2 Aug 2006 apenwarr   » (Master)

INTJ

After some recent discussions with various people, I started looking again into the Keirsey personality profiles (related to the Myers-Briggs "MBTI" tests). Well, I just have to say that those things are a lot more statistically valid than all those memes people keep posting.

In fact, reading the results, I almost feel like I'm just acting out a script that someone laid out for me at birth. This INTJ description just spooked me out completely by its accuracy. And then another one says very interesting things about my style of working, such as, "INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead," and "Unlike the INTP, they do not follow an idea as far as they possibly can, seeking only to understand it fully - INTJs are driven to come to conclusions about ideas." Hear that, pphaneuf?

Meanwhile, reading some of the other descriptions has helped me explain why certain other people I've tried to deal with just seem to keep doing things that sound totally insane to me; I guess it's okay, since they're normal and I'm not. INTJ is the least common of all 16 types.

Make Your Own Luck

The main problem I've had in dealing with people, when I've had problems, is what I think comes to the "intuition" vs. "sensing" communication problems (eg. INTJ vs. ISTJ personalities). That is, intuition people tend to jump rapidly from the problem to the solution, skipping all the intermediate steps. Sensing people take things one step at a time, because they don't really see the solution at first, just a process that will eventually lead them to one. Remember that stuff about process-driven vs. results-driven people? Well, there it is again, stated another way.

Both "N" and "S" people can fail badly if they don't realize their weaknesses. I think I've seen both types of failures. When an "N" person fails, it's because they see what the solution has to look like, but they don't bother even figuring out the steps to get there. For example, it's intuitively obvious that the final solution to our modern intellectual property concerns will have to be a new system in which copying most kinds of stuff can be done freely; any other system will simply be too wildly unstable to work. But how will we get from here to there? And what will it look like when we get there? That's something you need the "S" people to deal with. Except that most of the "S" people won't believe you when you say that's the way things have to turn out. They simply can't see that far ahead. And "N" people who can't explain it to them are actually worse than useless, because they're just confusing.

So that's the problem pure "S" people run into: they just can't see too far ahead. And not only that, but sometimes they don't even realize that they can't see too far ahead.

For these "sensing" people, just following logically from one step to the next will always give good results; if they don't, well, you didn't follow the logical steps well enough. Or if you don't follow the logical steps and it works out anyway, maybe you were just lucky.

But it's not usually luck. In fact, it's probably an intuitionist who laid things out in just the right way that doing the logical next steps, one after another, got you where they wanted you to be.

And that's just spooky.

Salary Survey

On a completely unrelated note, I found a really interesting New York salary survey. It's from 2000 right after the bubble burst, but I'm sure salaries haven't changed that much since then. I have two things to say about the results:

1. Wow, talk about supply and demand.

2. It appears that salaries are just all over the map, so the only definition of "fair" is "whatever you can get away with." Sigh. Obviously not something the INTJ in me wanted to hear :)

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