I'm in the mood to do theory. Who's up for serious theory atm?
Like, what the hell is Se? My operational definition is "the function that treats information as though it were sense perception," hence the standard decisiveness and forcefulness associated with Se. But it has to be deeper than that; that's just a stereotype. It's external statics of objects. So it's the most concrete function (well, actually, Te might be the most concrete function, it depends on whether you see the world as essentially static or essentially dynamic, and therefore which is the mental conception and which is reality. I tend to go with reality as fundamentally static and the experience of change as requiring abstraction---that is, the idea that one object is in some way the same even as it undergoes change; two experiences, though they are separated in time, can be of the same object. I see that Platonically, as meaning that one perceives that the two objects, although they have differed slightly; if they have undergone any change in the intervening period, which, at the molecular/atomic level, they absolutely have; as the same object, and therefore the two objects, separated in time, are related to the same abstraction or form, the same mental conception of the object in question. Now there's an area where you could legitimately do socionics-related research on how humans fundamentally perceive reality).
Anyway, Se is, if not the most concrete function, one of the two most concrete functions. What does this imply about Se? Does it matter? And then what about the idea of seeking experience? How do you derive Jung's idea of Se as the type that constantly seeks further sensory experience (in a very E7ish way) from the aspectonics of "external statics of objects"?
This may relate to a metaphor I've been using lately, which is the idea that a function "wants" to treat the world like it's preferred form of information, and wants to maximize the aspects of life that are like that form of information. The best example is Fe: the nature of alpha and beta social environments begins with Fe and builds to more and more Fe, in the sense that you keep the internal dynamic in motion. Fe-egos in a social environment like that are always keeping the energy changing: as soon as everyone settles down from one joke, you have to rush in with another. If you tell a story, it has to build, it has to start in one place and take you to a different place emotionally. Even the theater games I play with my very alpha theater troupe are all about keeping the emotional dynamic going (with an Si twist): you start REALLY BIG AND LOUD and then get really small and quiet, and then you get REALLY BIG AND LOUD again, and so on and so forth. It's all about the dynamic. Each function seeks to maximize itself.
Similarly, Se must in some way want to focus on more and more external static properties of objects. And what are the static properties? Well, the way it feels in the moment, the way it smells in the moment, the way in tastes in the moment. Beta STs, it seems, also find the Fe emotional atmosphere in some way part of the "fact" of the moment (analogous to the way that Te takes certain Fi judgments as established "facts"): the energy of the moment is an external fact, not a sensation of my own body.
This elucidates the basic difference between Se and Si, using another sort of general rule about the functions I like to use. I say the difference between two functions is in where they "want" things, in how they want to program their associations. So Ne-valuers want their mystery as far outside themselves as possible, and eliminate interior mystery as soon as possible. Ni-valuers want their mystery as far inside themselves as possible (one is reminded of Hamlet: "you would pluck out the heart of my mystery"), and eliminate exterior mystery with a quick, "Oh, what's going to happen is x, y and z. Can we move on?" Similarly, Se-valuers want all their sensations as far outside themselves as possible. Hence the desire for constantly new sensations, as a sensation one has experienced before is in some way part of you, or at least, is more part of you than a new exotic sense experience. Perhaps this is one of the main benefits of Ni for Se-egos: by changing the frame of reference (an internal change), they allow the external world to appear new again. And vice versa, by changing the Ni-ego's external world, they change the internal world, insofar as the Ni-ego has to generate a new conceptual framework for this new experience in order to discover more things about it (and tinkering with how one is to understand something, and what one experience brings to bear on another, is one of Ni-egos' favorite activities). On the other hand, Si-valuers want all their sensations as far inside themselves as possible. So they want an internally consistent system of motion that happens inside their bodies, a contained system that engenders positive physical feelings, feelings of contentment and comfort. A closed system, if you will, perfectly in balance. This is analogous to the way that Ni seeks a mental constant (i.e., extrinsic or Platonic form) to underlie change. Similarly, Si seeks a system that is not itself changed (no exterior impact) as the system changes insofar as it goes through its internal processes. A constant "way of being" that produces comfort. In other words, homeostasis. Ne brings balance by preventing stagnation, by ensuring that the system can see new possibilities for increasing comfort. Without Ne, Si-egos therefore have a tendency to stick with what they know, with what works for them, preferring a system that definitely produces comfort to that period of uncertainty between systems (internal Ni uncertainty, insofar as the uncertainty is to that which is at their core, their homeostatic balance). Ne patiently shows that making changes, incorporating new aspects, adding some things and taking away others, can produce even better results, an improved homeostasis if you well.
I sort of got carried away there.
Anyway, these are my ideas of late. Let's do some socionics. Doesn't necessarily need to be about any of that stuff above, but some of that rambling could be a place to start.