Man vs Nature, Man vs Man (part 2)

This post is in response to comments that can be found at my last post.
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I don’t know your exact position on this issue, but let me clear about mine. It’s obvious that American society doesn’t offer an equality of opportunity, much less equality of results. Just look at the enduring systemic and institutionalized racism in all parts of our society.
The invocation of the ideology of equal opportunity is too often used as a magical incantation to dispel fear of a world with real equality. It’s not about perfect results, but it’s a sad state of affairs when abstract ideology is used to rationalize away real problems. I noticed this dichotomy within libertarianism. There are deontological libertarians who argue on moral grounds and there are consequentialist libertarians who supposedly argue based on results. The tricky part is that the results argued for are to varying degrees hypothetical since there has never been a libertarian country as far as I know, at least not in the modern era. So, in reality, the consequentialist libertarians are just deontological libertarians who defer into the future the obligation of moral justification. They get to argue for equality of opportunity without having to show any real world results that their ideology leads to even a semblance of equality for actual people living here and now.

You ask “Equality OF WHAT!!” I can respond with Equal Opportunity OF WHAT!! This is the difference. Equality of opportunity is too often an abstraction whereas equality of results can be concretely measured. Equality is something we aspire to even though it is never achieved absolutely. Also, to the extent that equal opportunity is more than mere abstract ideology, it can only be proven by its results. If an abstract ideology never leads to results, it is a less than worthless and possibly dangerous ideology. I think that it would be naive at best to think that most inequality we see today is ‘natural’ in any sense of that word.

Let me speak about Jefferson and Paine.

Jefferson may never have used the word democracy, but at least early in his life he definitely believed in a radical version of direct democracy in terms of direct civic participation and direct political action. As far as I understand it, his vision of democracy was one of an agrarian society which in today’s terms simply means a society of small business owners who simultaneously are producers. Yes, he believed in equality before the law, but his egalitarian vision went beyond that. He helped create a free public university which goes beyond mere opportunity because it is actively redistributing wealth to ensure public education. There is no way to have a govt without redistributing wealth. It’s just in authoritarian govts the wealth is distributed upwards to a minority elite and in democratic governments the wealth is distributed more evenly among the entire population.

However, Paine is more central to my argument, especially considering he was the first to refer to America as a united country and the first to formulate a version of Bill of Rights. Paine didn’t deny we are born with various inequalities, but he observed that most of the major inequalities in modern civilization are created by modern civilization. I’d suggest you read Paine in more detail to understand this position. He describes it in great detail in ‘Agrarian Justice’.

I’d go so far as to argue that the ideas and policies of the Populist and Progressive Eras were rooted in the thinking of the founding fathers.

For example, in ‘Agrarian Justice’, Paine formulated an early version of social security among other proposals of a what right-wingers would call a “welfare state”. Or take the Civil War as another example. Lincoln admired Paine and was inspired by Paine’s advocation of universal suffrage. Paine wanted literal freedom for all to be written into the constitution. Having failed that, it was left to Lincoln to finish the American Revolution that Paine originally inspired. In the terms of our disccusion, I think it’s hard to argue that the federal government enforcing equal rights (beginning with the Civil War and being furthered with the Civil Rights movement) is merely establishing equal opportunity. The government was, in fact, demanding basic results of equality in the real world. The government didn’t just offer slaves the opportunity to work themselves out of slavery.

I also mentioned earlier about some of the policies of the founding fathers. Besides creating public schools, I pointed out the issue of protectionism and subsidies.

The founding fathers weren’t worried about free market rhetoric because they understood on the global scale there was no free market. It wasn’t enough to say businesses had the opportunity to try to succeed. The founders protected American businesses against transnationals, enforcing an opposing unfair advantage to American businesses to counter the unfair advantage foreign businesses had from foreign governments.

Subsidies were another way they manipulated markets. In the case of subsidies for presses, they were manipulating markets for the public good. They didn’t merely offer the equal opportunity of a free press determined by a free market. They guaranteed (or at least strongly encouraged) equal results of having newspapers and other published works widely and cheaply available to average Americans.

You pointed out that the idea of an equal society has been portrayed as a dystopia in many movies. That isn’t much of an argument. Any idea can be portrayed dystopically when pushed to its most imbalanced extreme. I demonstrated this principle by dystopically portraying equal opportunity in terms of slavery. Imagine a society where some people are born free and some people are born into slavery. In this imagined society, some slaves do manage to work hard and buy their freedom. The fact that a few escape freedom doesn’t mean a whole lot for those who remain enslaved. Telling the slaves they have an equal opportunity wouldn’t comfort them.

Here is the crux of our discussion. I don’t know to what extent I do or do not understand your position, but your view as communicated here seems to be a fairly standard and mainstream understanding (actually, a bit right-leaning I must point out; conservatives tend to emphasize equal opportunity – or rather the rhetoric of equal opportunity – over equal results). As for my position, I don’t get the sense that you understand where I’m coming from (which is less standard and mainstream). We apparently have neither a shared based of knowledge nor a common understanding of terms. I realize I read widely at the fringes and so there is no reason I should assume most people would understand where I’m coming from. However, if you do want to understand where I’m coming from (specifically in terms of having a fruitful discussion about the above post), then I’d advise at least perusing some of the following (in particular, be sure to read ‘Agrarian Justice’). Otherwise, I doubt our discussion can go on much further.

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The following include two of my YouTube playlists, some of my previous blog posts, and various stuff found around the web:­ocracy/­beralism-liberal/­d-the-promise-of-america/­s-and-the-christian-nation/


39 thoughts on “Man vs Nature, Man vs Man (part 2)

  1. As Jung said, a rationally defined object can never match the real object thus giving irrational functions the upper hand, or the real object can never be adequately defined by rational judgment – a phenomenon in my writing that prenormative can’t cope with eg. when I say ‘life is life’. I say this because no ‘created world’ can match the actual one. It’s interesting that Jung and I think similarly cos when I started saying ‘a world for a world’, I hadn’t yet read the referred to ideas.

    The movie dystopias she mentions are as a result of hubristic impositions on the actual.

    A results-oriented state may be a reactionary state in the end. It isn’t bad because it’s the natural thing to do to flow with the flow. It gets ugly when we start to rationalize it. A state of constant change is similar to this reactionary state, I’ll like to give this my anarchic system, which isn’t a system at all given the nature of it, a name – how about anarcho-mutabilism?

    • Jung was using the terms ‘rational’ and ‘irrational’ in a very specific and idiosyncratic way, specifically in terms of individual psychology. Feeling is a ‘rational’ function, but it doesn’t fit the common meaning of rationality. On the other hand, intuition is an ‘irrational’ function and yet some of it’s main facets (such as abstraction) do fit the common meaning of rationality. I’m not sure Jung ever used these terms as ways of analyzing politics and large-scale social systems. But I get the basic meaning of how you’re using these terms.

      My response would be that we already live in a ‘created world’. All of civilization is a ‘created world’. Capitalism or anarcho-mutualism are just two ‘created’ choices among many. That is the point of the analysis of Paine and Henry George. Our present society, as it has existed for long before the modern era, isn’t the natural condition of man. It’s the results of those with power having over centuries and millennia forced their ‘created worlds’ on whole populations.

      It’s gone so far that the only way to escape this ‘created world’ would be collapse of civiliztion. However, we must not simplistically romanticize the indigenous lifestyle. Like modern people, the indigenous also manipulated their environments to suit their needs and wants. They just had different needs and wants.

      Our present society is a dystopia which is the result of hubristic impositions on the actual.

      First, there is no escape from human hubris. Even ancient, primitive people faced problems of hubris including war, oppression and environmental degradation. Second, there are no natural or unnatural acts. We are a part of nature, a part of the ‘actual’. Even this society, with all of its force and dysfunction, is actual. The ‘invasive’ plant kudzu taking over the American south is just as ‘actual’ as the ‘native’ plants and trees it strangles to death. There is no such thing as an unchanging actual. The only actual thing in life is change.

      The view you present seems to be more of a philosophy about life than a theory about society and politics, but I’m not sure. Your view could be understood in political terms. A functioning democracy is results-oriented. I don’t know if flowing with the flow is actually the natural thing to do (or what such a philosophy would mean in the objective world), but it is an ideal that appeals to me. Humans are just animals and animals have no problem forcing their wills on others (or, in terms of flowing with the flow, inasive species like kudzu will keep on flowing unless something stops them). The problem with humans is that we have greater power to force our wills on greater numbers. Also, the seemingly ‘natural’ isn’t always the most desirable. For example, what we call ‘rape’ happens in nature all the time, but most modern societies have decided that controlling sexual behavior is benefiicial with our present large, concentrated populations.

      “A state of constant change is similar to this reactionary state, I’ll like to give this my anarchic system, which isn’t a system at all given the nature of it, a name”

      It’s that particular line that implies, along with many other things you’ve written, you are more interested in a life philosophy than in a politics. That complicates things. If we are talking about general philosophies of life, I would give you one response. But, if we are talking about politics, I would give you another response. It’s a difference, for me, between the personal and the social. My preference of philosophical attitude may or may not be conducive to a good society. I’m fairly sure that if a society was built on my views (my philosophy, my attitude, my personality) it would collapse in a very short period of time.

      Anarchism means ‘no archons’, i.e., no rulers. In and of itself, it says nothing about systems, for or against. However, when discussing politics, there would seem to be no way of getting around systems. So, for this reason, it’s important to know if we are discussing philosophies or politics. Even anarchists, using the term technically, are proposing systems, just kinds of systems most people are less familiar with. Anarcho-syndicalism, for example simply wants the various systems to be controlled/managed/operated directly by those within that system (anyone who is effected by that system being to that extent within that system). As such, the workers own the factory and the citizens of a community run the community. To put it in simpler terms, this is just direct democracy.

      I think we mean somethng differently by the word ‘system’. I’m using it in it’s broad and common meaning. There are ecological systems (normally shortened to ‘ecosystem’), social systems, political systems, economic systems, religious systems, etc. A system is just the way things relate forming some kind of stable or consistent order that allows it to be perceived as a whole (that is greater than the sum of its parts).

      When I speak of ‘equality’, I don’t mean anything unnatural. I mean it in the sense that Paine meant when he observed it among Native Americans. He saw that an indigenous lifestyle was more equal (relatively speaking) than ‘civilized’ life (the difference being the latter is agricultural allowing for the growth of large populations which forces the vast majority to become dispossessed of land, wealth and power). From this perspective, massive inequality as we experience on a daily basis is ‘unnatural’ in the sense of it not being the social system in which human nature evolved and, hence, under which human nature optimally operates.

      The only way we could attempt some semblance of a ‘return’ to the ‘natural’ state would be the total collapse of civilization. I personally don’t look forward to that, but I realize that some do. Civilization will either collapse or it won’t. There isn’t much any of us can do about that. We live in civilization and so any solutions we propose will be solutions of civilization. Even the anarcho-primitivists such as Derrick Jensen are seeking to use civilization against itself in the hope that something else will arise in its place.

      This conundrum we face today is the same faced by people centuries ago. I’m sure Paine was smart enough to imagine the possibility of civilization collapse, but he either didn’t think it probable or desirable (for damned sure, it would involve massive suffering, starvation, violence, war and death; it wouldn’t be fun). Other than collapse, one is forced to work within the ‘system’ of civilization in which we all live and depend upon. We have this created inequality. Is there a way we can promote/encourage equality instead or at least create a counter-balance to the inequality? If we can’t, then the inequality will continue to increase and our only hope would be to pray to God to destroy this corrupt society.

  2. I told you my expressive style is difficult :-). You didn’t get me well again.

    Rational/irrational was meant in Jung’s terms and as a social system can be seen as an object, I am justified in the use. Besides, the societies have been planned and been set up in definite terms. An irrational function sees the object in all its possibility, a rational function sees a part of the object, that part which it uses to work. It isn’t easily relatable, in general, irrational doesn’t see things in any definite fashion, no, it sees and sees and sees but doesn’t average and define as ‘correct’ like rational functions. The way these terms are used normally don’t make me happy. But, in general, the irrational is usually the incredible which you (incredibly, for an Fi) and I like.

    It’s anarcho-mutabilism. What I propose is truly a philosophy of life because I believe you can’t separate politics from econs and so forth. Such is rational, while I was reading and pondering your post, I thought of a separate political system and a separate economic system but it only would bring the same trouble with it that we face now. This my proposal is one of constant change, reacting or determined by each society’s milieu and by internal factors. Aside this, the people will have to come to each other rather than the family, tribe, nation systems of now. Any system can exist under this my own but it will last so shortly or be so tenuous that it seems to not exist at all.

    You know, we as moderns tend to overdo things. Indigenous people have a belief for instance that being too clean brings sickness. See all the many disorders brought on with increased modernism, psychological ones in the lead, somatic ones not far behind. I’m not saying that we should lie down and let the microbes take us down but we overdo things. Excessive cleanliness, excessive indoor life, excessive isolation, excessive drugging (everything’s got a drug now), excessive rationalism (this is the right way to live syndrome).

    If we look at our lives as political, economic, cultural etc, it will never cut it. So, we do something in politics, what about the other facets of our lives? It is part of our life, it will surely affect our life in general. Whatever is put down will have to be holistic and since living without rationality (in terms of defined systems or workings or sets-up) is not a good thing, heck, not psychologically healthful, the option that would be most expedient in terms of satisfying both principles and avoiding the perpetuation of yet another system, would be a state of change from one system to the other as is deemed fit, from the simple assembly into societies to the choices of inter-personal and inter-societal relationships. This comes together somewhere and makes quite a state but it might end up only a highly imaginative state in the end, unrealistic (another epithet for the irrational). The real is always equated to the rational, a delusion of western man until Schopenhauer and co. said different. The real is what it is, both principles exist in it. Maybe, we can say the real is irrational, I prefer to stay out of such bold assertions me well again.

    • “Rational/irrational was meant in Jung’s terms and as a social system can be seen as an object, I am justified in the use.”

      That may be the case, but I still don’t know what you’re talking about. If you have a specific passage in mind, that would help. I’m only familiar with Jung’s juse of rational/irrational in terms of his personality types. I don’t know of Jung’s theorizing about politics.

      “An irrational function sees the object in all its possibility, a rational function sees a part of the object, that part which it uses to work.”

      I get your general drift, but I tend to agree with the theory that irrational functions and rational functions are always used together, can’t even function separately. Speaking of them distinctly is just about the psychological focus.

      Also, let me quibble over a few details. Only intution, not sensation, would be concerned about the object in all its possibility. Furthermore, only Ne, not Ni, would be focused outwardly on objects (at least, using ‘objects’ in the normal sense of that word). Ni would be more focused on the essence (or, as you might prefer, the essence of the object) in all its possibility. Of course, if we are to get technical about what object means in psychology, it will get complex (beyond my understanding). Here is a little blurb about an article that I found amusing:

      “While complex and object are part of everyday psychoanalytic discourse, the meaning of the terms varies with different approaches, and the relationship between the concepts is far from apparent. Specifically, in this paper the Jungian complex and the Kleinian internal object are compared. It is the view of these authors that the internal object is primarily related to the archetypal image, and the internalized object to Jung’s concept of imago. The complex is the central concept that in a well-defined model of the psyche dynamically unites the phenomena described by these concepts. Furthermore, while in neurotic conflict the struggle between the ego and autonomous complexes takes place on the battlefield of the subjective psyche, in the personality disorders the complex is projected “wholesale” onto the external object, turning the other into a “complex-object.””

      What concerns me is something like the “complex-object” but in a broader context beyond just personality disorders. I’m not sure how to explain it in technical terms. I mean a type of projection that has become objectified through being reinforced by social/cultural biases of one’s group so as to create a collective reality tunnel. I doubt we ever see objects. It’s very confusing to think of what is an internal object.

      “But, in general, the irrational is usually the incredible which you (incredibly, for an Fi) and I like.”

      Fi has never been considered rational by Western standards. Anyway, I interact with the world through Ne. We see in the world through which see the world. I see the world in Ne terms. It’s only after Ne has gathered info and observations that Fi would be applied, but even then the info and observations are still Ne.

      I’m not sure how this might work for an INFJ. The irrational/perceiving function is introverted. Your most direct relation and observation of the larger world should (assuming you are a typical INFJ) be through Fe. However, Fe wouldn’t seem all that rational to Western standards either. I was just thinking how you often write posts involving people interacting. That would seem to be an Fe way of putting thoughts into context.

      “It’s anarcho-mutabilism.”

      I assumed you meant mutualism. I don’t know what mutabilism means. I did a quick Google search and found nothing. Is this a word you made up?

      “What I propose is truly a philosophy of life because I believe you can’t separate politics from econs and so forth. Such is rational, while I was reading and pondering your post, I thought of a separate political system and a separate economic system but it only would bring the same trouble with it that we face now.”

      I didn’t mean separate systems per se. I agree with those who say that the personal is the political, but I’m extremely wary of projecting my own personal onto the political. I’ve seen the endless ideological problems when someone becomes personally identified with some social or political view. Also, I realize what may be good for one person (such as myself or anyone else) may not be good for most people, something I learned very clearly from Myers-Briggs. A society should help the majority of average or typical people (the greatest good for the greatest number) while also seeking to include or at least not be prejudiced against those who are non-average/atypical.

      My philosophy of life is mine, but it may not be that of others. I’d prefer to have a system that offers the most room for a diversity of philosophies of life. This is why I constantly seek to separate opinion from fact. Let’s begin with known facts first and then allow for a dialogue of personal views. Democracy, at its best (with a functioning free press and public education), does exactly this. A well-informed public when given power will be able to respond better than any elite or ideological system. The only general philosophy that is required is that of social democracy.

      “This my proposal is one of constant change, reacting or determined by each society’s milieu and by internal factors. Aside this, the people will have to come to each other rather than the family, tribe, nation systems of now. Any system can exist under this my own but it will last so shortly or be so tenuous that it seems to not exist at all.”

      The system or non-system that you propose seems hypothetical at this point. I don’t think any society has so far operated according to such a philosophy. I find it an attractive vision, but it is as presented a bit vague (I suppose by design). The only problem I see with it is that I’d guess there is little probability of seeing this in our lifetimes. So, from my perspective, that still leaves open the question of; How do we deal with this society as it is until the time when your philosophy becomes more probable? This is where Chomsky’s view comes in. He sees a need for a transitional phase as a way of avoiding the problems that come with revolutions. My views of politics can be seen this way. I can speak of my idealized future, but ultimately I come back to the here and now.

      “You know, we as moderns tend to overdo things. Indigenous people have a belief for instance that being too clean brings sickness. See all the many disorders brought on with increased modernism, psychological ones in the lead, somatic ones not far behind. I’m not saying that we should lie down and let the microbes take us down but we overdo things. Excessive cleanliness, excessive indoor life, excessive isolation, excessive drugging (everything’s got a drug now), excessive rationalism (this is the right way to live syndrome).”

      As you know, I’m a fan of science. Scientists also tell us that being too clean brings sickness. Research shows that: People who are raised with animals have stronger immune systems. And constantly using disinfectants can lead to germs becoming stronger.

      Excess, in general, is a larger issue of all civilization. The first city-states allowed people to begin to specialize. Instead of everyone doing a bit of everything, a soldier could just soldier, a teacher could just teach, a farmer could just farm, etc. All of civilization is built on this, for good or ill.

  3. A life philosophy really does complicate things but so does a single domain philosophy like political or one that seeks to make humans into what they aren’t. It cannot be withheld at all that the suffering and the imposition of the years have been brilliant shapers of mankind, we have learned to be more circumspect and each learned to fear his own self well. Those experiences, all of that psychological change is there for the child who is born today, he sees the world and all of that unconscious percolates into his mind unconsciously. He doesn’t know he knows these but he, being born today, has lived the entire duration of man’s existence. I’m probably projecting my own psychology on man in general but what can I do, and I know it’s true just that we tend to be more sensitive to these things 😉

    • My concern is that a life philosophy may complicate things beyond any hope of clarity. Maybe we can’t escape our life philosophies, but for the sake of existing with so much diversity of views we have to pretend we can separate ourselves from them. Otherwise, we’d have to give up on science and other modern endeavors.

      Talking to you, it can be helpful to speak of life philosophies for the simple reason we have similar life philosophies. But when interacting beyond people who agree with me (i.e., all of the rest of society) it becomes necessary to take a position outside of my life philosophy or a position that is more mediary between various life philosophies.

      It’s the necessity of communication. All of the great communicators, from Paine to Hitler, always seek to speak to people on their own terms. To create public good, we have to have public discourse. A language has to be found that allows clear and helpful dialogue. This is why social democracy seems helpful. Social democracy isn’t any specific system. Even as a philosophy, it is very broad and inclusive. It’s a framework that allows for dialogue.

    • Precisely. I would add that: Each is also of their own personal nature even while we all share a common human nature. Each is in their own philosophy even while each is in the larger dialogue of philosophies.

  4. You know something, there’s one trick I have in communication – because my relations tend to be convoluted and my words can be idiosyncratic or very difficult, I use my interlocutor to communicate to my interlocutor, something that prenormative resists, that’s one reason for our problems. What I do is by understanding the person, his words, their relations, his life, I talk to the person so he can understand. That kinda thing is Fe and it has and is fucking up my language but I see that I don’t need to give it up, I just need to train myself more to have one clear way of expression too esp for mass delivery. This is similar to what you said about Paine (I’m not saying I’m like him) – I can subvert my language so much just to speak to another or to deprecate myself so much so I can make another feel comfy. That’s one reason I dress unappointedly, so that, I mix with the common man, with the poor man, besides a solidarity with the poor man who has nothing but ‘rags’. You should c me sometimes, I look like a homeless person.

    I have a reply for the above, I’ll post it soon, I wrote it down as my net was fucking up

    • I could see someone with Fe using this ‘trick’ more than someone another rational function-attitude, but I’d think that all the NFs would be more prone to using this trick. Depending on my mood, I sometimes use this trick. I can speak in many ‘languages’: religion, atheism, imaginal, pessimism, new age, story, etc. Also, I generally use the words people use in the way they use them.

      With you, this can be tricky because of your subjectively idiosyncratic way of communicating. It’s something I’ve seen in certain other male INFJs. I think it’s strongly developed Ni. Female INFJs I’ve known have tended to have a more developed Fe which more strongly grounds Ni.

      From your male INFJ perspective, you see Fe as fucking up your language which I would assume to be a not entirely smooth and cooperative relation between Ni and Fe. I could understand that as my Fi and Ne can sometimes feel at odds. Maybe male NFs in general would have this kind of problem (and likewise female NTs). I have heard female INFJs speak about similar issues with Fe, but it just doesn’t seem to be as extreme.

      As an INFP, I can relate to your view, but it seems less clear. My Fi creates a stronger core sense of autonomous self. I would tend to use Ne, instead of Fe, to mimic the language of others.

      I do experience something of what you describe as dressing unappointedly. I don’t necessarily seek to mix with the common man, but I don’t want to stand out. I tend to dress working class which is what I am these days, although not exactly how I was raised. I certainly don’t dress like an intellectual, the only hint being that I always carry a backpack. I’ve at times dressed more like a homeless person. I used to wear the same army jacket for years.

      More than anything, I just like to be comfortable and I love things that last. The army jacket I wore for about 10 years straight and it still held together just fine. I like the Carhartt brand because it’s made very tough and it’s a brand popular among the working class. It just so happen that I find working class brands comfortable.

  5. “What I do is by understanding the person, his words, their relations, his life, I talk to the person”

    What I meant there is I use those factors to speak to him

    Today’s my birthday, by the way

    • Happy birthday… or whatever.

      I’m not big into birthdays or celebrations of any kind. The problem with celebrations is that they tend to attract groups of people. I try to avoid events where people gather. I’ve been practicing for years in the attempt to develop my agoraphobia. I’ve heard that hell is other people… and so I’m trying to find heaven.

      Plus, celebrations just remind me of how depressed I am. A birthday is a reminder that the person in question is one year closer to death. Haha! Your going to die! Me too, actually. Guess what? We’re all going to die. Bwahahaha!!!

      Hey, why didn’t you send me a birthday invitation?

      My feelings are hurt. 😥

  6. Yeah, one year closer to death, I make that joke everytime age is under discussion.

    Not Fe fucking up my language, the thing of having to mix up words, using misnomers, wrong grammar for instance, just to make the other comfy is what fucks it up. I sense that this would be easier for an Ne whose ideational processes are extraverted so would have relative ease in adapting to the situation for instance, between academic writing and creative writing. Me, with Ni, it’s already foggy so I really fuck it up with fucked up language use. I tend to be very particular about my ideas (my precious, like Gollum hahaha) so mismatching words could really disturb the connection between idea and word and cause me to be doubtful about the word – they say that’s a Ti function though. Prenormative, for instance, doesn’t have much of a problem with that cos he, I think, is more predominantly a T.

    I also like to remain more intellectual so I avoid Fe a bit so that it doesn’t bring that “camaraderie, small talk, avoid conflict, keep the atmosphere relaxed with mild topics” philosophy to the table. But, I can switch well so when need be, I am the mad thinker or the playful looney tune or the considerate gentleman. It’s a fight for me between Ni-Fe and Ni-Ti. Prenormative makes my Ti feel like a child a lot (I’m guessing he’s Ti) and I tend to assuage his seriousness and give him encouragement and advice like a good anima. I planned long ago to use him to develop my clarity in communication, even before I knew of that twit called Ti.

    I like the general atmosphere of celebrations where people are happy and ‘at evens’ with each other. But, I’m also agoraphobic and reclusive (for observation sake), weird combination huh. My agoraphobia is dying quite fast of late though.

    • Ni is a curious creature. My Fi would like to pin it down and study it. From my perspective, Ni seems like a double-edged sword: a blessing as a unique way of seeing to the essence of things and yet a curse in trying to communicate what is seen. It’s good thing INFJs have Fe to smooth out their frustrations of communication.

      Ne does seem to be the optimal function-attitude for communication or at least a certain kind of communication. I would guess that ENFPs would be the penultimate communicators, moreso than ENTPs in that ENFPs have Fi to give them a more subjective human focus to get the feel of an audience and direct their communication to that specific audience.

      I suppose NFPs, specifically INFPs, have a different sort of problem. INFPs can go on and on in communicating, but they can get lost in words, ideas and possibilities. Unlike Ni, Ne is outside of the introverted INFP’s personal sense of self. Bringing that Ne back to Fi can be a challenge and then using Ne to communicate Fi is an even greater challenge.

      I think I have issues with Ti. Te is my aspirational which doesn’t mean I’m good at it, but it’s not directly in conflict with my Fi. Te is directed outward and Fi is directed inward. They have their own domains. Ti, on the other hand, treads on my Fi’s territory. Do you ever feel Si treads on your Ni territory?

  7. There’s a very bad habit I have to rid: talking to you :). You’re approximately my shadow, you keep subverting my visions, but it’s no case cos I have a good relationship with my shadow. We’re both melancholic but I’m a brighter face than you, though I am black :). In any case, we agree that ideologies should be put to the side when dealing with the real world. We both probably have healthy relations with our shadows. Woopie

    • We both have two tendencies that make for interesting discussion. We both in our own ways seek to communicate to other people in a way to be understood by that person from their perspective. And we both like to play Devil’s Advocate. These two tendencies could seem contradictory.

      We share similar personalities. At the same time, we come from very different cultures. So there is an ease of communication even as there is a challenge of communication.

      Also, there is that whole shadow thingy. We both have enough self-understanding and self-deprecation to keep us from being defensive with one another. It seems even when there is miscommunication it isn’t a big deal, just an opportunity for further elaboration of ideas and perspectives.

  8. Fuck this, what’s all this repetition! Does wordpress have scratches? Fuck!

    By the way, you’re liking Tommy Paine too much, you’re starting to idolize him. So by what you’ve read, what p-type would you place Paine close to?

    Paine, Paine, Paine
    From the ship trade
    To the American plain
    Staind the Queens crown
    Aimed to equalize the brows
    Fertilize the lowbrows
    Trim the highbrows
    Especially they
    For they verged on Everglade

    • I’ve been deleting your repetitions as I see them, but it keeps happening.

      Let me explain my liking Paine too much.

      I think Paine does deserve my respect and certainly the respect of every American. The story of Paine demonstrates everything that is good and bad about the British tradition out of which America rose. Paine himself was a product of Britain, a natural born citizen of England, educated in a British school, radicalized by his fellow Britains following the noble British tradition of protest. It was because of all this that Paine became the greatest enemy of Britain as an empire. Now that America has become an empire, Paine’s example is all the more relevant.

      Furthermore, Paine’s importance is magnified by how much American history has distorted and ignored his memory. Nonetheless, it could be argued that he has had more influence on America than any other person. He first spoke of a United States of America. He inspired the American Revolution and fought in it. He wrote the first version of the Bill of Rights and inspired a later attempt to create a second bill of rights. He proposed progressive policies long before the progressivism had a name and those policies inspired some of the later Progressive Era policies. Lincoln looked up to him which led Lincoln to fulfil Paine’s dream of abolishing slavery.

      America is a very patriotic nation, not that I’ve tended be overly patriotic. I grew up learning about the founding fathers as if they were heroes to be worshipped. Over time, I did watch documentaries that showed the human side of some of them such as Jefferson’s slave mistress and Franklin’s love of French prostitutes. But in all I learned my respect was always partial. I respected aspects of the founders and some of their views. In the end, though, it just felt like they were just a new breed of plutocrats, even if a few of them were genuinely well-intentioned.

      I discovered Paine relatively late in life, even though I vaguely remember having heard his name earlier. I seem to have discovered Paine around the same time Glenn Beck did which is quite funny, both of us being GenXers (some claim our generation didn’t get the best public education). It was because of people like Beck that there was so much rank faux patriotism in the air. When I came across Harvey J. Kaye’s book about Paine, it was a breath of fresh air. I was almost shocked. I knew I had been lied to all my life, but my indoctrinated ignorance has surprised even me on occasion. Here was finally an American patriot, the original American patriot, who I could honestly respect and admire. Plus, my view of him is colored by Harvey J. Kaye whose book maybe portrays him a tad idolatrously.

      I like Paine and I like Paine’s story. Paine was the underdog and like any good underdog he lost even when he won. He was unrepentant idealist, passionate to the core, a righteously angry critic, an opinionated asshole, a visionary genius, a compassionate humanist, a progressive before his time, a defender of the powerless. He was complex. The opinionated asshole appeals to me the most as I have this trait. Paine didn’t seem to hold back his opinion and had the habit of offending people. He had a great following at a time because of his criticisms of empire and then lost that following when he criticized religion. He was an equal opportunity critic. He may not have been a nice person, but he sacrificed everything for what he believed. He is the type of person I aspire to be.

      As you know, I lean toward liberalism and progressivism. I shared Paine’s attitude about life before I even knew anything about Paine. I grew up in the Reagan era. I always sensed their might be a noble vision of America hidden beneath the right-wing rhetoric of patriotic capitalism and imperialist machismo, but I grew up seeing the people who agreed with me were always the ones outside the system fighting the system. This caused me to have a sense that my views might be un-American in that they opposed the received wisdom about America. I grew up seeing all the ugliness of America and so feeling that I was part of that ugliness, that America was that ugliness. Everything seemed to be about power. And the right-wingers were always portraying progressivism as some alien implant forced on America by European-loving intellectuals and commies. This never felt right, but I was never sure. I often wondered if there was ever a truly compassionate and moral vision at the founding of America. And my wondering eventually led me to Paine.

      Paine put the founding fathers to shame. He puts all of us Americans to shame in our having become complicit in yet another empire. Paine points out the corruption at the heart of America by pointing out the truth that has become corrupted. He foresaw our present problems and failings. It’s not a matter of his being right about everything, but he did correctly understand the essence of what America stands for.

      Do you understand where I’m coming from? Is there something about which you’ve been lied to and deceived about your whole life and then just recently discovered a truth you didn’t even know existed?

  9. I was lied to that the grown-ups were anything but ignorant

    I was lied to that science had any fucking answer or any discipline did at all

    I was lied to that death was the thing to fear

    I was lied to that there were any ‘have-to’ at all

    I was lied to that I was stupid cos I was irrational. That I was evil cos I was controversial, freethinking

    I can’t remember the others, they number infinite. I was angry about this kinda thing around that time that I met you, forgot? Yours is specifically different than mine but I get an inkling of what you get at

    History is full of ignored visionaries. That used to be one of my fears, that even they’d kill me but they can’t cos there’s many more like me now and I fear and care less now whatever happens, my own body is trying to kill me anyway – ain’t nothing betta than dying with a bang in such a context and just dying with a bang, Period.

    The world wants globalization? Good, that will be its own demise. The Revolution will just come faster then

    • As a young adult, I was beginning to doubt that grown-ups were anything but ignorant. I must give some credit to my dad. My dad is intelligent and well-educated while also being open about what he doesn’t know. Intellectual humility was modeled for me.

      It still pissed me off, though, in my last years of public education when I was trying to find answers and realized that maybe no one had the answers I was looking for. It was a sense of society having failed me. This large complex society with institutions dedicated to research and education, with institutions dedicated to supposedly studying God and spiritual truth, all of that and no one knew anything that really mattered to me.

      Science has no answers? I’d say that is going a bit too far. I think you mean science doesn’t have the answers you want (nor often the answers I want either), the answers to ‘ultimate’ questions. Sadly, science is a humble and, in certain ways, a simple discipline (not that all or even most scientists are humble) and can’t be anything more than what it is. Most people, many scientists included, expect too much from science. Science can be neither religion nor philosophy. It’s just a method.

      Death isn’t the thing to fear. Life is.

      Well, you ‘have-to’ breathe, drink and eat… until you die. But the trick is that you don’t ‘have-to’ live. Ha!

      By the way, we’re all stupid AND irrational. It’s just that some of us are relatively less stupid and irrational.

  10. Apart from being forgetful, how can it tread? O ok, it treads in my bowel :). Abstract sensation is weird to me, I can’t wrap my head around it, I can’t see its reality. I always ask what Si feels like when I read about it. Maybe, the one that gets me is categorizations, that “this for here, that for there” trouble, and the ultimate irritant, categorizing ideas e.g. this culture for this people. It tends to have a static sense of things, while for me, things just flow into each other in my mind. Am I clear?

    • As my tertiary, I have a pretty good sense of Si. It’s not so much abstract sensation, not abastract in the normal sense which only applies to N. Rather, it’s sensation internalized. Si is: facts, memory, reminiscence, etc.

      Si takes the perceptual experience and freezes it in place, transforms the experience of an object into an object of experience… really, to see anything as an object, to concretize experience is Si. Also, when you remember the voice of a family member now dead, that is Si. Enjoyment of family history, traditions and celebrations would be Si as well.

      It’s just a clear sense of some specific thing or person or place as known through specific remembered perceptual details, but it goes beyond that to create a sense of wholeness… not just sensations flowing into other sensations which would be Se (or maybe flow isn’t right, maybe more like a sensory version of Ne’s multi-directional explosiveness and non-logical leaps).

      For an INFP, the tertiary role is the child. INFPs already have a child-like quality and so INFP’s Si can have a particular innocent quality. Si is childhood. INFPs never leave childhood behind and they tend to remember it in detail. Si is very tactile to me. I can switch out of my Fi-Ne combo by touching something such as my cat, the feel and smell of a cat that reminds me of all the cats I’ve known.

      But this can be challenging as well. Society tells us to grow up. An INFP might feel like they have to sacrifice their Si remembered childhood, to give up on reminiscing about the past, to grow up and be a responsible adult (aspirational Te). For me, Si can be troubling in relation to my depression. My present sense of depression is connected back to my times of childhood frustration and unhappiness.

      I was just thinking that Ni does have one similarity to Si. I’d suspect that dominant Si might have a similar flowing around something hidden as with dominant Ni.

      My mom is a dominant Si (ISTJ). She definitely has communication issues, although very different than yours. Si probably offers more of a sense of certainty, especially about practical knowledge, than Ni. An ISTJ just acts and worries less about figuring anything out. They just do as their told, do as they learned from someone else, do as they’ve always done it. I suppose and ISFJ would be different, but I’m not very familiar with that type.

  11. “They just do as their told, do as they learned from someone else, do as they’ve always done it”

    I see people like that, heck, I know people like that but I don’t believe one can live that way. I’m always incredulous when I see it but we’re all traditional in some way though I like to sabotage traditions, even trying new ways to breathe.

    I often wonder about reaction rates or reflexes between Se and Si. Also, field of vision. And, discernment of changes in the immediate environment e.g. watching an overgrown lawn and suddenly a cat steps in surreptitiously moving the grass thereby, who spots it first, Se or Si?

    • “They just do as their told, do as they learned from someone else, do as they’ve always done it”

      I see people like that, heck, I know people like that but I don’t believe one can live that way. I’m always incredulous when I see it but we’re all traditional in some way though I like to sabotage traditions, even trying new ways to breathe.

      I can only speak about my observations of my mom. She would probably make a good follower, but maybe life experiences has taught her to be more questioning and open-minded. Both my TJ parents are independent-minded and opinionated, but both also like tradition and authority. ISTJ, in particular, is a weird mix. The independent streak of an ISTJ is often hidden. ISTJs can be very private and only maintain close relationships.

      ISTJs are probably one of the most down-to-earth types. However, my mom is an introvert like me which allows for a self-contained mind wandering (which I think is connected to us both being mindless drivers). I’m not sure if it relates to type, but there is something similar to how my mom’s mind and my mind works. Our minds go a mile-a-minute and when together we can talk endlessly and quickly. My mom has the problem of talking faster than her mind thinks. Ne allows my mind to stay ahead of my talking. My mom can make similar mental leaps as I do or else we are somehow on the same wavelength.

      Maybe a typological connection is that my tertiary is Si and my aspirational is Te while my mom’s tertiary is Fi and her aspiration is Ne. Our main function-attitudes are a mirror image. We somehow psychologically balance eachother.

      I often wonder about reaction rates or reflexes between Se and Si. Also, field of vision. And, discernment of changes in the immediate environment e.g. watching an overgrown lawn and suddenly a cat steps in surreptitiously moving the grass thereby, who spots it first, Se or Si?

      Si is very focused. Se has a more open and shifting focus. If you want someone to do surgery, you want Si. If you want a bodyguard to protect you, you want Se.

      There actually is a theory about psychological types and body types. One part of the theory deals with such things as reaction rates and reflexes. Some claim that INFPs have good hand-eye coordination which makes for precise hand manipulations. I can testify to this as I’m good at juggling and spinning things. I think Ne allows for quick reaction because the mind reacts quickly. Se would be similar. I’d think Si would be very quick when it came to focused and limited tasks, especially if they are very familiar.

      Who spots something first?

      I used to date a woman who probably had Se either as a dominant or a secondary. She was a person of emotion and action, probably an SF type. She had great appreciation for nature and was more outwardly focused than I. so I’d guess she was an Extravert.

      Even so, my Ne could see things she wouldn’t notice. We went camping. Maybe 50 to 100 feet away across the campsite was some weeds and tall grass. My mind automatically takes in details around me to sense what is going on. I noticed the tall grass shift ever so slightly and I immediately thought a turtle was there. I told her about this unseen turtle and we went over there. We found the location and there indeed was a turtle there laying eggs. Ne allows me to see patterns. The ever so slightly moving grass was part of a pattern. Ne then allowed me to imagine a source behind this perceived pattern.

      It’s possible that Si played a role for me in this incident. My speculating about a turtle was based on my past observations of turtles in nature. I could imagine how grass would look like if it was being moved by a turtle. I apparently had an Si memory of turtle as a category of experience. My thought process wasn’t fully conscious and so I can’t be sure how or why I made my turtle prediction.

      This predictive ability about the world is very unreliable. As an Introvert, I’m often oblivious to the world. Only when my curiosity is awakened do my senses awaken. As I was in a new environment at that campsite, my Ne was very open in that moment and nature always draws me out of myself.

  12. And, pee-poo, your science doesn’t have any answeers… Nananana

    Science is just helpful. The method can never tell the master the truth.

    • I just did a quick scientific experiment. The results of the study show that you are wrong. Just to verify my results I also did an x-ray on your skull. I was sadly unsurprised to find it empty. I must scientifically conclude that I win and you lose.

      I’m sorry but science never lies. Science is BOTH master AND truth!

      Think about it this way. When Anakin Skywalker was burned almost to death, what saved him? Did his control of the force save him? NO! Science saved him by giving him a suit with life-support. Without science, there would be no Darth Vader and without Darth Vader there wouldn’t be any Star Wars movies.

      I can’t even imagine a world without Star Wars. There would be no point to go on living.

  13. Your mad :). Simple sophistry

    Similar mental leaps huh? My reaction rates are high, my field of vision is like 300 degrees if not more and I’m rarely completely oblivious. Si is focused like that uh? I still can’t get it, how can that be? I’ve never been able to see one thing and be so oblivious of the surrounding. Such usually surprises me. I am hypersensitive after all. I tend to see everything at the same time. I can cross a road without turning my head. I have trained myself though but it was always naturalYour mad :).

    • To be serious, despite all of your silly smiley faces, let me explain.

      Typology is just a small part of human psychology. Every type includes vast diversity. Types are just general patterns of tendencies.

      Even within typology, it allows for explanation of some of that diversity. If you take MBTI Step II, you will find that you’re probably unique on many of the sub-traits. Also, various typology models allow for how different abilities and tendencies will manifest in different situations and as a person develops.

      For example, an INFJ has Se as an aspirational. So, a very well developed INFJ might have strong use of Se which they could even use along with their Ni.

      Maybe your reaction rates and wide field of vision are caused by your aspirational Se. Or maybe it has nothing to do with typology at all. Maybe early experience or brain trauma caused alterations in your neurology… I suspect it’s the latter.

      Hypersensitivity, eh? Ya know, I don’t know that hypersensitivity has anything to do with the INFJ type. Maybe you have a mental illness. I’d recommend medication.

  14. This was supposed to appear here days ago,

    Ok… Your use of ‘life philosophy’ differs from mine. I mean a philosophy based on life – a world for a world – fact, the diversity, the actual and all that mambo jambo you say, yes, that’s the mambo jambo I mean. That’s the meaning of ‘a world for a world’ and philosophy of life and anarcho-mutabilism (I invented the word, the concept is still nascent) where we try much to incorporate the new – new additions to the group in terms of people, new environmental changes, atypical mothafuckas like me, for instance.

    I have often thought about “what do we do about what we have now?” but as I discovered long ago, I am a supreme perfectionist, I can’t settle for less – being in this world makes me settle but I don’t like it. However, I have come to realize that perfect means ‘a world for a world’ or ‘an object and its circumstances for an object and its circumstance’

    And, when I spoke about object up there, I meant it generally as subject-object relationship, the receiver of an action, the observed etc

    Yeah, I have also noticed that speaking about people interacting a lot in my posts is an Fe characteristic. If I want to use Ni, I mostly stand off my object otherwise Fe tends to sabotage me or I’ll be very cold or incoherent or a bad conversationist (my contribution will be abysmally minimal) – we discussed this before, I think

    You know, I don’t really know what a personal philosophy is, I don’t have one. Ok, maybe Bushido and fighting for the underdog (Bushido includes that too). In any case, if I manifest that philosophy above as a personal one, it’s cos I choose to lead by example, similar to “be the change you wish to see in the world” which relates to Jesus’ “do unto others as you want them to do to you” – it’s not a direct relation but by some maybe specious manipulations, they come to relate. When I get a vision, I tend to embody it too, by default, and to show that it’s a possible and real way of living, that is, experiment on myself. It will be better if I withhold such information, generally, as a less open-minded person than you would be prejudiced against me by such info

    • I’m not a perfectionist. I have an idealist streak, but this more often just makes me a cynic and fatalist. My depression causes me to be very accepting, sometimes compassionately and sometimes not, sometimes just resigned and apathetic.

      My ISTJ mom is a perfectionist. I grew up in a house where everything had a place and everything was in it’s place. Rules and order. My parents were relatively strict and morally upstanding, even a bit righteous on occasion. They had high standards in their own way.

      I, on the other hand, have always lived in creative chaos. My lifestyle might kindly be called lackadaisical. I don’t take my life or my responsibilities seriously. I just go with the flow. Nothing is perfectionist about my life. Even my ideals simply shine light on the darkness and ugliness of life without offering much in the way of genuine hope.

      My whole life is settling for less. I don’t worry about most things in life. My curiosity makes me in a way open even to that which I fear or despise. I’m just curious where it will lead. I’m ultimately not really against anything. Bring it on, is my motto.

  15. You have a point about brain trauma. I did have a prolonged labor even before my dad went and left. I was hypersensitive before he left. Jung however, linked hypersensitivity and Ni in the abstract I gave you.

    Typology is really a bit part of psychology. Even two INFJs can be markedly different. But, it can make for so much assistance in ‘seeing’ people. Do you notice it’s mostly women who go into psych? Well, Jung thought intuition esp Ne was a woman trait so… Generally, the world over, intuition is a woman’s trait

    • Brain trauma! Haha! 🙂

      I’ve actually wondered if I’ve had a bit of brain trauma myself. My learning disability when younger might have been just genetics or something like that.

      But a few years ago I noticed some research that shows heading soccer balls often leads to brain trauma, especially with developing brains. I played soccer from a little kid all the way through most of high school. I’d sometimes do nothing other than just bounce a ball on my head to see how long I could keep it in the air.

      I’m thinking I might’ve been a genius if it weren’t for all those years of soccer.

      Yep, about women and intuition. Yep, women and psychology. My guess is that the majority of psychologists are NF women to be even more specific.

      Intuition is for girls. You have girly intuition! Haha! 🙂

    • “You don’t understand. I could’a had class. I could’a been a contender. I could’a been somebody… instead of a bum, which is what I am.”

  16. NFs have double feminine: N and F.

    You coulda been – it’s not too late. There is some seriousness in what you say even if it’s just a sliver, you really are hurt.

    • There is some seriousness in everything I say. I’m really hurt? Well, I’m not a happy person, if that is what you mean. The ‘hurt’ isn’t anything specific. All of life is ‘hurt’.

      I’m not just sad about my own lost potential. I’m sad about the lost potential of everyone, of all of society. This world is ruthless.

      Basically, life comes down to an urge to pass on your genetics before you brutally die. The potential of genetics falls far short of the potential of human aspiration. We humans have great aspirations, but we forget we are just animals.

      To nature, it doesn’t matter if someone experiences brain trauma or is fails to live up to their aspirations or anything else that humans care about: poverty, mental illness, political oppression, etc. The people who live the crappiest lives are often the people who, ironically, procreate the most. That is all nature cares about. You could live a life of horrible suffering, but you win the game of life if you can impregnate a female human or become impregnated by a male human.

      The brain trauma issue isn’t of great concern to me. That was mostly just speculation. I have no reason to think I’m brain traumatized from playing soccer. I honestly have only thought about it a few times since I learned about that research some years ago. I enjoyed playing soccer growing up. I was good at it. I don’t feel negative about having played soccer. But if I were to have kids, I wouldn’t let them play soccer or any other sport where major brain trauma can occur (football, boxing, etc).

  17. Ya know, I don’t think you got my ‘perfectionist’ right. When I say perfection, it means everything in a way that is conducive to the components of any interaction. For me, I cannot tell ‘proper’ from improper, it’s all contextual. For example, if we live in a house and we are tall people perfectly comfortable with putting ‘A’ on the top shelf and then we get a 5 year old in the house, about 3 feet tall, we should change the position of ‘A’ to a lower shelf Or we can provide a ladder to the top – for this, we can either be afraid of a fall or allow it to encourage athleticism and bravery – Or we can choose to do nothing to encourage imaginative obtainment. Among all these options, what will be chosen depends on the kid, if he’s leg-handicapped for instance, it’s better judgment to place ‘A’ lower. For me, if he’s a normal kid, I’ll keep changing it to keep it from monotony and to foster all benefits. Now, maybe, he’ll be in a hurry one day and the whole imaginative shit is moot. That can bring frustration which is understandable and can influence decision in favor of lower shelf or it can challenge imagination more. He might have to creatively get it and create a way to get to the place quicker or find a creative excuse for being late. Also, if he gets nettled at the beginning but creatively finds a way of getting it in short time, he will learn the valuable maxim (my favorite) “every dark cloud has a silver lining” – my life is full of turning bad experiences to palatable fruits; here, take some 😉

    That’s what I mean by perfection: where all the “what ifs” are considered, or most of em. ‘All’ is rather audacious.

    I tend towards improvement of people, things, etc so you see that it affects my decision though I still entertain other possible decisions.

    • As usual, you have a very idiosyncratic definition of a word.

      I swear you have your own private language. To an observer, it would appear that you are speaking the language everyone else is speaking. But it turns out that it just incidentally sounds like the language everyone else is speaking. I think you need to write your own dictionary so that people can look up words that you use.

      At least, you have a creative mind. lol

      It’s rather funny. Your idea of ‘perfection’ is probably a bit opposite of what most people think of as ‘perfection’. Some might even describe it as embracing the ‘imperfect’. 😉

      It’s seems that you see the ‘perfect’ in the ‘imperfect’ because you look at the potential and possibilities. You see the opposite in everything, maybe seeing what something could be more clearly than you see what something is.

      You definitely don’t have Si which is about what something is in and of itself. A is on the top shelf because it’s always been there, because that is where grandma always kept it and you have such fond memories of grandma, because everything is organized just right and to move one thing would alter the entire organization, etc. Si might put A on a lower shelf if it had some practical advantage, but not constantly moving it around as a social experiment for the child’s development.

      Jeez! You INFJs sure are silly. I’m starting to think Ni is actually a mental disease. 🙂

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