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Sunday, July 16, 2006

The view from this chair

I never made it to my new house yesterday. I barely made it out of the house yesterday. Hell, I barely got away from the computer yesterday. At all.

Not that I was wasting time. Far from it. The things I did online yesterday were good and important and worthwhile and I'm glad I did them. I would spend every day like yesterday if I could. But, alas, I can't. I have obligations, and those obligations require money, and that money only comes by way of my job.

I learned some things about myself yesterday, things that surprised me. Like that I'm a romantic. Like the innermost core of my being is based on an essentially irrational belief - actually, on a belief in the inherent irrationality of reality.

I guess it makes sense when I look back at the psychological profiles that we took in college, which showed that I was equally and strongly analytical and intuitive, equally and strongly introverted and extroverted. For other people these results could be interpreted as indicating a well-balanced personality. Not for me. For me they indicate the simultaneous presence of forces within me that drive me in multiple, frequently opposite, directions. It is only by a combination of willpower and inertia that I avoid spiraling off, locked in conflict with myself.

Maybe someday I'll explain. For now, I'll recommend reading Alan Moore's Watchmen, particularly Chapter IX with Dr. Manhattan's "thermodynamic miracles" soliloquy.

9 comments:

past forgiveness said...

you have an interesting point of view on things. Not wrong just interesting, never would have thought of it in that manner. And no you don't know me I'm just another random, take care.

Jennifer said...

Interesting, but please explain how you can be equally and "strongly" introverted and extroverted.

On the MBTI, introvert and extrovert make up one of the four scales used to assess personality types. Introvert is on one end, extrovert is on the other, and every individual falls somewhere along that line. If you're in the middle (i.e. equally), then you're not "strongly" one or the other. But if, for example, like me, you fall strongly on the introvert side, then you are not "equally" an extrovert.

I will agree, however, that you can be "equally and strongly" analytical and intuitive. Those are two separate scales.

For the record, according to the MBTI, I am ISTJ. I am strong on all the characteristics, except for the "S". In that case, I really am almost equally an "N".

Also, why is it irrational to believe in the iherent irrationality of reality? That actually makes a lot of sense, I think.

Super G said...

Perhaps you are just experiencing a bit of cognitive dissonance. I personally think that it is sometimes a rational reaction to a world filled with people whose actions we don't find completely rational. The world isn't black and white - it is multi-dimensional and varying shades from white to black with lots of color in between. To know it requires being able to move around it and see beyond a single dimension or two. If you can accept that, then you can accept that a little internal conflict is a natural reflection of a state of mind that doesn't require viewing the world from a single place.

Congratulations. You're an evolved person. Or perhaps I'm just confused because my beliefs change over time with age and observation.

D.B. Echo said...

P.F., randomness is at the root of our universe. Random is good, sometimes.

Jennifer, I took the MBTI (I think that's what it was, now that you mention it) in 1985, so my memory's a wee bit fuzzy. But I seem to recall that my responses tended to be at both extremes of the scale. I added the word "strongly" as an afterthought - maybe that wasn't quite right. I wish I could remember my four-letter code!

This realization is based on some stuff that came out of a late-night conversation. Maybe I'll go into it sometime.

SuperG, if this is cognitive dissonance, it's been going on for a long time. I prefer to think oof it as a result of my delightfully multi-faceted personality.

Jennifer said...

I last took the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) in 2001, in preparation for a leadership seminar. MBTI assesses four components of personality, using scales with opposing characteristics on each end.

One scale is introvert/extrovert. If you have a tendency to listen and think before you speak; if you don't mind being alone, you are likely an "I". If you are more likely to blurt things out; if you like to be around people, then you are probably an "E".

Another scale concerns how you perceive the world around you. If you gather information and describe it in terms of information that you would gather from your five senses, then you would be an "S". If you gather information and describe something more along the lines of what you think it means (intuition), then you would be an "N".

Are you a thinking person or a feeling person? If you analyze things and make logical choices, you are a "T". If you actually care how other people might be affected by a decision, thenyou are an "F" for feeling.

Finally, how's your work ethic? Do you have to finish all your work before you go out and play? Like to have a plan and stick to it? Then you are a "J" for judging. If you'd rather play and do no work until it's absolutely necessary; if you go with the flow, you are a "P", for perceiving.

As I said, I'm very strong on the "I", "T" and "J" elements. So, people who are "E's", "F's" and "P's" drive me nuts!

Super G said...

INTP --- though having kids and work have moved me more towards an "E"

betz said...

i think i need to take the test i am feeling left out.....

Super G said...

betz - it was a mark of passage in the 80s if you worked in a big company. after that things scaled up and went for outdoor team building exercises got started.

my bit of team building advice: don't get too close to the front on the rope ladder climb - either you'll have to do it or someone will fall on you at some point.

perhap you can chase MBTi on the web.

hope you're feeling super.

berry said...

My team building advice - make sure everyone is having fun. teams work better that way whatever their MBTI or other psychometric state of mind