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Thread: The Flight of the Phoenix 1965/2004 (movie)

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    Default The Flight of the Phoenix 1965/2004 (movie)

    Did anyone watch the old movie "The Flight of the Phoenix" or it's remake? I got to know it after I read slideconsulting.com's "Who is the INTp?" which showed the character Elliott as a paragon of the ILI. I really liked the whole story, so I watched the remake first and now, the original movie too. If anyone of you knows them, I would like to hear your guesses about the types of the characters.

    Old Film: (some speak very little or aren't important so I left them out)
    Frank Towns
    Lew Moran
    Captain Harris
    Heinrich Dorfmann
    Sergeant Watson
    Dr. Renaud

    Remake:
    Frank Towns
    A.J.
    Elliott
    Kelly
    Rodney
    Jeremy
    Sammi
    Ian
    Liddle
    Rady
    Davis
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Plynex,

    I'll work on the list tomorrow when I can find a link to the pictures...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa33 View Post
    Plynex,

    I'll work on the list tomorrow when I can find a link to the pictures...
    No problem, I expected that very few or no people here have seen the films yet. You can take as much time as you want and you actually don't have to answer at all. :wink: But do you think VI is applicable here? I mean, they are all actors and play other personalities...
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plynex View Post
    No problem, I expected that very few or no people here have seen the films yet. You can take as much time as you want and you actually don't have to answer at all. :wink: But do you think VI is applicable here? I mean, they are all actors and play other personalities...
    I have not seen the movie either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa33 View Post
    I have not seen the movie either.
    Yes, I thought that, but maybe someone who knows one or both of them shows up here and shares their wisdom with us.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Default The Flight of the Phoenix: character analysis

    Hey!
    Sorry for getting back to this movie again, but I'm very interested in hearing your opinions about that if you want to. I found the script of "The Flight of the Phoenix" from 1965 and got the most interesting parts about one (or two) of the main characters. I'll summarize the plot if you don't know the film (which is probably the case):

    WARNING: SPOILERS EVERYWHERE

    The personnel of a oil drilling company flies back home in an old plane. They get into a sand storm and crash, the chances that they'll find them are extremely small. One of the passengers, a self-proclaimed aircraft designer, (Heinrich Dorfmann) develops a plan in which he wants to build a new plane out of the old one and save all. The older and more experienced pilot (Frank Towns) thinks this plan is utterly senseless. His navigator (Lew Moran) is undecided, he sees potential in Dorfmann's plan but also knows about the skills of his friend Towns. The story is mainly about the conflict between Towns, the pilot and Dorfmann, the young, technically-minded aircraft designer.

    Here are some important examples of Dorfmann's behaviour, they are placed in the right order according to the movie's progression: (it's a lot of stuff, but I guess this is needed for a good analysis)
     
    (After a sand storm right after the crash, the passengers and the pilot go out and see what possibilities they have to get help or to survive. One of them takes out a small radio and listens to music. Captain Towns takes the radio and searches another channel, but the connection is suddenly cut off and you only hear noise coming out of the speaker.)

    Towns: (tuning the radio) “What's the matter with this thing?”
    Someone: “Hey! Look at Heinrich (Dorfmann), will you?”
    Towns: “Hey! Shut that damn thing off! What are you trying to prove?”
    Dorfmann: (shaving himself with an electric razor, causing interferences which jam the radio) “I'm trying to remain reasonably clean.”
    Towns: (raging) “You think this is some kind of a picnic?”


     
    (Towns and Moran are talking, Dorfman walks by and smiles.)

    Dorfmann: “Gentlemen. I've been examining this airplane.”
    Towns: “You have?”
    Dorfmann: “Yes. We have everything here that we need to build a new one and fly it out. Now, if you would like to have
    a look at my calculations... I don't know whether you can read my handwriting...”
    Towns: “Are you trying to be funny?”
    Dorfmann: (honestly surprised) “What did you say?”
    Towns: “I said, ‘Are you trying to be funny?'”
    Dorfmann: (frustrated) “That is precisely the reaction I would have expected from a man of your obvious limitations.”
    Moran: “What's happening to everybody?”


     
    (Dorfman sits on a airplane seat outside of the plane and reads a magazine. Moran walks by.)

    Moran: “That an oil journal you're reading?”
    Dorfmann: “No.”
    Moran: “You're not in this line?”
    Dorfmann: “Line?
    Moran: ”Well, yes. I mean drilling. Oil.”
    Dorfmann: “No, I'm a designer.”
    Moran: (haughtily smiling) “Oh, really? What? Furniture? That sort of thing?”
    Dorfman: (serious) “No, Mr. Moran. Airplanes. I'm an aircraft designer.”
    Moran: (surprised) “Are you? Then you really meant what you said about, uh, getting this thing out of here.”
    Dorfman: (still serious) “Do you think I was joking, perhaps?”
    Moran: (respectful) “No, Mr. Dorfmann. That I didn't think.”


     
    (a mentally ill member of the survivors walked away to get out of the desert, nobody noticed it until it was too late. His chances to survive are very low. However, Captain Towns follows his traces to bring him back. Meanwhile, Dorfmann and Moran walk through the plane wreck and talk about Dorfmann’s plan.)

    Dorfmann: “You will see we have all we need - welding torches, steel cable,
    all the tools we will need.” (He points at some tools.) “For example, this here, it all looks quite adequate. Why were they being returned?”
    Moran: “Well, you know what engineers are like. They just love shiny new tools, especially if someone else is paying for them.”
    Dorfmann: “The prototype I have in mind would have to fly at the first attempt. To achieve that, Mr. Moran, requires a pilot of quite outstanding capabilities.”
    Moran:”Granted, this may not be the best possible advertisement... but Frank Towns is probably one of the few really great pilots... left in this
    push-button world of yours.”
    Dorfmann: (haughty) “Oh, really?”
    Moran: (emphatic) “Yes, ‘Oh, really'! He was flying by the seat of his pants in planes that were nothing more... than bits and pieces before you even went to school!”
    Dorfmann: ”That is precisely what is wrong. He has remembered everything and learned nothing. However, since he... since he apparently finds it necessary... to run off into the desert in pursuit of a lunatic who could be of no practical value to this project... the question is entirely academic. Don't you think so, Mr. Moran?”
    Moran: (angry, partially disgusted) “I agree. Entirely academic.”


     
    (Captain Towns finally agreed on the building of the new plane. He and Dorfmann are discussing the design.)

    [...]
    Towns: (slightly nervous)“Are you suggesting we string people along the top of that wing... like sacks of potatoes?”
    Dorfmann: (calm, eye-rolling) “They'll be behind fairings, of course.”
    Towns: “Never mind about the fairings. We got an injured man. The doctor says he can't even be moved. Now, y-you're suggesting we tack him on to this thing... and bounce him around like a wrangler in a rodeo?”
    Dorfmann: “That is not what I had in mind, Mr. Towns. With the material
    and personnel available... this project would require at least 12 days. How long did you say Mr. Scarnati might be expected to live? Six days?”
    Doctor: “Perhaps less.”
    Dorfmann: “See? The problem does not even arise. Mr. Scarnati will remain here.”
    Towns: “Why, you really are a miserable...”
    [...]

    (Same talk, later.)

    Towns: “Let me tell you something that makes nonsense out of this whole thing.”
    Dorfmann: (calm) “Please do.”
    Towns: “I'm not gonna give you the old veteran flyer routine. I just want you to know that I've been flying for quite some time now... and it hasn't always been for crummy outfits like this one.”
    Dorfmann: “I'm sure you've had a very colorful career, Mr. Towns... but that's not quite the point.”
    Towns: “All right. You know a whole lot more than I do about aerodynamics... and drag coefficients and stress factors. Okay. Your theory's fine. but you get this, mister. That engine's rated
    at (some number) horsepower... and if I was ever fool enough to let it get started... it'd shake your patched-up pile of junk into a thousand pieces... and cut us up into mincemeat with the propeller.
    Dorfmann: (annoyed) “I told you there would be no difficulty building this airplane. I also told you it would require an outstanding pilot to fly it. The only thing outstanding about you, Mr. Towns... is your stupidity!”


     
    (Captain Towns’ diary)

    We've worked at it two nights now... but Dorfmann's brainchild looks less like an airplane than it did when we started. And it's almost midday, and he's still working. He's right about one thing though. The little men with the slide rules and computers... are going to inherit the earth. And it's kind of sad that Dorfmann won't be there to see it. But then I guess he doesn't need to see it. He already knows it.


     
    (It’s evening. The survivors sit or lie inside the wreck, all of them are very exhausted)

    Dorfmann: “We're ready to proceed. Come along. It's quite essential to maintain our schedule.”
    Someone: “Ah, I reckon we've been floggin' a dead horse long enough.”
    Dorfmann: “We have work to do.”
    Moran: “Of course you're right, but... couldn't we just rest for another hour and...”
    Dorfmann: “Absolutely not. Come on. Let's get going.”
    Towns: “Before we start talking about who's gonna work and when... let me tell you something. Somebody's been stealing water out of this tank.”
    (almost) Everybody: “Stealing the water? Who in the hell would do a thing like that?”
    Moran: “Skipper, are you sure? Damn! How much is gone?”
    Towns: “I started checking on it yesterday. How do you like that? Now, I don't even want to know who it is, but I'm telling you this: If it happens again and I see who's doing it, I'll kill him.”
    Dorfmann: “It was me.”
    Everybody: “You Nazi pig! It was you?”
    Towns: “Shut up. Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”
    Moran: “You... You bloody fool.”
    Dorfmann: “In any case, I didn't steal it. I took it.”
    Towns: (surprised) “You took it? The people here could die for lack of water, and you took it?”
    Dorfmann: “Yes. Yes, because whilst you people
    have been sleeping... or pursuing your own ridiculous little interests, I have been working. And since I was working harder than you were... I also needed more water than you did. However, it won't happen again... because from now on we shall all work equally hard. Is that clear now?”
    Towns: “No, it isn't. But maybe I'm an idiot. Maybe you'll have to explain it to me. If you think being some kind of a boy wonder entitles you to other people's water... you've got another thing coming. Why did you have to steal it? Why didn't you just come and ask me for it?”
    Dorfmann: (laughing)“...because you wouldn't have given me any.”
    Towns: (shouting) “You're damn right I wouldn't!”


     
    (The plane is almost finished.)

    Towns: “Mr. Dorfmann, it's time we tested this engine.”
    Dorfmann: “I think you can leave things to me, Mr. Towns.”
    Towns: “No, wait. Wait a minute. I'm not forgetting you're the designer. But if you want me to fly this thing...”
    Dorfmann: "’This thing.' This thing has a name. It's called an airplane.”
    Towns: “All right, all right. It's an airplane. I'd have a lot more respect for it if I knew the engine worked.”
    Dorfmann: “The engine was running perfectly until the sand blocked the carburetor jets in flight. There's no reason why it shouldn't run as it did before. Unless you haven't cleaned the jets properly... in which case I'd advise you to do it again.”
    Towns: “Now, listen. Those sand screens are clear. And I've checked everything under that cowling pretty thoroughly. And if I'm to fly this machine, I'm gonna test-run that engine today.”
    Dorfmann: “If we start this engine now the vibration will put unnecessary strain on the whole structure. Furthermore, there are only seven cartridges in the Coffman starter. It could take four or five to start the engine... leaving us only with two or three when we are ready to depart. I imagine
    even you will understand that once we have used all seven cartridges we have no further means of starting this engine.
    Towns: “Any doubt about starting this engine... now's the time to find out.”
    Dorfmann: “Mr. Towns... you behave as if
    stupidity were a virtue. Why is that?”
    Towns: “Lew (Moran), I'm gonna run up this engine. Couple of you guys come up here and pull this prop through. And that's an order.”
    Dorfmann: (shouting) “No, you are not! (Dorfmann throws a heavy wrench in Town’s direction but misses him.)

    (After this argument, the work has stopped again. Moran wants to speak to Dorfmann)
    Dorfmann: “Leave me alone.“
    Moran: “Tomorrow's the last day. Then there'll only be
    what we get from the still... and that's not enough to keep us all going. Do you want them to fight over the water? Is that what you want? If we don't go back to work, we're gonna die. All of us.”
    Dorfmann: “Yes.”
    Moran: “Well, for God's sake, man. You're not a child, are you?”
    Dorfmann: “Go away.”
    Moran: “You told Towns he was behaving as if stupidity was a virtue. If he's making it into a virtue, you're making it into a bloody science!”
    (Moran leaves, Dorfmann starts to think about what was said.)
    Dorfmann: (walks out of the wreck, to the rest of the survivors) “I want to talk to you. No, I want to talk to all of you. Mr. Towns, who is in authority here?”
    Towns: (exhausted) “You are.”
    Dorfmann: “Very well, then. Since I am in authority... I have decided
    to finish this plane and make it fly. We shall now go back to work.”


    Thanks everyone for reading and typing.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Hmm my first opinion is that Dorfmann is LIE, Towns is LSI and Moran is some ethical type, most likely IEI. I will probably explain the details later, because I'm busy now, but the interaction is interesting. (Edit: I did some, in the end)

    Dorfmann is not a so realistic LIE, however, I think that he too irrationally attacks Towns without an apparent good and useful outcome, more like a Logical Irrational would do. On the other hand fine, maybe he tames him somehow, maybe he has in mind some sort of disciplinary plan, or something. However it did, it apparently worked till the end, Town accepted that Dorfmann is in charge.

    Note the typical Aristocratic behavior of Towns and Moran (not so very obvious in him), and Democratic of Dorfmann, I think this is the most obvious contrast between them in this situation, where expertise matters. Dorfmann is a guy who doesn't acknowledge "what belongs where", he's apparently a polymath and refuses to label a situation (and its mandatory handling).
    Maybe the most evident proof of Town's Aristocracy is when he says "do you think this is a picnic?" Apparently all the people except Dorfmann are overall ethically judicative, seeing, at first, things only from one perspective, which, to them, is inherent in the situation.
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    Thanks for your reply.
    I think we can safely say NT would be a good call for Dorfmann. In the movie he appears to be quite introvert in his behaviour, you often see him thinking, reading or examining the plane wreck. He only interacts with people to give orders or if he needs information, but mostly for giving orders. Dorfmann approached the others only once, when he presented his carefully elaborated plan to build this new plane. In all the other situations, Moran talked to him and persuaded him to get back to work. I guess LIE can appear quite introvert, too. Especially in the company of those who don't value their effort and underestimate his capabilities. He is very proud and doubts Town's qualification several times (which makes him extremely mad). It's more that he refuses cooperation sometimes just because the people are not doing as they were told. Towns finally gives up and gives the 'authority' to him because they don't have any other chances left.

    Moran, the co-pilot, plays the mediating role between Towns and Dorfmann several times and he abhors Dorfmann's partially unethical way of thinking, so I agree that he's probably an ethical type. However, without having a special evidence for that, Moran seems to be rather SF than NF.

    At some point, Moran and Towns argue about the fact that Towns is opposed to Dorfmann's ideas. The Captain talks about the people he 'killed' (during the crash) and that he doesn't want to kill even more if he lets Dorfmann build his plane. Moran said he was only self-pitying and just prefers to give up and die instead of takes the chances, the small they may are. I'm unsure about Towns' type, he appears to be the stereotypically leader, extrovert, sensing... maybe even feeling instead of thinking. He always pays much attention to the people's wellbeing (Spoiler 5).
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
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    I've seen this movie a trillion times. I think the German guy is an Alpha Ti type, and I think the pilot is a Te type. I think the German guy is fighting for everyone to trust his internal subjective logical ideas about what will work, and the pilot doesn't believe him. He trusts his experience as a pilot instead.

    OK I still can't figure it out

    DON'T READ BEYOND THIS POINT UNLESS YOU WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED


    I think this is expecially clear when they learn he's a toy plane designer and not a real plane designer, so that he has no experience with real planes. It's all his logical ideas about what should work, not based on even havign designed an actual life-sized plane before.
    Last edited by Slacker; 01-15-2011 at 07:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariella View Post
    I've seen this movie a trillion times. I think the German guy is an Alpha Ti type, and I think the pilot is a Te type. I think the German guy is fighting for everyone to trust his internal subjective logical ideas about what will work, and the pilot doesn't believe him. He trusts his experience as a pilot instead.
    Oh, really? How do you like the version of 2004? I like the old one better.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mariella View Post
     
    I think this is expecially clear when they learn he's a toy plane designer and not a real plane designer, so that he has no experience with real planes. It's all his logical ideas about what should work, not based on even havign designed an actual life-sized plane before.
     
    Yeah, you're right about that. I shouldn't leave that out, it was a quite important scene. I guess a wouldn't think he could build a plane if his only experience would be building model airplanes. Even if it's 'basically the same'. :wink: This attitude also has lots of imho.
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    Def. like the old movie better

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariella View Post
    Def. like the old movie better
    Yeah... I have to admit that it wan't even that apparent when i watched the new movie the first time, but the way the people behave doesn't fit the situation (dehydration, lack of food) in any way. It's totally ridiculous. Do you think the main characters have the same types as in the old one?
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    Movie character types can be affected by the type of the actor, like you can see shades of the actors' types as well. Or the director might want the actors to do something that wouldn't fit the type of the character as written. I have only seen the new one once or twice. I'm not sure if it was done differently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariella View Post
    Movie character types can be affected by the type of the actor, like you can see shades of the actors' types as well. Or the director might want the actors to do something that wouldn't fit the type of the character as written. I have only seen the new one once or twice. I'm not sure if it was done differently.
    Yeah, that's right. I think they appear to be quite similar, the 'new' Dorfmann (I read somewhere else he would be ILI.) seems to be even more eccentric, but they're acting almost identical (no surprise, it's still a remake) the director of the newer film even copies the previous appearance for this character.
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    You guys are right about that toy plane -> real plane. But there's a little big problem here: it is a (I assume Hollywood) movie. I mean, in reality it's IMO like this: indeed an Alpha NT would make that connection, as they use the principles to apply "microcosm" to "macrocosm" (or vice-verse), if you want. But what remains the real problem is the confidence that he's doing the right thing. Neither ILE or LII, IMO, would be so bold and self-assured - not to mention that Alpha NTs don't ask people to obey their plans in general - to claim that it will work. In fact no man would do, except someone who knows what he's doing there, he follows the good procedure (the how-to) - which is really incompatible with the Alpha NT style of thinking.

    So in my opinion, if anything, he is an LIE. Remember that Gamma NTs are very flexible anyway, and never miss the opportunity to put theory into practice (*all* the NTs are "why not?" people regarding this), so I really think that it's not necessary to be Alpha to do that; it's a stereotype. Seeing the matter through the perspective of real life, indeed is rather unlikely that someone whose experience is restricted to toys could try to do that (indeed here Alpha NT > Gamma NT), on the other hand the kind of person that would use anything known so confidently is someone who - somehow - knows what he's doing. Besides, IMO, it's rather atypical for an Alpha NT to assure that a such an experimental construction will work, so again, I point towards the LIE who's always doing "the right thing" and is confident that all the "details" will be solved, one way or another.

    If we have to make a connection to a possible real life case, it's of someone who has the studies but didn't get the qualification.

    Quote Originally Posted by related

    Besides these things, there are many other details that make Gamma NT > Alpha NT. Take for example his sense of timing. The way I know Alpha NTs, when you ask them about when to do something they answer something lie "well, whenever it is possible" - it doesn't normally even matter to them when, or in what order, you do each thing, would you agree?

    In fact focus on timing is what I find annoying in Gamma NTs: while ILI is a nitpicker when it comes to the requisites, LIE is resolute when it comes to the follow-up. A case from my real life, from your POV it might be invalid, as long as I might have mistyped them, but on the other hand I think it fits these Socionics types:
    I worked, among others, with an ILI colleague (she) and an LIE boss (he). When we had to deal with a problem, she was exasperating everyone with "shouldn't we first ... ?"; sometimes she was right/approved, sometimes she was wrong/dismissed - but the overall impression was that she was always trying to make up hitches, impediments, why we can't get the job done. It was like everytime we were hurrying to get to work she was somehow trying to curb our enthusiasm, while - obviously, considering her type - she was only trying to find out whether something won't work as planned. Indeed, some of her alleged "impediments" were merely trivial things that could be overlooked and fixed along the time.

    Now the LIE was different, he was stopping people doing some things and always changing priorities. When a solution was suggested, unlike the ILI who was trying to find out whether we have the requisites for the whole action, whose lack would make the solution useless, the LIE was rather focused on whether we'll meet our goal. For example, if the request of a client - often could be even something to satisfy the caprices of the SEE director - he could change the priorities, like saying "let's do that later, this first". He was focused on whether the goal will still stand in time, the most obvious gain was his first priority - sometimes he appeared to arbitrarily change plans on purpose, to show who's the boss, although I doubt that.

    Now my problem: I was focused on whether the solution will work or not - obviously, a complex one, this is what I'm talking about, otherwise it was trivial to make up our minds. It did not matter to me the ambiguities of if we *possibly* miss all/some our requisites or if we *possibly* will be forced to change our goals, especially because these were always changing and unclear. It is true that the usefulness of the solution was depending on these things, but on the other hand these things were dependent on the solution as well! Why the hell would we talk about the requisites since the solution might possibly fail, and why would we talk about the goals since we don't have a solution to them?

    You see, it's the same dependency from the perspective of Ti, of a static type. No one was right, just each was focusing on something else; they, as Gamma NTs were focusing on the timeline and workflow, I was focusing on the validity. It's just natural, Socionics! To me, a solution is useful anyway, if we confirm it/make it work, we can anyway use it later in case that all the rest falls in place; we can also keep it for other similar situations that may appear in the future.
    ---

    Now you may say all this Alpha->validity Gamma->timing may not actually apply to the scenario, but I think it does (I don't feel like reading the text again) and hopefully you will take a look on it. This guys sounds to be the *kind of person* who knows what he's doing and also someone who's natural with creating and giving directives to people, regardless of the realism of the scenario.

    In any case, even if this was only a detail that doesn't say much, my example is IMO educative and may refer to it in the future to point out the differences between these types, so don't mind it too much .
    Shock intuition, diamond logic.
     

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    That is a very good point, Bolt. The would be somehow missing if he was LII or ILE. That is probably because he isn't real, but he seems to combine and which actually isn't possible. Dorfmann is very demanding and wants the people to follow his orders. He is absolutely confident, but at the same time, he comes up with a plan which is extremely hypothetical and doesn't even question his qualification. I know from myself that I tend to simplify things quite a lot. I see someone building his own car/boat/whatever and I think, 'hey, I could do that, too!'. Or sometimes I actually expect weird plans (like this) to work just fine. My ISTp best friend is sometimes very annoyed by that. He naturally has a respectful distance to achievements of others in the most cases and doesn't think everyone could do that. But I often think it's just a matter of time, tools and resources.

    However, LIE could be right. But just as I said, he doesn't have this openness and outwardly activeness I expect from an LIE. But honestly, I don't know many of them, just one.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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