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Hi, this is was inspired by comments in @Sensational 's Ni dom/aux thread. There's a TL;DR at the bottom.

I believe that in order to understand a particular function, it's important to understand the axis in which it resides. I also believe that a lot of people have very vague and incomplete ideas of Se and Ni on this forum (all the functions, really), and of course, we're here to learn about it.

So the purpose of this thread is to get some strong Se or Ni users to give their input. I wanna see personal information as well as more empirical stuff, but for the purposes of this thread, please avoid spitting out contrived ideas about Se or Ni. I'd also love to hear personal walkthroughs of thought processes, if people are willing to share that; even if you're not completely sure of your type, it would still help me.

The video I'm about to link is by a youtuber whose videos I find to be insightful, and a real breath of fresh air when so much of the community seems not to have a very deep understanding of the axes as their functions work together. Since I know many of you won't have the patience to watch it :)proud:), I'll leave some quotes below it that I find interesting, as a conversation starter.


1. "The person will stress one point of view (Ni), which is indeed frequently the viewpoint that generates the greatest yield here and now (Se)."

2. "These (Ni) types will often feel that they have a lot to say on certain topics regardless of their actual expertise - because they can still conjecture an intriguing point of view from what little data they have - they're just drawing lines of best fit. Of course, depending on their skill, luck, and their sample size, it is not uncommon for these lines of best fit to be off by some degree."

3. "These (Se) types feel that they see something before them in glorious clarity and sharpness. How long that vision will last varies."

Pierce describes Ni as a somewhat default setting of cognition in which the person tends to draw lines of best fit based off observed empirical information. They place a great deal of trust in what they observe, and draw these conjectures directly from what data they have acquired.

Se types do this too. We don't do it as often or as naturally, but we can still do it with a good degree of accuracy if need be. We, however, prefer to accumulate data so that we can have a crystal-clear idea of what the facts are, rather than skipping out on the data collection in favor of drawing conclusions from it. Especially when the person doesn't have much data to go off of, that "line of best fit" for a situation that Ni types essentially live their lives drawing up can be highly inaccurate, and I think many Se types see that even if they don't consciously process it.

One example I can give happened to me recently: I was with INTJ in a car. We both saw birds walking on the concrete outside. I remarked on how their heads tend to move in a jerking motion, staying in one place at a time before moving quickly ahead (I hope you guys know what I'm talking about, LOL). He told me, as though he had read it in a biology paper, that they do that in order to better see predators coming. It makes perfect sense; the bird can get a better picture of the world by keeping their head in one place without blurring their vision, and they do need to be constantly vigilant, as this particular type of bird has predators. But he stated it like he knew it for a fact, so I checked him on it, and he admitted that it was conjecture.

Lo and behold, I looked this up later and he was right. Pretty awesome.

This is an extremely useful ability to have, but it can also land you in shit (e.g. he actually crashed his car in the past month because he made a wrong assumption about what the car ahead of him was going to do; normally he has an uncommonly easy time driving because of this ability, but he was wrong this time, and it costed him hundreds).

This type of conjecture, as Pierce remarks, is the very same thing that lends many Se types their famous sureness in their actions and spontaneity - that confidence as to where we're going at the present moment. We make small conjectures based upon the situation surrounding us as to how things will go, what's the worst that could happen, etc. We sure as shit don't go barreling in head-first ready to get absolutely fucked by a given situation, as many people on here seem to believe we do, lmao. More or less, we often know how it's going to go, and if we don't, we're confident that we're prepared enough to handle it.

TL;DR even if you're not gonna read my OP, give me some insight into your experience of Ni-Se. Ideally, watch the video from 2:55 onward first, or at least read the 3 numbered quotes under it. Don't give me contrived shit that we've all heard a million times, if you can help it. I'm going to do my best to keep this thread from descending into a shitshow, so don't be afraid to give personal insight (which is what I'm mostly interested in), and I'll try to give your post some personal attention. Thank you guys <3
 

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I doubt I can be too helpful and I'm (~like many others~) not sure about my type, but as a suspected ISFP, 1. and 2. do remind me of myself. I'm definitely prone to doing what the first line in 2. says, though there are certain topics I just decide to stay quiet about (particularly with topics related to science). Maybe because I see that I can't rely on my usual process to come up with a good conclusion.

What little was mentioned of Ne-Si in the video doesn't seem to fit me. But I could be wrong.

I think I could give an example for thought processes in what I do when I'm deciding if someone is trustworthy or not. Hopefully this is the kind of thing you're looking for?

I know that I definitely unconsciously cross-reference their behavior against a mental list of all of the signs I've read about time and time again having to do with manipulative behavior, lying, etc or I compare them to people I've known of before (public figures or people I've personally known) who have turned out to be unsavory or seem most likely to be.

There was one person in particular who was doing one thing consistently and just that one thing made me not trust her from the get-go. That one thing was basically, being nice. But too nice. Sucking up to people, laying it on too thick, with just about everyone she came into contact with. And my conclusion was... hm... I think this person acts this way because they have something to gain from the people they're acting like this towards. I really didn't have anything else but that to go on, but it was enough for me to decide I didn't like her and didn't trust her. And then I got to feel smug later when more info came out and it started to become obvious that this person, who a lot of people bought into being like a gullible, loving and caring maternal figure, was in fact not what she seemed.

I don't feel like I even need to know that they've done something bad, though it helps. I feel like I can just watch how they act and it's clear to me that if something isn't going on behind the scenes currently, they will do something eventually.
 

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I believe that in order to understand a particular function, it's important to understand the axis in which it resides. I also believe that a lot of people have very vague and incomplete ideas of Se and Ni on this forum (all the functions, really), and of course, we're here to learn about it.

So the purpose of this thread is to get some strong Se or Ni users to give their input. I wanna see personal information as well as more empirical stuff, but for the purposes of this thread, please avoid spitting out contrived ideas about Se or Ni. I'd also love to hear personal walkthroughs of thought processes, if people are willing to share that; even if you're not completely sure of your type, it would still help me.
1. "The person will stress one point of view (Ni), which is indeed frequently the viewpoint that generates the greatest yield here and now (Se)."
Pierce describes Ni as a somewhat default setting of cognition in which the person tends to draw lines of best fit based off observed empirical information. They place a great deal of trust in what they observe, and draw these conjectures directly from what data they have acquired.
As a dominant Ni-user, one of my biggest challenges thus far in life has been overcoming my over-inflated opinion of my ability to draw conclusions. During my childhood, I was frequently praised by family/friends/teachers for my skill at hypothesizing and connecting the dots quickly. Over time, I became more arrogant and pretentious about my visions, and it wasn't until a year or two ago that I realized I am not god's gift to the universe, intellectually speaking.

For a young INTJ, it can be difficult to accept that your visions don't always translate effectively to or even hold up in reality. Speaking from experience, I was often very unsettled when my judgments were found to be incorrect, it still can be to this day. I think a major stepping stone in the path of development of an INTJ is the realization that their incredible gift of vision and intuition (Ni) is highly ineffective if left unchecked by the environment at hand. Furthermore, it takes a humble mind in conjunction for this "gift" to have any real utility.

Another shortcoming of my undeveloped Ni was the haste in which I made my mind up about other people and myself as well. Because of my strength at recognizing patterns, it was extremely easy to start categorizing and writing people off before I had even spoken or interacted with them. Unsurprisingly, someone would turn out to be much different that I had suspected. I found that making my mind up about a person and never returning to inspect or actually test the judgment was a very unfair behavior which certainly had negative effects on me in the long-term.

Inversely, sometimes I would greatly overestimate the skills/competency of others based a small sample of observations and use it to chip away at myself for no reason. This was also detrimental because it only made me less likely to want to improve and learn because I'd already feel defeated.

I would like to state that I have not fully overcome any of the aforementioned challenges. In fact, I still struggle with them on a frequent basis. However, I'd like to think I'm making progress. The fact that I'm able to even recognize them has been a large milestone for me in terms of personal growth.

2. "These (Ni) types will often feel that they have a lot to say on certain topics regardless of their actual expertise - because they can still conjecture an intriguing point of view from what little data they have - they're just drawing lines of best fit. Of course, depending on their skill, luck, and their sample size, it is not uncommon for these lines of best fit to be off by some degree."
I feel like this observation is fairly relevant to me personally. While I may not possess an incredible degree of understanding on many topics, there are a variety of things that I can discuss on a more watered-down level. Sometimes, just for fun, I like to generate ideas and also attempt to extrapolate my basic understanding of a subject to something more in-depth and advanced. However, I will only share these visions cautiously or possibly with a disclaimer, as I am aware that I might've left out some important factor which I was unaware of at the time.

This is an extremely useful ability to have, but it can also land you in shit (e.g. he actually crashed his car in the past month because he made a wrong assumption about what the car ahead of him was going to do; normally he has an uncommonly easy time driving because of this ability, but he was wrong this time, and it costed him hundreds).
The same happened to me, maybe around two years ago. I made an incorrect assumption on what another car was going to do, and I ended up nearly totaling my first car. Thankfully I did not sustain any injuries from the accident. Making assumptions can be highly dangerous when driving because it's very difficult to accurately determine another driver's level of skill, field of view, and/or general knowledge of the road in a short period of time. Better safe than sorry.

This experience helped me to learn that it's still very important to remain focused on the situation at hand regardless if you think something may or may not happen.

___

In sports like lacrosse, I excelled at playing defensive roles. Going into a game, I knew I wasn't going to be the most aggressive, agile, or skilled kid on the field, but my abilities did shine in other ways. If the other team was headed my way, I could see them coming and I'd immediately start thinking of their most likely plays and lanes of attack. After taking the positioning of my teammates into account, I'd get involved and try to make something happen.

These predictions would also generally improve as the game progressed, as I was able to gather more information about the chemistry and the composition of the other team's players. Contrastingly, I found the midfield and offensive positions to be more challenging because they required a higher amount of on-the-fly decision making. If I was right at the foot of the opponent's goal, I felt like I didn't have as much time to be methodical or calculating as I did when I played defense.
 

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As a dominant Ni-user, one of my biggest challenges thus far in life has been overcoming my over-inflated opinion of my ability to draw conclusions. During my childhood, I was frequently praised by family/friends/teachers for my skill at hypothesizing and connecting the dots quickly. Over time, I became more arrogant and pretentious about my visions, and it wasn't until a year or two ago that I realized I am not god's gift to the universe, intellectually speaking.

For a young INTJ, it can be difficult to accept that your visions don't always translate effectively to or even hold up in reality. Speaking from experience, I was often very unsettled when my judgments were found to be incorrect, it still can be to this day. I think a major stepping stone in the path of development of an INTJ is the realization that their incredible gift of vision and intuition (Ni) is highly ineffective if left unchecked by the environment at hand. Furthermore, it takes a humble mind in conjunction for this "gift" to have any real utility.

Another shortcoming of my undeveloped Ni was the haste in which I made my mind up about other people and myself as well. Because of my strength at recognizing patterns, it was extremely easy to start categorizing and writing people off before I had even spoken or interacted with them. Unsurprisingly, someone would turn out to be much different that I had suspected. I found that making my mind up about a person and never returning to inspect or actually test the judgment was a very unfair behavior which certainly had negative effects on me in the long-term.

Inversely, sometimes I would greatly overestimate the skills/competency of others based a small sample of observations and use it to chip away at myself for no reason. This was also detrimental because it only made me less likely to want to improve and learn because I'd already feel defeated.

I would like to state that I have not fully overcome any of the aforementioned challenges. In fact, I still struggle with them on a frequent basis. However, I'd like to think I'm making progress. The fact that I'm able to even recognize them has been a large milestone for me in terms of personal growth.



I feel like this observation is fairly relevant to me personally. While I may not possess an incredible degree of understanding on many topics, there are a variety of things that I can discuss on a more watered-down level. Sometimes, just for fun, I like to generate ideas and also attempt to extrapolate my basic understanding of a subject to something more in-depth and advanced. However, I will only share these visions cautiously or possibly with a disclaimer, as I am aware that I might've left out some important factor which I was unaware of at the time.



The same happened to me, maybe around two years ago. I made an incorrect assumption on what another car was going to do, and I ended up nearly totaling my first car. Thankfully I did not sustain any injuries from the accident. Making assumptions can be highly dangerous when driving because it's very difficult to accurately determine another driver's level of skill, field of view, and/or general knowledge of the road in a short period of time. Better safe than sorry.

This experience helped me to learn that it's still very important to remain focused on the situation at hand regardless if you think something may or may not happen.

___

In sports like lacrosse, I excelled at playing defensive roles. Going into a game, I knew I wasn't going to be the most aggressive, agile, or skilled kid on the field, but my abilities did shine in other ways. If the other team was headed my way, I could see them coming and I'd immediately start thinking of their most likely plays and lanes of attack. After taking the positioning of my teammates into account, I'd get involved and try to make something happen.

These predictions would also generally improve as the game progressed, as I was able to gather more information about the chemistry and the composition of the other team's players. Contrastingly, I found the midfield and offensive positions to be more challenging because they required a higher amount of on-the-fly decision making. If I was right at the foot of the opponent's goal, I felt like I didn't have as much time to be methodical or calculating as I did when I played defense.
Oh damn, the above in red, is something I am guilty off. Hats off to you, sir. As for a practical example, I had difficulties putting the ideas I have in my head (such as the notion that Ni in reality is linked to the 4th dimension, or the 4th dimension is rather fate, as time is relative to the 3rd dimension only) into action. It can be difficult, as the scope and magnitude of so much of the thoughts I have is rather difficult to prove, and requires more knowledge than I currently have.
 

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I don't have much to say about drawing conclusions and its myriad downfalls. I only know how I overcame that habit. I read. I read counter-intuitive (sometimes anti-intuitive) stuff like Probability Theory, nonmonotonic logic, game theory, cognitive biases etc. Now I'm basically a blank slate; I often feel like my head is empty until I've read something on it. This reliance on prior knowledge has led me to be more rational but at the same time it has decreased my mental activity. That feeling of being a genius has also died away since I no longer make conjectures which magically turn out to be right. If I make a hypothesis, I have to be absolutely sure of every aspect of it. If I throw it out there and it's right, I just can't brag about it. The greatest cure for overconfidence is a self-imposed stricture of complete dominion over your knowledge. There is no magic in our universe, there shouldn't be any between your hypothesis and its turning out right either.

Most people would think I'm a sensor at this point, due to my insistence on saying 'I don't know' when I simply don't know.

I should add my INTJ bestie's story too. His Ni is out of control. In other words, bullshit. He connects dots without explaining and usually it takes only two recursive why or how to get him to admit he doesn't know. The difference between him and me is not just that of E-I. He doesn't read as much as I do, and that's the biggest difference.
 

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The "line of best fit" concept is really getting at something.

I think I managed to articulate precisely what Ni is to me on the other thread: (@Sensational - this is the best explanation I can come up with - if this doesn't explain it then I officially give up lol)

I think the heart and soul of Ni is zeroing in on the heart of the matter. It's like when you have a sauce cooking on the stove and you let all the excess water burn off until you just have the good stuff. Judgers like to reduce, perceivers like to add more. We take a whole bank of sensory perception and put our Judging powers to distill is down to the essence, the central concept that explains everything.
We think that if we can pinpoint a central concept around which everything evolves, we'll unlock the secret of the universe, and we'll be able to understand everything else right away -- because everything flows from and is explained by that central concept.

That's why it's hard for us to change our minds about anything -- once we've found that central concept about something, it's almost impossible to consider that it could be wrong.
The only way that it could be wrong is if a large chunk of the initial sensory input was wrong (which is quite possible)-- or if we have some deeply ingrained unconscious biases that were throwing it all off (even more possible).

That's also why we have a (mistaken) reputation for being psychics or fortune-tellers-- because once you see the central concept, you can see the way it branches out and connects to everything else in the universe, so its not hard to intuit what might happen in the future.
The "central concept" I was talking about, I think is similar to the "line of best fit". But I'm still not sure how that connects to Se-user's ability to move so efficiently and accurately in the real world.
 

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My experience of being Ni-dom/Se-inf is probably one of the most to-type things about me, textbook almost to the point that I sound like I'm just copy-catting when I describe it directly.

As an example though, it's been coming into play at work recently with report deployment issues we're having on certain servers. Every time it happens they throw the report back asking me to look at it again because it's not deploying, every time I tell them that the issue is on the server and not with the report. I look at the report to humor them, because hey, boss asked - nothing. They think I'm missing something and look at it - waste their time, nothing. Eventually something hits with them and they realize that, exactly as I said, the problem is with the server - often something like permissions settings, silly but not something it's possible for me to troubleshoot because I don't manage that stuff.

And of course I can sit down and tell you, it's just a version of the last report we deployed that worked and nothing I've changed about it could possibly be causing this hang up - and if I really put effort in I could detail every little change I made and explain how that change could not cause the problem - but mostly I just experience it as it has to be the environment... which causes me to look pig-headed and perhaps a bit lazy, until it turns out it was a problem with the freaking environment and not my report.

Though, I don't want to downplay that when Ni is wrong it's so wrong it's stupid - that's one of the two biggest downsides of the function, the other being how difficult it can be to communicate to others what Ni communicates to me if I'm asked to do it without time to prepare. Trying to interface with people too often leaves me feeling like we're not even speaking mutually intelligible languages.
 

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@neptune_faced

I do the exact same thing with other people - a conscious drawing-up of their character based upon a list of "red flags" I've compiled through experience and what I've read. It's definitely never manifested in me as a sudden epiphany or "gut feeling", and in fact, I very rarely get those and am in poor touch with them. Maybe subconscious vs. conscious processing is a pattern? I know many Ni types tend to do it more subconsciously, and in fact, a dear ISFP friend of mine does the exact thing you've described too (conscious analysis). The way I do it has thus far been extremely accurate for me - I've never actually been surprised to be fucked over by anyone since I was a child, though I have avoided many people I could tell were capable. I don't judge too hastily, but I never miss a sign. My talent at it is probably resultant of the fact that I've known a lot of assholes in my life, and got back stabbed pretty seriously a few times as a kid.

I'm gonna respond to charlie.elliot's and Stawker's posts, but I'm sleepy and I must nap now. I have more stuff to say about how I think the axis applies in my life and the way I see it.
 

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I read the TL;DR and I haven't looked at anyone else's comments. Further, I elected not to participate in @Sensational's thread not because of anything against her (I really like @Sensational), but because I had put so much effort into describing my experience of Ni recently in several threads and was feeling a bit burned out. However, in the spirit of attempting to shed light on the process, here goes.

These are my own words. If it looks like I copy and pasted from another site, I didn't; it just means that the other site just agrees with what I have personally experienced. I will not attempt to describe Se as much as Ni and doubt it will come up.

The hardest thing for me to explain to non-Ni users about the way I experience Ni is that I do not think in language (in my case, English or Spanish). Instead, I think in some sort of symbolic way where impressions, literal symbols, my own personal symbols, and other visual/auditory impressions sort of float around. When someone asks me to tell them what I'm thinking, I have to translate this symbolic thought into a language and then explain in that language. While I understand that language is symbolic in itself, the symbolic "inner language" of my thoughts is fundamentally different from language in that it is just a set of floating symbols and sounds.

When I "think", I don't tend to draw conclusions. I don't mean "think" in the cognitive function sense; I mean it in the mind's wanderings. For me, thinking is connecting internal impressions to look for patterns, over-arching themes, and for predictive purposes. I don't mean any sort of psychic type stuff.

Example: based on my current financial projection, how long will it take for me to install a tornado shelter? (this involves Te obviously, but Te isn't entirely in charge, because it hasn't started to implement a plan)

Example 2: based on all things experienced last night between 7pm and 11pm, what sorts of moods will my family be in today?

This isn't anything mystical or particularly deep. I like to be prepared for things and by constantly asking myself questions internally about the temperature in the outside world, I practice using this function so much that I suppose I have honed it a bit more than, say, my INTP counterpart (partner) who seems to be really clueless about things like that (in general).

Next, I don't know if this is Ni or Ni + Fi or what, but it's of great importance that I find meaning in my experiences. This can be really frivolous or really important.

Example: Why should I drink from a straw? What purpose does this serve other than limit the ability to drink with all sorts of added sensory experiences, such as the ice hitting my lips, etc...? - This was a question I postulated when I was a teenager which finally was answered when I took care of people with developmental disabilities who could aspirate their food without a straw. It helps people who need a liquid diet to be more independent.

Example 2: Why do people laugh? What does it mean when people laugh at Seinfeld vs when they laugh at slapstick comedy? What is the overarching reason people laugh? Why have we evolved to laugh at other people's suffering? Why is it that some comedy most people find funny doesn't strike me as funny at all? Is there something wrong with me or is there something wrong with others or is this ....?

Ni helps me to see things from multiple perspectives. This can be great because I can almost always take any side of a debate and make a strong argument for that side. But more so, I can intuit, beyond that debate what is important over-all.

Example: For oversimplification purposes, in the 2016 elections, I noticed that an overarching theme that all sides (dem, rep, green, and libertarian) seemed to be angry. Because of this, I guessed that the best candidate to represent the people should also be angry and represent the widest array of governmental issues to be angry about to reach the most people. From that, I concluded that Sanders or Trump were the most likely to be elected. Once Sanders was eliminated, I became very nervous for our country because I didn't personally find Trump a healthy representative for reasons which had nothing to do with his read of the emotional temperature of the country.

Ni helps me understand what connects us, not only through common interests and experiences, but also through time. By studying myth, folklore, archetypes, etc...in combination with contemporary stories, music, movies, etc... one can see themes of humankind playing out over and over in different ways which gives the examiner/reader an appreciation for what people find meaningful and, therefore, important. When one examines these themes/archetypes, one can easier access the essence of humanity and can then be more receptive to and sensitive to the nuances of the human experience (death, the underworld, the unexplored) which create cognitive dissonance.

At one point I thought being a counselor would be a good job for me. While I have abandoned that in favor of other psychological practice, I do have a strong desire to implement plans, methods of therapy, or share, in book form, some of the Te conclusions I have learned from my Ni gathering of information and impressions to affect positive change on the world.

- - - - - - - - - -

For me Ni is what makes me look at an idea and see not just the idea itself, but all the variations on what the idea could be. For example, I could look at a map of electricity distribution in a city and also see the neural networks in the brain, I could also see the stars in the sky, or the activity of fireflies as they do their nightly dance during the summer months. I turn physical representation into abstractions which can represent a variety of things.

Hopefully this sheds some light and, again, these are all my own words. In the spirit of sharing my experiences in the raw, I'll refrain from any editing of this post.
 

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Maybe a slightly unorthodox approach to this topic, but fuck it, here's how I solved a problem this morning - I believe this displays a preference for Ni-Se, whichever way around.

I took my daughter out to the park earlier, and the swing she usually goes on was fucked - lopsided - some guy was trying to fix it for his kid, and he was trying to twist each individual chain link so the whole thing would be straight, no twists - I understood what he was attempting to do before I actually got all the way to the park.

I was watching him for a second and thought how can that possibly work, every time he twists a link, the next one will twist - makes no sense to do that. Groundhog day. Lol.

So I walked over to him, said "need a hand mate?", he took a step back and said "yeah I think it's fucked, need to call the council", to which I didn't respond and simply flipped the seat of the swing over, holding one side of the swing in place so the chain on the other side didn't twist.

At a glance, from a distance, I saw what the problem was, the swing seat needed to be completely flipped over in order to un-twist the chain link on one side, but the other side needed to be kept in place or else both sides would twist and we'd be back to square one.


This demonstrates the Ni-Se axis - I had no prior knowledge of this kind of thing, never been in a situation like this before, had nothing to use as a reference - didn't try to think of a reference point either - and I didn't think of multiple ways the swing could be fixed (also no witty jokes or references sprung to mind lol) - this shows a lack of natural preference for Si-Ne, although there is a slight influence of the Si-Ne axis in my example, as I clearly saw him doing something that didn't work (learnt from what "has been" i.e him failing) and knew I needed to find a new solution (what "could be").. but those thoughts didn't enter my mind at the time, I'm only realising now like 6 hours later, that perhaps I subconsciously utilised Si in some fashion too.

So, with the information given to me at the time (Se), I simply knew the answer, had it all summed up (Ni) - I believe it's Ni-Se not the other way around, as I wasn't curious about testing how he did it, I didn't need to actually try twist the links to confirm my suspicions with regards to what he was doing as being wrong, were indeed wrong.. I didn't need to touch the swing or work with it in any way, to understand how to solve the problem.

In my head - my approach would be in the back of the Se dominants mind, but they wouldn't have so much confidence in it being "the solution", whereas I was 100% certain I've nailed it - they'd probably get there and do the same thing I did, but might think "oh sweet, it worked".. exact same end result, different mindset... but I imagine, more typically, they'd actually grab a hold of the chain-links and have a look at the problem "in person" before actually jumping to any conclusion with regards to how to solve the problem.

I.E they would try what the other guy did, maybe give it a shake and see what happens etc.. actually fuck around with the swing itself and then figure it out (maybe by fluke, maybe by just getting the swing in their hand and realising what needs to be done).. they gather information by interacting.

Meh.

Hope this isn't massively contrived and miles away from what you're after.
 

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Here is another one I had today. We were demonstrating our skills in the area of programming and we were working with Raspberri Pi's to get our construct doing what we intended them to do (in our case, the construct was emulating a flee response via ultrasonic sensors). We were waiting for another group to "donate" their axles, as our university supply on those was low in stock. While waiting for the group to finish demonstrating their project, I was rather preoccupied with my thoughts. I zoned out just in time to see the other group was having issues.

For reference, the Raspberri Pi was supposed to be seated inside a metal chassis in a cardboard box. But the actual machine failed to start. So the instructors/myself/group members looked over the code, and it seemed it was correctly compiled. The Raspberri Pi was correctly seated on the cardboard box, and none of the metal contacts were touching metal. Everything seemed to be in order. We gave them another Pi, with similar results. Then my attention wavered and focused on a screw in the chassis. Then it hit me, the screw was shorting the Pi out. I was right. Another Ni-Se example.
 

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The hardest thing for me to explain to non-Ni users about the way I experience Ni is that I do not think in language (in my case, English or Spanish). Instead, I think in some sort of symbolic way where impressions, literal symbols, my own personal symbols, and other visual/auditory impressions sort of float around. For me, thinking is connecting internal impressions to look for patterns, over-arching themes, and for predictive purposes.
This is interesting. I don't think in terms of literal or personal symbols, but I constantly make abstract connections and impressions, look for patterns and underlying themes, search for core significance and meaning, etc. My Ni isn't rich in vivid imagery at all - it is relational and abstract. Sometimes it is hard for me to articulate words because it's like describing an abstract pattern or theme - an impression.

Ni helps me understand what connects us, not only through common interests and experiences, but also through time. By studying myth, folklore, archetypes, etc...in combination with contemporary stories, music, movies, etc...one can see themes of humankind playing out over and over in different ways which gives the examiner/reader an appreciation for what people find meaningful and, therefore, important.
Exactly. Ni is the intuition of time. I've been repeating this over and over and it's the reason why I find the definition of Ni from Socionics relevant. Personally, I've always thought about time and history. If I think about something, an idea, I think about the timeline of that idea and how it changed/developed over time. I think about how the idea will impact the future and how it is relevant today.

I recently described creative Ni here:

With Te as leading, Te filters the world through the lens of factual information, objective data, and so on - I have an empirical view. I care about the tangible and the application. My Ni works by piecing information into the most probable outcome applicable to the future. In Socionics, Ni is the intuition of time. I view time as a continuum; the past is to serve the future and the future is all I care about. As a creative function, Ni works to serve my Te - the predictive element of Ni is contingent on something tangible (Te).
 

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Pierce's video is alright, but it's flawed in my view. The functions don't work "together", but are rather opposed to one another. If you're a Ni-dom, your Se is opposed to Ni and therefore manifests as an unconscious, inferior function, or if you're a Se-dom, your Ni is opposed to Se, as most already know, so they don't work in conjunction with one another, as Pierce seems to believe, since they are two diametrically opposed ways of viewing the world. The same holds true for the relationship between the other functional "axes".

A Ni/Se type, especially that of a NJ Intuitive type, isn't "trusting of empirical data", as he says around 3:00, which he believes is Se (but is more so Te anyways). He can claim this may be true for Se-dom types (or SP types with higher conscious Se), as an extroverted, objectively oriented sensation type, but it isn't for Ni-doms, an introverted, subjectively oriented intuition type, despite being grouped together as so-called "Ni/Se axis" types, since it isn't in line with the general definition of Intuition that seeks to go beyond the senses/experience (or, Se/Ni axis empirical data, in Pierce's example).

By way of its opposition to Se, and because of its introverted, subjective nature, Ni-doms tend to be pretty skeptical of the outside world and data pulled from experience. When he describes Ne/Si at 5:00, it also sounds like Ni, because he's focusing on the characteristics of an introverted perceiving function, in this case what he believes to be only true for Si, while failing to note that Ni is also an introverted perceiving function, so it's no wonder that he, by way of CelebrityTypes, types Heidegger as Si-dom according to this screwy formulation of a "Si/Ne axis" when he's an obvious Ni-dom. :bored:
 

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I was with INTJ in a car. We both saw birds walking on the concrete outside. I remarked on how their heads tend to move in a jerking motion, staying in one place at a time before moving quickly ahead (I hope you guys know what I'm talking about, LOL). He told me, as though he had read it in a biology paper, that they do that in order to better see predators coming. It makes perfect sense; the bird can get a better picture of the world by keeping their head in one place without blurring their vision, and they do need to be constantly vigilant, as this particular type of bird has predators. But he stated it like he knew it for a fact, so I checked him on it, and he admitted that it was conjecture.

Lo and behold, I looked this up later and he was right. Pretty awesome.
Y'know, I was reading the bolded, and the conclusion I immediately came up with was that they do so to keep their balance.

As an Ne user, I think I was at the time envisioning the walking bird as a see-saw of some sort, which was probably how I came to that conclusion, considering how see-saws are closely linked to balance. It's worth noting that despite having no prior observations to base my deduction around, the conclusion struck me like lightning; it came to me very quickly - almost immediately after I had envisioned the bird in my mind. The way I see it, I was able to do so because the movements of the bird I had envisioned overlapped with the impression my Si has formed around the way see-saws move (you know...up and down lol), and my Ne picked up on it. Hence all my mind had to do after was to apply that same basic principle of see-saws to the bird, and there you have it - the conclusion.

So yeah, this doesn't really have that much to do with Ni/Se itself, but it does hopefully help distinguish the Ne/Si process from Ni/Se. The bottom line I can personally draw from this is that NE's conclusions are often a hit-or-miss due to a shallower level of perceiving (as all it has to do is spot overlaps between present data to past data already stored by Si), while Ni/Se (supposedly) observes its' surroundings until there's enough external data for Ni to reach that 'aha' moment, hence tend to draw more accurate conclusions.
 
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