Te valuing and being a bookworm?
Last edited by inumbra; 07-28-2008 at 09:28 PM.
Your DNA is mine.
I've been chewing over an interesting difference between the way my SO & I think & express ourselves, and I think it's related to j versus p. I'm ISTp and he's ESTj, so we're both Te.
When we discuss things, he may have a harder time calling to mind something that happened, but if it's part of his body of knowledge, then he can retrieve the information in a timely and (for lack of a better word) encapsulated manner. I can instantly call to mind a huge spectrum of associated data and impressions, but I'll have a harder time expressing salient pieces in a coherent fashion.
For example, he's in IT, with a specialty in network security. He can talk about it all day long, and make perfect sense. You get the impression that he's done a lot of reading, research and experimentation, and that his brain has categorized the results and written them as memories so as to be reliably accessed later.
I'm a dilettante, with skills, interests, and unexpected experiences ranging all over the place. I have better than average memorization (not exactly photographic, because that's specifically visual, and less than eidetic, but still good), but I will get fuzzy on specifics at times. When I talk about stuff, I usually let the other party pick the topic (at least initially), and then my brain brings up a mixed bag of everything even remotely associated with the subject, including seemingly arbitrary stuff. For example, if we're talking about giving directions to a specific place, I will remember everything associated with that place, lots of things associated with various points along the way to that place, other things I remember about having given directions previously, ways that I felt other times that I gave directions (to anywhere), times that I've talked about the way that I give directions, different cars I've driven in the given area and other means of transportation I might have taken (such as bicycle or walking), impressions of people to whom I've given directions to or with whom I interacted at the place to which I'm currently giving directions ... and then it will spiral from there across various tertiary associations to the time that my Dad, brother and I built a treehouse back in Powell, TN, and how 10 years later I drove past and it was still there, but 16 years later I drove past again and it wasn't ... to the Springer Spaniel we had as a pet while we were building the treehouse who like to try to bite our bike tires while we were riding.
What does the Spinger Spaniel have to do with giving directions? Well, in my brain, everything is connected to everything else, so in some ways, nothing, and in other ways, everything.
I really respect my SO's ability to cut right through to the necessary details for the matter at hand, but I'm used to the richness of my random associations, and I wouldn't trade!
Does anybody have ideas about whether this is mainly j versus p crossed with a common Te or if it's more appropriately considered according to other functions?
Originally Posted by Charles Bukowski
Interesting that I just went and read a thread that talks about thoughts jumping around, and there they discussed it being E versus I and/or Ne.
I guess I could clarify by adding that although my associations are random, it's less like I'm jumping from one thing to another than that I'm amassing my associations within my awareness according to the trigger at hand (the original topic).
And it's not that my SO's thoughts don't jump around *at all*, but that he can easily focus on the subject while seeming to keep extraneous bits from impinging on that focus (for example, he loves to make jokes by using pop culture references, and might imitate Evil Betty from the movie Kung Pao while talking about a firewall setting in order to make a clever pun, but he won't go on to talk about the movie or devolve into other imitations; he'll get back to talking about the "serious" subject).
He's told me that he dwells so little on the past that he often has a hard time recalling personal memories (unless he gets into a mode of doing so) ... whereas I don't like to think that I dwell on the past, but my experiences are by far my richest memories, such that even if I'm focused on an academic subject (like reading a nonfiction book), my brain will bring up not only what facts I already know on that topic, but also impressions of events and internal states (moods, etc) from the time when I received those facts.
Sometimes we'll both be reading, and all of a sudden I'll talk about something that has nothing to do with what either of us is studying. It makes perfect sense in my head how I got to that subject from the topic at hand, but from his perspective, he wouldn't follow the digressive chain to that point, so he'll sometimes tease me about it. Other times we'll both be trying to remember something, such as what a mutual friend told us last Wednesday, and I'll usually come up with it first, but I'll have to traverse this twisty path in my memories, allowing my thoughts to digress naturally until I come up with the relevant bit ... whereas even though he seems to organize his thoughts much better than me, it will take him longer to put his brain onto the correct track - if he remembers it at all.
It's as if writing our memories happens differently, and there are benefits and consequences to each. I get things confused because all my associations are quite so multiple (one time I was talking about the Reconstruction after the Civil War, but I kept referring to it as the Reformation - sorry, Mr. Luther!), but once an association is triggered, a rush of memories follows, and somehow I can very quickly sort through it all and get to salient (or just interesting) parts. Jon, by writing his mental data in such a coherent manner, seems to have less associations connecting the different categories, so if his brain doesn't happen to come up with something immediately, he has to intentionally traverse the likely ways to get around to what he wants to remember.
We're both intensely analytical, and we each have a lifelong love and habit of constant learning. But the ways we express what we know and/or think are *very* different. It's a source of great amusement between us, especially when we're discussing the same topic.
Originally Posted by Charles Bukowski