The Ring Model
The ring model of information processing is an important concept in socionics. Two years ago, I read in a science magazine about how artificial intelligence researchers had all the components they needed to create an artificial consciousness... they only lacked understanding of how to arrange them. I thought to myself, "How arrogant... socionists have known this for a generation."
It was Gulenko who, in the early 1980s, first proposed the ring model of information metabolism. According to the ring model, we use our functions in a very set order, and are bound by certain rules of transition between them. These same rules inform our sense of coherent writing: when writing does not follow the rules of information progression, it seems to us disjointed and unclear.
Typically, we choose a function to use via selective attention, and then engage in persistent thought about the object of our consideration until we have understood as much about it as possible, or until we lose interest. Then we turn our attention to a different object. We use our functions to observe objects from each of the 16 perspectives afforded us by function pairing, typically concentrating on a single object of interest in a "train" of related thoughts. People with ADD seem to have particular difficulty concentrating on one object long enough to understand everything others feel they need to know about it. Although we have only one object of "concern" from one moment to the next, we may think about objects which have similar or otherwise related information aspects to our focus of concern, and consider object relationships by such means.
The ring of information metabolism is akin to [i]Wheel of Fortune's[i] spinning wheel and dial: the wheel goes 'round and 'round, but never in reverse. Wherever the wheel stops, is what you end up with. However, in information metabolism the thinker is the one thinking, and as such, their thoughts and motives power them through the wheel of information metabolism with a force all their own.
The wheel has two sides, a front and a back. The front is called the mental track and deals with matters such as social cooperation and interaction. The back is called the vital track and deals only with matters private to oneself. Each track retains four functions, enabling the individual to deal with all eight information elements. According to Gulenko, functional dualization is the means by which one switches between tracks: there is a link between each function and its dual, a channel through which the pulse of thought can flow. We can only make conscious use of one function at a time, and this fact is plainly evident in the information semantics of our speech.
Gulenko claims that the vital circuit is characterized by low energy levels and as such, has an irregular and sporadic information flow. I barely understood his explanation and as such, cannot say much about it. (I blame my EM type).
The mental circuit's flow is numeric, from one function in the positioning order to the next. For example, INTJ goes from Ti, to Ne, to Fi, to Se, and then back to Ti again. However, there is something very peculiar about this progression: there is no "jump" from the Ego block to the Super-ego block, because unlike the tracks, the blocks are just arbitrary categorizations in as far as they apply to the neurocircuitry of information metabolism. Ego... super-ego... these things are lacking for real meaning, existing only as abstractions. (an amateurish attempt to link Socionics to Freud, more likely: not without modest merit, but not a slam dunk either). What does exist is a decision, conscious or no, to stop using the dominant function in favor of the role function, while still using the creative function, thus adopting the perspective of the individual's relational look-a-like. Rather than a ring, the mental track is more accurately envisioned as a square, where each side represents a different perspective and only one side is "charged" at a time.
Last edited by tcaudilllg; 05-03-2010 at 04:12 AM.
The square model of information progression has two modes, from low energy to high and from high energy to low. Different subtypes use function pairs differently. Producing subtypes concentrate on turning low energy into high energy; accepting subtypes turn high energy to low energy.
What determines whether a progression is from low to high or high to low is the dimensionality of the functions involved. Progression from higher dimensionality to lower dimensionality de-energizes, while progression from lower dimensionality to higher dimensionality energizes. The reason for this is social support: when moving from a higher dimensional function to a lower dimensional function, support declines due to divergences of perspective. An LII's ideas meet with less respect than do an ILE's, and an ILE's theories meet with less respect, at least initially, than an LII's. As dimensionality declines further, support erodes all the more, leading at last to a point where the individual is left with little confidence, and the choice of either choosing to follow society, or one's own heart.
4th to 3rd: Relatively painless until the produced content is introduced, at which point it is skewered by the mirror. The quasi-identical will also have something to say. Between the criticism of the mirror and the skepticism of the quasi-identical, the social limitations of the production begin to show. One is discouraged, but does not lose hope just yet.
3rd to 2nd: this is the beginning of the trouble. Support is not assured -- one feels as though treading in a no-man's land with little support. Survival itself is not assured -- the longer one utilizes a pairing of this type, the closer one feels to despair. The chief issue is that the progression from 2nd to 1st is blocked by social "can'ts" and "shouldn'ts". Energy feels wasted, blocked. There is inevitably a period of despair in this phase -- the young will despair completely and languish, while the adult will feel challenged to reach inside and find their determination to go on. The challenge is to transform "can'ts" into "cans" and "shouldn'ts" into "shoulds", but when engaging down energy from the 3rd dimension to the 2nd the ability to surpass the morass is not even observable.