Thursday, July 28, 2016

My World and Welcome to It

So, -- continuing with yesterday's line of thought -- evolution doesn't involve only changes "of" the world, but into worlds. Oddly, the first thing that occurs to me is the Dunning-Kruger effect, whereby half the people are too stupid to understand what the other half knows, while half are too intelligent to understand how little the other half knows.

Actually, it can't be a fifty-fifty proposition, because an IQ of 100 doesn't get you too far. But are there worlds intelligible to the intelligent that are foreclosed to the less gifted? I don't see any way to avoid that conclusion.

However, there are other factors at play, because high intelligence, while it may give access to other worlds, hardly guarantees that said world is real. I keep hearing how Trump's core supporters are white working class males without college degrees. The implication is that they are too stupid to know they ought to be voting for Hillary. Conversely, you will never hear them suggest that the self-defeating blacks who inevitably support the Democratic party are too stupid to know better.

But just as reliable as the black vote is the tenured vote, who no doubt have higher than average IQs but lower than average contact with reality. Indeed, it is precisely their intelligence that facilitates the unreal abstractions they inhabit. So, IQ surely cannot be the last word in wisdom and prudence. Consider the left's ubiquitous support for tyranny. What if we had listened to all those smart people? What if we elected some clever and smooth-talking Marxist community organizer?

How do we know if an alternate world is a higher one? The question, although it may sound a little odd or irrelevant, really goes to the core of the matter. Consider Jesus, whose public career began with the announcement of another world -- the Kingdom of Heaven -- in the presence of this one. Is this world higher? Lower? Parallel? Real? An abstract fantasy no better than the tenured visions of Bernieland?

The other day, when I caught a bit of that Bill Maher interview on MSNBC, he made the comment that what unifies Republican concerns is that none of them involve reality. For example, our belief that biology rather than neo-Marxian sociology determines our gender, places us in an unreal world. Pay no attention to those visibly complementary genitalia that serve an actual biological purpose. No, the reality is that biology is whatever we want it to be.

Who's living in the fantasy world? And why only genitals? Why not say that hands are for walking and feet for grasping? Why impose our oppressive, binary conception of limbs upon the growing child?

Another point comes to mind, and that is the question of personality style. I mentioned the other day that I gave my son the Myers-Briggs Test, and his personality is quite different from mine, even "opposite" in many ways. Whereas he is clearly a thrill-seeking and adventurous ESTP, I am an eccentric and inward INTP. The point is, we inhabit quite different worlds.

For starters, he is more attuned to the exterior world, whereas I prefer to explore the interior. We are both adventurous, only in different dimensions. He would be miserable if forced to live like me, whereas I would be bored stiff in his world. I mentioned that he resonates with Trump, and it turns out that they share the same ESTP style.

Conversely, my type, the INTP, would never get into politics to begin with. Here is a little bit about how we roll:

They may appear to drift about in an unending daydream, but INTPs' thought process is unceasing, and their minds buzz with ideas from the moment they wake up. This constant thinking can have the effect of making them look pensive and detached, as they are often conducting full-fledged debates in their own heads, but really INTPs are quite relaxed and friendly when they are with people they know, or who share their interests. However, this can be replaced by overwhelming shyness when INTP personalities are among unfamiliar faces, and friendly banter can quickly become combative if they believe their logical conclusions or theories are being criticized.

I've mastered the combative part. Now I am either bemused, silently horrified, or prone to a cold fury that I keep to myself. I don't get rattled, and I no longer bother arguing with them. For this, I credit the influence of Dennis Prager.

When INTPs are particularly excited, the conversation can border on incoherence as they try to explain the daisy-chain of logical conclusions that led to the formation of their latest idea. Oftentimes, INTPs will opt to simply move on from a topic before it's ever understood what they were trying to say, rather than try to lay things out in plain terms.

Right. I'm sure I've never done that.

As for career paths, politics would pretty much come in last:

INTPs are solitary, eccentric, and independent.... INTPs duly struggle in finding careers that meet their needs.... INTPs live primarily in their own heads, and have little interest in social distractions like chitchat and motivational speeches.

And our purported weaknesses would not be conducive to a public career, in that we are supposedly Very Private and Withdrawn, and vulnerable to insensitivity, absent-mindedness, condescension, and loathing of rules and guidelines.

Not me at all.


Blogger julie said...

When INTPs are particularly excited, the conversation can border on incoherence as they try to explain the daisy-chain of logical conclusions that led to the formation of their latest idea.

This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head.

7/28/2016 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think it's fair to say that I'm always confused. But in a good way. Usually. The blog consists of trying to sort it all out. The unceasing quest for the Cosmic Area Rug.

7/28/2016 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I rarely know what's going on until it's happening. Even then, it's pretty iffy.

So, IQ surely cannot be the last word in wisdom and prudence.

There's no IQ test required to get into heaven. Nor to be a saint herebelow. 10 simple rules, or even just two if the ten are too hard to understand, and yet they are shallow enough for the simple to follow and deep enough for the wisdom of a Solomon to explore for a lifetime without ever exhausting the implications.

7/28/2016 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

It's obvious as to why I'm drawn to this blog: INTP'd also.

7/28/2016 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

julie sez:
"There's no IQ test required to get into heaven. Nor to be a saint herebelow. 10 simple rules, or even just two if the ten are too hard to understand, and yet they are shallow enough for the simple to follow and deep enough for the wisdom of a Solomon to explore for a lifetime without ever exhausting the implications."

Well said. What man could have come up with that?

7/28/2016 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

For example, our belief that biology rather than neo-Marxian sociology determines our gender ...

Projection is not just for movie theaters. You would think an atheist and materialist like Maher would be more inclined to defer to biology and genetics. I guess he's not as bright as he looks.

We can only hope that a Trump presidency will get things in order enough to carry us to the Future Leader presidency. Twenty-five years or so if he gets on it, I might still be around to vote for him.

7/28/2016 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I think I am INTJ, if I remember correctly. You all are Perceivers -- is that the P?

I guess I would do better as Walter.

That would be kind of fun, to figure out how your favorite characters from film and literature would score on an MBT.

7/28/2016 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If I recall correctly, P vs. J has to do with a preference for unambiguous answers (J) vs. keeping the perceptual/cognitive field open. Almost like left brain vs. right brain dominance.

7/28/2016 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"...enough to carry us to the Future Leader presidency."

And we'll know he's the man for the job if he rejects our nomination.

7/28/2016 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If American NInja Warriors is still on TV, I predict Future Leader will win it in a about 2023. He's built like a white Bruce Lee.

7/28/2016 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ha - I believe that. Fun show.

7/28/2016 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Unambiguous answers -- that makes perfect sense.

7/28/2016 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

How does one measure life experience? Is it just seasoning to the worlds of IQ or vise versa?

7/28/2016 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There is always a nature/nurture complementarity. Each constrains the other. It's just that liberals deny the extent to which we are constrained by nature, whether it is IQ, male-female differences, homosexuality, childrearing, or their alphabet soup of so-called genders. The Myers-Briggs test has to do with innate temperament. For me, it is a relief to know that I am who I am and there's not a thing I can do about it. The liberal argument is that you can be anything you dream of (i.e., it's all environment), which is pernicious hogwash. Then they blame the environment when their unrealistic dreams fail to come true.

7/29/2016 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If they only knew how much inequality nature is responsible for, perhaps they wouldn't be so prone to gaia worship.

7/29/2016 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Imagine if all the energy they spent being angry at God was instead directed toward mother nature...

Re. innate temperament, I do suspect, though, that certain types of events at key points in our early development can redirect things a little. At least, for myself and immediate family, I know that particular events and circumstances had a direct shaping effect on who we turned out to be. For instance, had certain things not happened, I could easily have been more of an E than an I.

7/29/2016 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I can remember being "painfully" introverted from the earliest age. However, I had no name for it. I wonder how much this could have been altered via early socialization experiences? I have no idea. But researchers do say that introversion/extroversion is part of our built-in temperament.

It's very hard to imagine oneself as a different person...

7/29/2016 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I vividly remember discovering beer at the age of 17 and a half. In hindsight, I realize that it liberated me from my social anxiety -- especially with the opposite sex -- which experientially felt like being freed from the cage of my own neurology.

7/29/2016 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Until around age 6 or so, I was much like my daughter is now - very outgoing, delighted in being the center of attention, would talk to anyone, etc. I had friends all over the neighborhood, and would fearlessly knock on a stranger's door looking for some kids whose names I didn't know, but was pretty sure they lived somewhere around there. A series of humiliating episodes later, an introvert was born. That said, both my parents are pretty clearly innately introverts - my mom often spoke of being painfully shy as a child. For me, I don't know if "shy" was the right word, so much as "guarded."

7/29/2016 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Forest Gump "I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is"

I was intrigued by that line because it made me wonder where self awareness starts and ends. For him to realize he's not a smart man meant he's smart enough to know he's not smart. Obviously Forest wasn't a complete idiot incapable of learning things such as he wasn't as smart as other people, but it got me thinking about how introspection is related to innate intelligence. I wonder of such a thing can be mapped, like genome mapping, if it hasn't been already.

7/29/2016 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I took the personality test again. The first time you offered it I tested as "Architect". But I think at the time I wasn't taking it correctly. This time I tested as INFJ-T "Advocate".
I think the first time I was testing it more from the perspective of my occupation rather than from my actual personality.
I can do my job, but, you know, it's work.
Which is fine. Work is good therapy. And keeps things real.

7/30/2016 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I would guess that the majority of readers are INs, with more variation in the T/F and P/J dimensions.

7/30/2016 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

My wife just tested ESFJ-T.

7/30/2016 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

She took it again and got exactly the same results.

7/30/2016 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Interesting. I note that ESFJ would be the precise opposite of my INTP.

Which explains why "People who share the ESFJ personality type are, for lack of a better word, popular."

7/30/2016 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Yes it is interesting. When we read the description of her profile we both question the popularity characteristic. She actually doesn't fit that in the examples they provide (cheerleader, etc.) but I've always noticed how it seems everyone likes her. I'm certain you would. She radiates something. Her exterior seems to be like her interior. Where I am more private and cautious.
Anyway, there must be something to this opposites attract thing or maybe we really mean complements do. I know there's no duplication of effort around here. I don't know if you're familiar with the Adam and Eve characters on Northern Exposure. We're kind of like them. My wife would disagree :-) It looks as though it wouldn't work on paper.
I don't think you've said if your wife has taken the test.

7/31/2016 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I believe the wife would be an INFJ. Like Mother Teresa, but without the mean streak.

7/31/2016 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...


Rick, that is interesting. In my house, we both took the written test back in the late 90s, and both came up the same: INXP. Online, I'm an INTP. Don't know about my husband, but probably about the same. We do complement each other in all the ways that matter, and to the extent we need to have public faces, we both do well enough to almost pass as extroverts when necessary. On the other hand, both being introverts, it's not necessary very often...

7/31/2016 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie that's interesting too. How do 2 introverts find each other? :-) Also, I found my wife and I'm the introvert :-)
I wonder though, if according to this test, if a person's numeric scores for each category reveal a tendency. Eg. say, I scored 60/40 I/E and she scored 60/40 E/I. In such a case (if it's true about the test, it seems so), that you just have more of one quality than the other but not none of the other.

7/31/2016 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I snagged mine in psychology grad school, which is thick on the ground with introverted females. Nor is there any competition, what with the handful of feminized men.

7/31/2016 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick -- you're right. Every characteristic is on a continuum. Of my traits, I'm most imbalanced on introversion vs. extroversion, much closer to balanced on thinking vs. feeling.

Even then, I'm very extroverted in one-on-one situations with a congenial interlocutor. A friend expressed surprise when I mentioned how introverted I am, but I told him that I can become quite outgoing so long as I'm given Total Unconditional Acceptance.

7/31/2016 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Which is why I generally clam up and feel awkward amongst the Normals. When I was younger I used to be more belligerent about it, but that was when I was a liberal, so my opinions were mirrored by my environment. In California it is easy to be an obnoxious liberal.

7/31/2016 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick, it was college for me, too. A very small one in Vermont; each dorm was more like a large house with about 25 people max, and while the rooms were single sex, the dorms were not. He was my RA; poor guy didn't stand a chance ;-)

In high school, OTOH, I couldn't even get a date to the prom. Or rather, the only guy who asked was the gay kid who needed a beard for the evening, but since I had standards I turned him down and just hung out with my nerd friends (who mostly did go) when the dance was over. I wasn't exactly shy then, but painfully awkward and socially inept. Enough that even though I was cute enough (in hindsight), I may as well have been invisible to my male peers.

Re. extroversion 1-on-1, yes. With the right people and circumstances, it's like a switch gets turned on. Fun when it happens :)

7/31/2016 09:48:00 AM  

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