the point.

    Coming up with labels... do people have different ways of doing that? I've always wonder about it... because to me, labels are more like tags. And I typically tag a person with more than one. But judging from how you've been describing labels... it's a single label per person thing. Kind of like sticking people in bins. I've never understand very well why SJs like to do that when it's just as easy to multi-tag... it also makes your internal concept more like reality. =/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Basically what's the psychological reasoning behind our segmentation? Is it to control, to cope or merely a left over of our communication style?

    Why do we compartmentalise people when it is so obvious that such efforts are futile and inaccurate?

    Are we so fragile of mind that we require such crutches or is it simply laziness which promotes such unreasoned behaviour?
    It has little to do with personality and much with the way human beings function in general.

    We need to make sense of the world and this involves creating categories to organize the information we receive. Without this mechanism we would be overwhelmed by the amount of information. People will only make the effort to go to the individual level if they have the time, skills and motivation to do so.

    In a sense, the MBTI is the ultimate social categorization tool, ready to boost people's positive feelings towards people like them and see people from another type as all the same. In theory, knowledge of the MBTI should make it more difficult for people to treat others as individuals, no matter what they say or pretend about it. If this is bad or good is debatable. I guess it depends on how nice your type description sounds.

  10. #10
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    The real problem is not within people using labels to segment information into recognisable chunks and nor is it in their usage of such labels to communicate such data but rather the problem exists when the label becomes mistaken for the item it is applied to.

    I am an INTP not the INTP for example. Within me is things which defies the INTP label. Sure use the label to describe me but I am not that label I am merely well described , in most situations, by the information which that label stands for.

    That make more sense?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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