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As some of you may know if you followed my exploits on typologycentral up until the point when they perma banned me, I get a lot of flack for being an asshole on forums.

A number of people have asked why I do this and I feel that the general explanation for it has been pretty poorly explained, so here goes.

When I come across a new person on an internet forum, especially a typology forum, I immediately evaluate the following criteria:

1) Does this person seem to display a competent, working understanding of Jungian type theory?,
2) If so, is this person's understanding close enough to mine that I can learn something about it from him?,
3) If not, does this person have any intention of learning about the limitations on his understanding and/or correcting his mistakes? Is he capable of recognizing when someone knows more than he does and seeing it as an opportunity to learn rather than a threat to his ego?

Basically, this is how I choose how to respond to someone.

If the answer to question #1 is yes, then I'm excited because I've found somebody who may be worth exchanging ideas with. If the answer to #2 is also yes, then I'm even more excited because I've found a chance to expand my own understanding. You'll note that, with these people, I take a much more respectful, inquisitive, and generally polite approach because if I don't, I might miss out on learning something. If the answer to question #2 is no, then we tend to generally stay out of each other's way and not interact a whole lot unless he really goes out of his way to press me for information (in which case I usually oblige and share as much of it as he wants.)

If the answer to question #1 is no, then I skip to question #3. And here's where the real issues start.

If the answer to question #3 is yes, then our discussions usually turn into me teaching them more about typology, and them listening and asking lots of questions...which is fine. I like doing that when people are receptive and capable of recognizing when someone else is more knowledgeable than they are. I don't learn a whole lot from this in terms of new ideas, but I do get a chance to refine my own ideas and my approach to explaining them to others, so I don't generally mind.

But if the answer to question #3 is no, I switch my approach entirely. This kind of person is usually both really awful at type theory and really incapable of/uninterested in listening to any explanations as to why.

When dealing with this type of person, I change my approach completely. I shift my focus from learning/productivity to entertainment/debauchery. People often ask, "Why do you bother spending so much time correcting people who are obviously never going to learn?"

And the answer is that, at that point, I'm just having fun. Once I start being an outright, no-holds-barred dick to someone on the internet, it's actually a very rational process with very different goals than you might expect. If I'm doing this to you, it's because I've evaluated your understanding level of the topic in question as "low enough that I can't learn anything about this topic from you", and thus I let loose and say whatever comes to mind, whatever I think is funny, whatever I think will piss you off, and most importantly, whatever I think will get a reaction from the audience.

I never, ever do this in PM. I do not ever exchange lengthy PMs with random strangers trying to explain to them why they suck at typology. This is because, from an Ne standpoint, convincing that person to change his mind is no longer the point--convincing the audience that he's a moron is.

It's an external validation thing. I don't hold ignorance on its own against people--everyone has to start somewhere. But what I do hold against people is ignorance + belligerent refusal to listen to advice from the more well-informed. Once I've identified someone who fits this profile, the only reason I continue bothering to interact with him is typically entertainment, somewhat my own but moreso that of any surrounding audience.

This is what Ne doms do: When we publicly skewer you, we've already decided you're both clueless and incapable of learning (or simply unwilling to learn, but for all intents and purposes that's the same thing.) We're not doing it to convince you--we already know you aren't going to budge. At this point it becomes all about the audience. When you attack from an extroverted perspective, you're focused on the audience, not the target. You want to show everyone why this person is an idiot, and you want to make it abundantly clear to him that everyone agrees he's stupid.

I noticed something about my own posting patterns here as opposed to typologycentral: I find myself being much more polite and informative here, and doing a lot less overt trolling. I got to wondering why this is.

I realized it's because the population of this forum is, by and large, dramatically more informed and open-minded than that of typologycentral. This place seems substantially more focused on learning than on political correctness/politeness, and that's something for which I don't think I'll ever be able to express the true depth of my appreciation in mere words.

So what's the contextual difference, then, that makes me so much nicer here? It's that most people here are either:

A) Competent typologists already (which implies they had to be willing to learn to even get that far), or
B) Not yet competent typologists, but able to recognize when someone else has greater knowledge than they do, and smart enough to use that to their advantage.

Most people on typologycentral, unfortunately, fall into category C) Neither competent nor willing/able to learn from others who are competent. And that's what really pisses me off and sets me off into pure trolling mode. Once I begin to suspect that this is the kind of person I'm dealing with, I start adding in gradually more offensive corrections, gradually more blunt personal statements and become generally less observant of Fe guidelines. Basically, I use gradually increasing terseness to make it evident that I'm becoming impatient.

Why do I do this? It's an experiment, a probe for information. It invariably weeds out the moronic non-learners from those who are genuinely interested in learning something. From your reaction, I can more accurately determine:

A) Whether you're smart enough to realize I'm better at this than you/that you could learn something about it from me, and
B) Whether you're more interested in learning or in bitching about rudeness. If your primary goal is really to learn, you'll begrudgingly ignore my gradually increasing rudeness and pointedly direct conversation toward the topic at hand. You'll ask more questions, deconstruct your previous assumptions, and generally focus on extracting more information about the topic from me, because you recognize that I'm a valuable resource for furthering your own development.

If, on the other hand, you get hyper offended and completely lose sight of what we were talking about, I know almost immediately that your ego is more important to you than learning and development, at which point I can safely switch gears into trolling mode, amusing myself and any other knowledgeable people who happen to be watching without worrying that I might be missing out on a valuable learning opportunity. :)

So if you only saw me on type-c, it'd be easy to conclude that all I do is troll/harass/insult people for personal amusement. But that's not really the case--I very much enjoy learning and discussing nicely with other people who are knowledgeable about typology (or at least open-minded about learning)...it's just that 95% of people on typologycentral are both ignorant AND unwilling to learn, so what can I do? :crazy:

As SolitaryWalker (one of the best typology authors in the community today, btw, check out his book Principles of Typology by Aleksey Bashtavenko) said, people don't go to typologycentral to learn about typology. They go there to have their fragile egos stroked by bullshit stereotypes.


This leads me onto another topic regarding the way many people frequently misinterpret my writing. A lot of people think I am dismissing a viewpoint whenever I point out the function that motivated it, as if it's invalid just because I can determine the function responsible for it. For example, "Yeah whatever, you would say that because you're a Te type", etc. etc.

But that's not what I'm doing.

In fact, whether or not that person happens to be right in that particular instance isn't really the point at all. He might very well be exactly right in that particular case, but even if he is I still can't take his opinion seriously if I look at his opinions on a wide range of different issues and notice that they always promote exactly the same biased viewpoint regardless of context. If he happens to be right THIS time but doesn't know why he's right, I still can't take him seriously because he's still not thinking on a very deep level.

I find that truly intelligent, open-minded people still have opinions (as it's impossible for humans not to), but are very aware of the common criticisms of those opinions and have already worked out responses to them. If they're really smart they've also already become aware of the common criticisms of their responses to the initial criticisms, and worked out rational responses for those too, and so on and so forth. Truly intelligent people still have opinions, but they've thought through several levels of possible criticisms of those ideas and can articulate why they still hold their opinions.

The Buddha was right about moderation, The Golden Mean. At the end of the day, anyone whose opinion is very polarized toward either extreme is usually an idiot. Rarely does this fact make itself more evident than in everyone's favorite blood sport, politics.

So let's take the issue of redistribution of wealth. When it comes to economic policy I always find myself taking really centrist stances because I can see a number of good arguments from both the left and the right. Whenever a particular issue comes up, I try to weigh both sides and let the context of the situation determine what the best response is.

Here I'm going to take a brief detour and talk about poker for a second, since I love poker analogies: In poker we can very broadly define strategy according to two polarized extremes: Tight play (which means bluffing relatively less often and tending toward making safe bets with good cards), and loose play (which means bluffing relatively more often and tending toward making risky bets with weaker cards.)

Most people tend to play poker very obviously in one way or the other: tight and risk-averse, or fast and loose. Everyone's always debating over whether tight play or loose play is "better" and providing endless reasoning for why they think one is inherently better than the other.

In reality, neither approach is fundamentally better in a vacuum--the best approach is entirely dependent upon the current context, in terms of what your opponents are doing at this moment. The best players play loose when their opponents are tight, and tight when their opponents are loose. They understand that the best approach is purely context-dependent and this helps them avoid irrational bias.

If their opponents are always tight and never adjust to conditions, then good players always play loose. If their opponents are always loose and never adjust to conditions, then good players always play tight. If their opponents are smart enough to adjust to changing conditions, then as their opponents loosen up, good players tighten up proportionally. As their opponents tighten up, good players loosen up proportionally.

Like good poker players, intelligent people are always moving in one direction or the other, shifting between the two possible extremes. Intelligence just means being perceptive enough to figure out the best approach for the current conditions, and sticking to it, always gradually adjusting one way or the other as the pendulum swings. It's just like the boom and bust of economics.

But guess what? Politics operate on exactly the same principles. In essence, extreme conservatives are people who always play tight regardless of context, and extreme liberals are people who always play loose regardless of context. Both of these approaches are fundamentally inferior because they incorrectly assume that one side or the other is better in a vacuum, when in reality neither side is better. The best approach just depends entirely on the current context.

So should we have a liberal president, or a conservative president? That depends completely on the current conditions of the economy. Unfortunately Americans, by and large, are stupid, and instead of electing a moderate president who's capable of understanding and adjusting to changing conditions, we tend to pick far left or far right wing nuts who get into office, push everything way too far into one direction, and piss off the country into overcompensating by electing its next leader from the far opposite end of the spectrum.

"Oh man, that Bush guy was WAY too conservative...we'll never make THAT mistake again--time to elect an ultra liberal president!" And at first this seems to work and most people are happy. We've gone too far to the right, so as we move back toward the center things get better. But invariably, within a few more election cycles, non-stop liberal policy pushes us past the center and keeps going left, left, left, until we end up in an equally shitty situation because we've ignored changing conditions and pushed our economic approach too far leftward.

So what happens then? You guessed it--now liberalism becomes the national enemy again, and America decides we need a strong conservative leader to set things right again. So we elect a far rightist nut job, and just like before, things get better at first because since we've gone too far left, moving back toward the center is a good thing. But eventually, we pass the equilibrium point in the middle and our far rightist leader doesn't know when to stop. He just keeps pushing right, right, right no matter and suddenly we've gone way too far again and find ourselves in need of a liberal leader to fix the problem. Lather, rinse, repeat.

What we really need is a moderate leader who's capable of recognizing changing conditions and adjusting his economic policy between leftist and rightist philosophy, according to what the current state of the economy needs. Unfortunately, our political climate and culture in this country won't allow changing horses mid-stream--oh lord no, you'd better pick one extreme and stay the course until doomsday, because by God, we ain't electin' no god-damn flip-flopper! :confused:

So in conclusion, when I hear someone advocating a particularly right-wing view, it may happen to be in reference to a situation where, the way conditions currently are, a very right-wing approach is actually most effective. So he may happen to be be right.

But when I'm deciding whether or not to take this person's views seriously, I'm not looking for whether he's right on this particular issue--I'm looking for whether his views tend to follow a pattern that always advocates a right-wing solution, no matter what the current conditions are.

So even if the far rightists are correct in this situation, they're still retarded and I still have a very hard time taking their views seriously on anything, because they've demonstrated that they are incapable of understanding changing conditions and will always advocate a right-wing solution no matter what. (This is kind of how I feel whenever I listen to Neil Boortz...he's just fumbling in the dark. When he happens upon an issue where a right-wing solution is best under current conditions, I find myself thinking, "Yeah man, right on!" But once he starts talking about an issue where a left-wing solution would work better at the moment, he immediately sounds so stupid I want to cry. He just doesn't know how to change gears.)

The same goes for far leftists. My sister, for instance, is outrageously liberal and always advocates a far-left answer to every political problem. Sometimes she happens to be correct, and in those cases we agree wholeheartedly, but since she's incapable of shifting toward a conservative approach in any situation whatsoever, she's also blatantly wrong a good portion of the time.

So no matter where on the spectrum you are, sometimes you'll stumble upon the best approach--but if you're not paying attention to changing conditions and thus always advocating the same philosophy no matter what the situation, you're not thinking on a deep level and thus, even if you happen to stumble upon the best approach sometimes, nobody with any real perspective is going to take you seriously.

And that's why, as far as politics (but really in just about everything else, too), anyone with a very significant slant toward left or right is just missing the big picture and too unaware of his own biases to be taken seriously. As I said, everyone is going to have some natural bias as long as we are human, but it's only the truly intelligent and open-minded humans who have the capacity to criticize their own biases and recognize that the best approach always just depends on the situation.

So how does this come full circle and relate back to typology? Every type contains extremely intelligent people, extremely stupid people, and people at every point on that spectrum in between. The smart ones are the ones who, despite having functional biases like everybody else, recognize their own biases and understand that approaches that seem unnatural or inherently wrong to them are actually most effective in some situations. It all just depends on the context!

So if I'm in a political thread and an INTJ posts, "OMG THOSE STUPID LIBERALS ARE SO RETARDED HOW CAN THEY NOT UNDERSTAND THAT LIBERALISM IS ALWAYS WRONG AND STUPID AND THAT THE CORRECT RESPONSE HERE IS CLEARLY TO SHIFT FURTHER TO THE RIGHT!!!!!!!!", and I go, "lol @ Te", it's not because I think Te is fundamentally inferior. It's not because I think he's wrong or lesser than me for being a Te type, and it's not because I think Te can never be the best approach. I'll say "lol @ Te" even if I happen to agree with him in this particular case--because this particular case is never really the point.

It's because his views show a pattern of consistently overvaluing the Te approach, and that implies that he isn't thinking deeply enough to be aware of his own biases, which renders his opinion pretty difficult to take seriously on general principle. "lol @ Te" here doesn't mean, "Man this guy is wrong and stupid because Te is inherently wrong and stupid", but rather, "Wow this guy ALWAYS takes a hard Te approach to everything no matter what. Since he thinks the Te approach is unconditionally The Best, he doesn't seem capable of considering any situations where it might not be--so how can I take him seriously?" He clearly lacks perspective and balance.

Truly intelligent people, regardless of type, will always default to self-criticism, to considering when their preferred approach might not be the best and how they might go about furthering their understanding of other approaches in order to make the most balanced decisions.

That Buddha guy sure was pretty clever, huh? :proud:

~SW
 

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In essence, extreme conservatives are people who always play tight regardless of context, and extreme liberals are people who always play loose regardless of context. Both of these approaches are fundamentally inferior because they incorrectly assume that one side or the other is better in a vacuum, when in reality neither side is better. The best approach just depends entirely on the current context.
You know what Sim, I was watching Chris Rock one night and he basically was saying the same thing you said here. He said something along the lines "I'm conservative on some issues(like maybe gun control) and liberal on other issues". One of the smartest things I've heard any comedian say:laughing:. If you look at the definition of "smart", it is being able to adapt to new environments and novel situations. I would define at least part of intelligence as a kind of "mental flexibility". I also think the Buddha had the insight to realize that most things in nature have a sort of balance and/or symmetry.

I think one of the reasons many people polarize themselves on alot of issues, beliefs, etc. is because they have an either or mindset when there're usually more choices, examples to choose from, or different ways of looking at issues. Some people just don't have an expansive perspective.
 

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Don't you think the behavior you've described falls too much in a Ne+Fe combo?

When you're in the point C)

Neither competent nor willing/able to learn from others who are competent
If the C) codition is really true, then any attempt of teaching them is unuseful. If the goal is really teaching others, learning (in some way) from them, sharing useful information. So as you will notice this goal could not be achieved/satisfied, any insistence you do at this point is futile, so it could not really be motivated by this goal.

If the condition seems to be true, but not with absolute certainty (in fact, the only option, because oneself can never be completely sure about others, even ourselves), your "experiment" could have some sense:

It's an experiment, a probe for information. It invariably weeds out the moronic non-learners from those who are genuinely interested in learning something.
You're supposing that if the user does not feel offended by your "tolling behavior" then he/she proves to be really open minded and susceptible to your point of view and knowledge. This is not correct, or not in most cases. Double mistake:

-First, thinking that others will behave as you normally do, I mean, you can interpret others emotions/behavior using yours (maybe not behavior, but at least your way of pondering something as right/wrong, your particular subjectiveness, your moral) as a base for them.

-Second, associating a global behavior to all the "C condition users".

The first condition is obvious, or should be obvious. You can't ponderate the behavior of others basing in yourself. Ironically this sounds very "Fi-like" emotional behavior, instead Fe. Fi=thinking about how I would feel in the situation of others; Fe=thinking about how others could feel.
But I know in fact this is not Fi, because it is not "feeling in others' feet" but "projecting feelings to others" what fits now in Fe behavior. Fe is "unifying feelings", what can function in both directions.
I know you know all of this and by far much better than me, I say all of this as a way that you can perceive the strong emotional influence that your behavior has (or seems to have, IMHO).

The second condition could have a good reason behind it. You can say that you can't waste your time anayzing person by person. I agree if only a small fraction of these population will not fit in your suppositions, so trying to find them is a really hard and unpleasant task. But I think this population is not small; at least it could be almost half of the whole. Most introverted users could perceive your behavior as a personal attack, even if they're really open minded. Stress in an introvert = we retreat to our shells. This is specially true in sensible egos like ISFJs, whereas the "rocky" average INTJs with their TeFi combo could even enjoy the "fight" as a personal challenge, regardless they could be more or less open-minded. By the same way, some extroverts have also fragile egos. You can make a lot of users go out of the conversation with this behavior. Even inside every type you can find people that, despite of being open minded, dislike confrontation or could become overstressed in it. By the same way, you can find some rocky people that do not care your behavior and still remain in a apparent debate despite of not understanding a shit.

A) Whether you're smart enough to realize I'm better at this than you/that you could learn something about it from me, and
B) Whether you're more interested in learning or in bitching about rudeness. If your primary goal is really to learn, you'll begrudgingly ignore my gradually increasing rudeness and pointedly direct conversation toward the topic at hand. You'll ask more questions, deconstruct your previous assumptions, and generally focus on extracting more information about the topic from me, because you recognize that I'm a valuable resource for furthering your own development.
The question is, if some people don't understand, why not simply ignoring them? If they really are unable of understanding, you cannot satisfy a "sharing information goal". So if you insist, you must have another source of satisfaction (energy, if you want). This A and B points really seems to point directly to your ego. You've a huge knowledge about typology, but with these words you seem to strongly desire being recognized by this. Not only the knowledge itself, but you as the carrier of this knowledge. I mean, the status."I'm better at this than you". You want the other users recognize your superiority. Like an instinct, like an alpha-male. If I understood it properly, this resembles a lot the Ne+Fe combo.

Obviously I disapprove any trolling behavior (probably pecause I'm an introvert and also a "swiss" INTP), but at the same time, this is only my particular opinion. Despite of this, I suggest to you reconsidering your motivations, specially if you didn't notice the emotional charge. Live and let live is a good option.
 
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