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Thread: Subconscious and Conscious functions

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    Default Subconscious and Conscious functions

    It seems to me, based on my observation of the way in which the 5th and 6th function effect behavior in types, that subconscious functions ought to be looked at primarily as "receivers." This is indeed how they are usually described by socionists in regards to the 5th and 6th function and their influence on what situations the person likes to find themselves in (e.g. ESFps liking to be around spiritual types (INTps, INFps)), however the 7th and 8th functions, if described at all, are usually simply described as functions that are "noticed in day to day actions and help to cope with routine day to day matters." I think, (and perhaps because of my lack of russian language skills, I am ten years behind on this one), that the 7th and 8th functions need to be looked at in the same way, and that over simplifying them takes a great deal away from understanding how the conscious and subconscious work together. For example...as an INTj, extraverted thinking (practical logic), is my 7th function. I am good at identifying what is profitable, and what is not, as well as identifying methods that work. However, I am very poor at generating profit and sticking to methods. That's not to say that I am not methodical, as I can be if it's a matter of life or death (such as keeping my job), but for the most part, I am remarkably inconsistent in many of the things I do that would improve substantially by adopting a proven method and sticking to it. I imagine that most INTjs would admit to the same. So...with this in mind, how then does Te function in an INTj? Well, to me it works like this...

    Te receives empirical data. Hard, objective factual knowledge which it then stores for evaluation by the consciously controlled active function, Ti. Ti then evaluates its use to Ti's agenda, which is creating an understanding of the relationships between empirical data/facts/other theories/etc...we call this a theory, but it is really the same as all subjective/introverted functions which seek to relate information, rather than leave it at face value. The 8th function could be said to work in the same capacity, only it receives input more intermittently. The relationships between patterns (Ni) (which I think intuition is, the perception of patterns) are received in order to assist in the creation of one all encompassing one (Ne).

    This can be most easily seen in the way in which theories (Ti) evolve into knowledge (Te). For instance...
    A person sees an apple for the first time (and names it as such), and takes a bite. Observing that he is not dead and that he is able to eat the apple, if he is an INTj or ENTp, he might theorize that "ALL APPLES ARE EDIBLE." He then brings the first apple, along with a few others that he finds to his friends, who eat the apples without dying as well. Seeing that this first time was not a fluke, he states with purpose, that since no one died from eating these apples, ALL apples must be edible. They agree, as they have no empirical data to the contrary to dispute this, and therefore the previous theory (relationship between ideas) that "ALL APPLES ARE EDIBLE," now becomes accepted knowledge among the community. It has evolved from being a theory, to accepted factual knowledge, simply by the fact that there is no evidence to prove the theory incorrect. Now, one may debate the issue if they find a poisonous, but chances are, the person attempting to disprove the previous theory (another INTj or ENTp most likely) would have to show how the poisonous apple and the edible apple are the same, before those people who have accepted the theory (Ti) that all apples are edible as fact (Te) will discard that knowledge.

    But I digress. My point here is that all theories (Ti), must have empirical data (Te) of some sort in order to exist, and that in the case of an INTj, that empirical data is only as useful as it supports whatever theory Ti has come up with. So, in the case of the 7th function of an INTj, this is where the INTj receives the empirical data out of which he creates relationships (Ti). Once the theory is accepted, as in the case of apple, a practice (Te) is created (not by the INTj or ENTp, who sees his job as done as soon as he identifies the relationship), such as the regular consumption of apples. But to create that practice (Te), the ENTj (for example) must accept the theory that "ALL APPLES ARE EDIBLE" to be true. His 7th function is Ti, and he, as if in reverse, receives theories, evaluates their use in practical application, and either implements them, or discards them. He will only store theories subconsciously that are of use in practical application, true or not true (as opposed to the INTj who will only store knowledge subconsciously if he sees it as relevent to supporting his theory).

    I know this may seem like a lot of bullshit, but I think that it's key to understanding how the conscious and subconscious functions work together, and therefore, how they appear to onlookers. INTjs, despite their level of intelligence, are often very bad at remembering facts and methods, and will often draw the wrath of their High School/College writing teachers for not using enough facts to support the theories in their papers. INTjs, for the most part, find facts boring, and they are only of interest if they can help develop a theory. However, INTjs will NOT forget facts, no longer how long ago they learned them, if they retain their usefulness. This is not to accuse INTjs of being sloppy when it comes to using empirical evidence when supporting their theories, although they can be (I myself have been guilty of this). It is in fact the opposite in many cases, in which INTjs (or ENTps as well) as if realizing their agenda, will often hold back a theory from the general public because of its lack of supporting empirical evidence, for fear that it is not ready, delaying its progress significantly. But, their fears are somewhat justified, as seen in the apple story, as theories that are incomplete or inaccurate, are often just as tempting to others as a quick solution for a problem, and if implemented prematurely, can cause significant harm.

    If any of these ideas are of interest to people here I will try and write some more about the other 3 subconscious functions in more depth. I realize that this may seem less about personality type and more about metaphysics, but they are, in my opinion, inescapably linked.

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    Dmitri Lytov's Avatar
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    Can you please illustrate your ideas with fragments of type descriptions?

    I can say that your approach contains some exact observations, but in general, speculations are dangerous - they can lead astray, very far from the original ideas.
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    Can you please illustrate your ideas with fragments of type descriptions?
    Ok, I will try, but I should add that my understanding of information metabolism, which is a good part of the socionics model, may differ slightly from what I have read in various articles on socionics. Here is how I was first introduced to it...The following direct quotation comes from The Infosocial Model of Human Behavior by S. Ganin & I. Atwell Copyright 1998.

    II III


    IV I

    (Fill in the box with a single line connecting III & IV and a double line connecting II & I)

    I - The foundation on which the structure is built. At this point there is a continuous and heavy assimilation of information, resulting in an information resovoir. The type of information that will be accumulated here depends on the elements of IM (Information Metabolism) present at (I).

    II - the finished product seen by the outer world. Here there is a periodical but very heavy output of evolved information. The form that this evolved information will take depends on the IM elements present at (II).

    III - the controls by which the finished product can be altered from the outer world. At this stage there is a continuous but light assimilation of information optimising the production. The input parameters are defined by the elements of IM present at (III).

    IV - the co-ordination process within the whole structure. Here there is a periodical and light signal of information resulting in the co-ordination of I, II, III. The form of co-ordination will take is defined by the IM elements present at (IV).

    As I and II are inputs and II and IV are outputs, the path of the information will be simultaneous from I to II and from II to IV.
    Now, it may or may not be that this is in fact an exact interpretion of A. Augusta's theories, but either way, the descriptions in Mr. Ganin's IM elements do fall in line with what I know hers, and other socionists's descriptions of them (IM elements). I have looked at this model long and hard, and have tried to see how this process results in the actions of individuals and therefore the resulting type descriptions of Gulenko, Augusta, etc...but I have yet to see a type description (in english) that attempts to lay out how the observations of a particular type result from this particular flow of information (any english type descriptions like this would be greatly appreciated). I think that this is perhaps where all type theories (Myers-Briggs, Socionics, Keirsey's) fall short to an extent, as there is a heavy reliance on working from empirical evidence (behavioral observation) and trying to fit the theory to the observation. To be sure, theory must be developed from empirical observation, but if we don't truly understand what we are observing, then the resulting theories are likely to have fatal flaws. Model A, which is in fact a way to understand the function of the observable elements within the confines of a concrete structure, is why the descpritions and explanations of human personality of socionists are vastly superior to Myers-Briggs and Keirsey's, but it too has difficulty in convincing skeptics of its validity, and with the advent of sub-type theories and a lack of unity among socionists in understanding how personality develops from this model. It is interesting to observe how difficult it is to reach a consensus on the types of famous people because of this, as the similarities in interests and abilities are often quite noticeable, particularly between members of clubs (NT, NF, SF, ST). Socionists seem to be able to reach a consensus on the club (or somewaht less frequently, quadra) that they belong to (for instance our debate over Jaqueline Kennedy and my conclusion that she was an ISFp, and yours that she was an ISFj). I believe this is a result of the fact that people from a club are susceptible to similar information and situations that provide that information (e.g. NT types being found in scientific or philosophical fields, SFs in artisitc or social fields, STs in economic or athletic fields, and NFs in humanitarian fields). Of course there is always cross over here, but one can see how this is indeed the case. For an example, I will compare the type ESFp and ESFj (using Weisband and Gulenko's type descriptions), who can often be found in similar environments.

    ESFp
    Conscious Functions (in order of descending strength)
    Se/Fi/Ne/Ti
    Subconscious Functions
    Si/Fe/Ni/Te

    ESFj
    Fe/Si/Te/Ni
    Fi/Se/Ti/Ne

    I will use the following colors to indicate which part of the description I see as being related to a particular function's activities.
    Se = Red/Si = Orange/Ne = Brown/Ni = Green/Fe = Cyan/Fi = Blue
    Te = Violet/Ti = Maroon (Dark Red)/Too Vague or not relating specifically enough to one function, or I just simply disagree with the conclusion = Black

    He takes pride in his influence with people.their love and respect, of his own popularity, gladly leads others. He is assertive and kinky in expressing his sexuality, but aloof in dealing with the objective world, mistrustful towards new scientific ideas and in general towards everything objective, things which he perceives as too impersonal.
    He has a wide spectrum of powerful emotions. He is capable of staying true to the vision of his youth throughout his whole life (Henry Schliemann still in his childhood decided to excavate the city of Troy; to achieve his dream he had to get an education, in spite of his poverty, and to get rich). An admirer of the arts as a source of pleasure. He creates his mood by himself and knows how to make it contagious for others. Emotionally fine, kind, compassionate.
    Restless activity, greed for practical actions. He never hides his feelings – en contraire, he takes special pride in them. It is easy for him to sound sincere, when he expresses his true feelings. He expresses his admiration both verbally and with a look in his eyes. He is always an adherent of love in all its aspects, both carnal and psychological, if he needs it. Even when a feeling is of a passing nature, he knows very well what he desires from his lover, has no intention to adapt – only to dictate. He is arrogant, optimistic, before a complicated situation he does not go shy but tries to resolve it immediately in a few decisive moves.
    Untiring. Always active, he is ever mixing with people, rushing to and from. He can easily switch from one task to another. He works very diligently. He does not prefer one errand to another, all should be accomplished whether interesting or not. This is not something to be discussed or analyzed; simply the work must be completed. He appears very self-assured and self-satisfied, as if succeeding without effort in all endeavors. It seems like he acts promptly and gets good results. However, he himself might not see it that way, so he greatly appreciates sincere compliments for his work.
    For a contrast, here are some from Gulenko's descriptions...

    ESFJs also can show a wide range of emotions during conversation. They have very characteristic negative emotions, periodically showing indignation which can flare up without warning and which can die down just as quickly. Their negative behaviour often cannot be explained logically as they can create a drama from something that may seem unimportant. During conversation ESFJs pay close attention to the ethics and good behaviour of others. They like to give ethical evaluations and analyses on who behaved well and who did not. They also watch that the norms of politeness are obeyed. ESFJs react negatively to people who do not obey ethical norms. This is why others can sometimes consider them to be confrontational and difficult to live with. Many people believe ESFJs could be very demanding and tactless.
    ESFPs often react with aggression and hostility when others try to impose rules, limits or discipline on them. They also become very irritated when criticised for their caprices or illogical behaviour. They become equally irritated if someone attempts to question their behaviour or prove their irrationality.
    As I hope I have shown briefly, there is quite a bit of crossover among observable function activity in these two types. In the ESFp, the description mentions their desire to be loved, or popular. Most (if not all) types demonstrating Fi on a conscious level have this desire, even if it is a weak function. As functions can only interact with other like functions Ti/Ti, Fe/Fe, etc...we see that, for instance in the case of the INTp/ESFp dual relationship, it is the INTp's conscious desire to love (Fe), that reacts with the ESFp's subconscious Fe, that then evokes a feeling OF love in ESFp for the individual displaying the love (creating a relationship), who then reciprocates through giving the INTp what they desire, which are actions associated with Se (sex) and Fi (the ESFp has the ability to be extremely faithful to a lover if they themselves receive the type of love they seek, which is the type only INTps (and to a much lesser extent ISTps/ESTjs/and ENTjs) can provide). In the case of the ISTp/ESFp illusionary relationship, I has the good fortune of witnessing the relationship develop. Eventually it ended (fairly quickly), but looking at the two of them together, it was the ISTp's childlike emotional displays (such as telling her that he loved her (in an office setting no less) and little physical displays of affection like a child would make) that seemingly attracted her more than anything else. Of course without the other components required for complete dualization, this relationship was doomed to fail, but it nevertheless showed very clearly (in my opinion) the type of emotional character (Fe, childlike and innocent) that ESFps seek.

    Now, in the case of the ESFj, we can observe a very different type of relationship. For them, they do not seek people who "love" them. In fact, ESFjs tend to find people who have little "crushes" on them irritating unless they themselves provoked them. For them, they want to make someone love them, and in the case of an INTj, this is what they must do. INTjs (and ENTps/ESTps/ISTjs in a similar way) react very powerfully to those that love them. They, unlike the ESFj, will often begin to have feelings for someone who shows an emotional interest in them, even if they hadn't given the person a second thought prior. They prefer for someone to love them first in order to evoke an emotional feeling of a "relationship" in them (Fi). This is often a lengthy process (unless the INTj is very physically attracted to the individual (subconscious Si receiving positive input), but if anyone is capable of continuing the constant emotional barrage, it is the tireless ESFj. They will, if they realize that the INTj (or ISTj) is worth loving, pursue even against the INTjs often seeming indifference towards their positive emotions. They love a challenge, because loving (and therefore making others love them) is their area of confidence. Once they succeed, their target will begin to have feelings themselves towards the ESFj, and will therefore commit themselves to a relationship. But in order to sustain it, they need that constant flow of objective positive (or negative to keep them in line) in order to realize what their relationship is to the ESFj (Do I love her? Am I obsessed with her? Are we just friends? What do I feel?). The ESFj will constantly remind the INTj through her love for him of what "this" is, but if she stops, the INTj will, over time, fall out of love and discontinue the relationship.

    So, as I've been going on for quite some time now (I apologize for this), I will return to the original issue concerning conscious and subconscious functions as receivers and transceivers respectively. I hope that I have demonstrated to some extent (although certainly much further observation would be needed to fully prove the theory) that this is in fact the case, and that understanding the flow of information between like functions (Fi, Fe - Ti, Te - etc...) is something of great importance, and needs much more written about it by people smarter than me and with greater experience in the area. I would love feedback on it, and all criticism is much needed (and probably deserved).

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    Pedro the Lion said:

    How did you come to associate the ability to create a one with Ne?
    Extraverted and introverted have become somewhat distorted in their meaning, just like judging an perceiving has. Extraverted intuition is, from my observation, a perception of the "whole." Whether you like to call it a picture, puzzle, or pattern (as I like to understand it), it is nevertheless an ability to see the final product. For instance, an extraverted intuitive will view all sciences as inter-related, forming one complete universal science. Physics, biology, chemistry, psychology, etc...for an Ne type will be seen as part of one giant objective picture. Ni is the perception of the relationships between all of these smaller pictures to form the big one. Ne as a creative function manifests itself as the ability to unify the perceived smaller pictures (puzzles) in order to form the large one. Let's take the example of Einstein's (ENTp) theory of relativity. I do not claim to understand it the way that he did, but it appears that it was nevertheless formed from his own perceptions of patterns in euclidian geometry, patterns in mechanics, and physics that related to one another (Ni). His subconscious stored these perceptions, which his conscious Ne then unifed into a complete picture he called Relativity. Once he felt the picture was complete in his estimation, he attempted to create an understanding of this picture (Ti), "The Theory of Relativity." Did Einstein perceive intuitively that there were relationships between patterns in Euclidean geometry, physics, etc...that formed an even larger picture? He must have, because there was no empirical knowledge (Te) nor theory (Ti), to suggest such relationships. He made what most brilliant scientists make when breaking open a new scientific idea, an "intuitive leap of faith." But, at the risk of sounding like I'm attempting to trivialize the brilliance of Einstein in socionics terms, I'll stop there, but I hope you can see how Ne (as I've defined it) can create. In fact, all functions in my experience can create, they simply result in different products, the identification of which seems to be of some debate among typoogists.

    Also, how do you make the (Ne) red? I'd like to color my posts as the plain black gets boring.
    Use the "font color" drop down menu. Just highlight what you want colored after you right it and choose which color you want it to be.

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    Ne sees specific instances and creates a general schema to predict occurances. Ni sees the the general schema and derives instances from it. So in my mind Ne attempts to solidify the one wheras Ni has the one solidified and applies it to situations it encounters. I'll use a paint analogy, Ne is positive it takes an occurance adds it to another occurance and creates a general rule (red + blue = purple). Ni is negative it takes the thing subtracts that which is irrelevent to the situation and finds the instance (what is purple for all that is not red?; purple - red = blue). So Ne needs input wheras Ni needs 'deput' that which is missing from the whole.
    I don't think that you can look at the functions themselves as being negative or positive, but rather objective and subjective. In the case of Ne, it IS the objective wholeness. But, let's say in one case that the objective wholeness that is observed is white. White can be formed from the relationship between all three primary colors, Red, Blue, and Green. Ne would only be concerned with the wholeness, white, whereas Ni would be concerned with the relationships of the "lesser" wholenesses that created the final wholeness (Green+Red+Blue=White). It might, as you said, subtract a primary color in order to identify the relationship between the three primarys, but it in itself is simply concerned with the relationships between them not the final result, and how that perception process actually works is not for me to say (I don't know). Ne concerns itself with the final result. In so far as the concept of prediction concerning intuition, it, in my estimation, works like this...
    Ni will be able to perceive the relationship between red, blue and green in creating white. It will be able to perceive that if one of those relationships does not exist (e.g. Green is removed), then white will no longer exist, and something else will take its place (what we interpret as prediction). Ne does not concern itself with the actual relationship components of the wholeness, but rather it will know if a wholeness exists at all. If it does not, then it is able to recognize the possibility that a wholeness (or a complete pattern) is possible. The ability to recognize possibilities is also a form of prediction, but it is less specific and more general than Ni's ability to specifically target the relationships (or lack thereof) that caused the absence of wholeness. However, the placement of these functions in the individual's personality structure affects whether they are creating (or identifying) a wholeness (such as adding red, blue and green together to create white), or whether they are simply extracting (identifying) the internal relationships of an existing wholeness (identifying the red, blue and green compents of white). If Ni is in the conscious, it must have an objective wholeness (Ne) to perceive subconsciously, so that consciously controlled Ni has something to disect. If Ne is in the conscious, then it must subconsciously perceive the relationships between other wholenesses (Ni) in order to create a new one, if at all possible.

    By the way thanks for the color info although I still wish I had more variety than basic colors.
    No problem.

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    Dmitri Lytov's Avatar
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    I think that the terms "conscious" and "unconscious" are not exact to describe the difference between different functions of the Model A.
    Maybe I will need to upload functional descriptions of the types, and then you will be able to analyze them -function by function. There is only one problem - it will take some time. Maybe till the end of February, but I do not promise.
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    Maybe I will need to upload functional descriptions of the types, and then you will be able to analyze them -function by function. There is only one problem - it will take some time. Maybe till the end of February, but I do not promise.
    I've seen those "functional descriptions" and my opinion of them is that, although they break down which activity is associated with which function, they tend to not to be much better than the large overall descriptions as they do not trace the cause and effect relationships between functions that I think exists. I should also elaborate somewhat on the idea of conscious and subconscious, and how they relate to the functions within socionics. The idea of the subconscious and conscious are crucial to Model A., but perhaps the interpretation of them is a bit off, which is what I'm suggesting. That's not to say that Freud was WRONG (although many disagree with his theories), but rather that the most crucial characteristic of the subconscious, that being its "suggestability," does not seem to take as prominent a role in socionics as it ought to. That's not to say that it does not exist, it does, and it is a key component of dualization. One's 5th and 6th fucntions's suggestability to a conscious function of the same type (e.g. ESTj's suggestabilty to Fi and Ne in the INFj) is enormously important to understanding why we are attracted to our dual types. But, as I see over and over again in functional type descriptions, the 7th and 8th functions are more or less desscribed as "witnessed in our everyday actions, they help us cope with day to day matters." Freud and other psychologists would say, and I would agree, that subconscious activity greatly influences our actions. But, how does it do this? Freud said it acted completely independent of the conscious mind. I don't see how that is possible, as that would imply a sort of "duality in man" that doesn't fit in with what I've observed. To be sure it cannot be actively controlled, but it is perhaps not needing control at all because of its nature as the input side of our personality. If the majority of the time, say 90%, the subconscious is simply receiving information and effecting our actions only in so much as it will lead us towards situations that allow for more input, rarely outputting information, then it seems to me that while a powerful drive in our personalities, it is never the less passive and not needing to be controlled. I'll use a quick analogy...take the difference between an antenna on a radio set, and the antenna of a radio station...
    The radio station needs to be actively managed, otherwise the antenna will not produce. The radio set antenna is only receiving that which the the radio station is putting out. It does not need active management beyond being placed in close enough proximity where it can pick up the signals from the radio station antenna.

    So, in my estimation, I don't think it is entirely accurate to see the two as existing independently of one another. There is constant activity between the conscious and subconscious (I think most people would agree with that), not only on the individual level, but also between mutliple individuals as well (My conscious feeding your subconscious, and vice versa). There must be a place to send information (subconscious) and there must be something sending it (conscious), in order for either to have purpose. As I've said in the past, all of this may already be out there written in Russian. Dmitri, if this is the case, please show me where it is and I will online translate it into English and clean it up so that I can understand this in the way Russian soconists understand it. Or better yet, you explain to me how the conscious and subconscious acts within Model A. Are they completely independent of one another as Freud suggested? Or is the issue more complex than that, as I've suggested? I'd love something to work off of.

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    I command you to STOP USING THOSE COLORS.

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    I know a song that'll get on your nerves
    get on your nerves
    get on your nerves...

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    Default The Infosocial Model of Human Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by SFVB
    Ok, I will try, but I should add that my understanding of information metabolism, which is a good part of the socionics model, may differ slightly from what I have read in various articles on socionics. Here is how I was first introduced to it...The following direct quotation comes from The Infosocial Model of Human Behavior by S. Ganin & I. Atwell Copyright 1998.
    Do you think it might be possible to get The Infosocial Model of Human Behavior online or possibly make it otherwise available. I got the impression it would have been under the Files section of the Socionics Yahoo Group in the past but it is not there anymore. I have found Sergei Ganin´s comments to be consistently surprisingly insightful and his typing skills appear far more accurate than those of any other typologist known to me. Whatever he is doing, by God he knows his onions. As you must have noticed we are all much troubled by the dearth of deeper theoretical knowledge.

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    As it is copyrighted material I would have to get the author's permission. As he does not have it on his web-site, I assume there is a reason he does not want it published elsewhere. Sorry...

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    "Te receives empirical data. Hard, objective factual knowledge which it then stores for evaluation by the consciously controlled active function"

    It is not the function of rational functions to recieve empirical data. That is the job of irrational functions. Ne(t).

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    Very interesting thread!

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    Good observations, but they aren't accounted for in Augusta's model. More MBTI-like empirical observations which aren't related by an underlying model.

    Assuming a transcendent function, though, gives you the Ti/Te interaction bit. But did he account for the Te/Ti interaction...? That's one I bet he wasn't ready to talk about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSonic View Post
    I command you to STOP USING THOSE COLORS.
    lol

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