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Thread: Alpha and Gamma NT at CERN

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    Default Alpha and Gamma NT at CERN

    I've recently read a very interesting (and recommendable) book about the particle physics laboratory CERN, called 'The Great Machine' by Robert Jungk, a science journalist. He wrote not only about the project itself, he also gave information about the people who worked there. This was very interesting to me, because it seemed to be directly connected to the socionics theory of the two groups of NTs which were quite common among the particle physicists at CERN. He called one group 'Experimental Physicists' (= Alpha) and the other 'Machine Physicists' (= Gamma). It was amazing how closely these observations matched with the quadra values known in socionics. Due to the fact that these two are opposed quadras, it resulted in some conflicts. As an example: John Adams, (ENTj in my opinion) one of the most prominent persons who were involved in the CERN project and it's lead director for several years, was one of the 'Machine Physicsits'. He was mainly concerned with the efficience of the experiments at the facility and wanted results which could be used in reality. Other scientists were irritated by this attitude and feared they couldn't take a creative approach, as they wanted. They didn't want to think about resources or reasonable results. The best way to solve this clash of interests would be a reasonable compromise between both sides in my opinion, combining the best of both approaches.

    I summarized the facts in this little sketch:



    Would you agree with that?
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
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    High Priestess glam's Avatar
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    very interesting! seems like it could be a good example showing how people of the same Club are often attracted same sphere of interest, even if they do have disagreements over what's ultimately more important.

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    No I don't agree because gamma NTs also have if they (we) want to be "theorethically creative"; when you're an cutting edge physics research facility you can't afford being conservative, people will think you're useless. It seems to be more of a distinction between NTs and STs, if anything.
    Lev Landau, Feynman, Boltzmann, etc. these are the most successful gamma NT physicists and it's hard to see them as being interested in a conventional approach towards physics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by glamourama View Post
    very interesting! seems like it could be a good example showing how people of the same Club are often attracted same sphere of interest, even if they do have disagreements over what's ultimately more important.
    Yes, exactly. They do have the same interest, namely to get new insights into one of the most basic sciences there is. But their approach is still different.

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    No I don't agree because gamma NTs also have if they (we) want to be "theorethically creative"; when you're an cutting edge physics research facility you can't afford being conservative, people will think you're useless.
    Well, I don't say Gamma NTs can't be creative or won't accept risks. I also didn't speak about conservatism. My idea is, that Alphas rather prefer 'open end' experiments, where you don't have a specific aim. They just try to do something either to see what happens or because they think it could lead to an interesting result. Gammas, in my opinion, would worry about the money and resources, if they are reasonable and efficiently used. They also undertake risky experiments, but they tend to calculate how much effort they will take and what benefit they may bring. But this approach discourages Alphas. They just want to try and see. That's my theory.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
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    I just want them to find the Higgs boson already (if it exists).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    I just want them to find the Higgs boson already (if it exists).
    Oh wait, I think I even read about that in the book. Hm, that's kind of odd, it's quite old. How many years are they already searching it?
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaDoomer View Post
    Oh wait, I think I even read about that in the book. Hm, that's kind of odd, it's quite old. How many years are they already searching it?
    It was first conceived of in the 1960s, but to date no particle accelerators have been capable of generating the necessary energy to achieve detection. Fermilab's accelerator hasn't been successful, but technically it should be able to (if it exists). The LHC, being incredibly more powerful, will answer the question once and for all. However, it will probably take a few years before they've had the time to accumulate and process enough data to yield a meaningful result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaDoomer View Post
    Would you agree with that?
    Sounds right to me. Which group did you identify with more closely?

    Quote Originally Posted by glamourama View Post
    very interesting! seems like it could be a good example showing how people of the same Club are often attracted same sphere of interest, even if they do have disagreements over what's ultimately more important.
    This is what I was going to say, but then I saw that you had posted it, so now I'm just quoting your post and adding the following emoticon:
    Quaero Veritas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krig the Viking View Post
    Sounds right to me. Which group did you identify with more closely?
    Good question.
    Honestly, I could understand both sides. Many great inventions/discoveries were made because people just tried things out. Take Penicillin as an example. If the story I heard is true, someone forgot his sandwich somewhere and after they examined the bacteria on it they invented it. Sometimes, you just have to make errors and see how things develop if you actually try them in reality and not just calculate the result. But on the other handside, physics made great progresses until today. If you really want to find something new and not just rehash what's already known like a student in a high school, you have to invest much money, time and resources. And because these things are not unlimited in most of the cases, you have to plan and make the best out of it or your experiments will be nothing but wasteful.

    When I read about John Adams and Odd Dahl, a norwegian Physicist, I was really amazed what those people did in their lives. One of them (Adams) helped to invent the radar in Great Britain to use it against the attacking Germans during World War II. He started as a simple mechanic and worked his way up to be a top-notch scientist at the end who was even the person in charge at such a great project like CERN. The other one learned to fly (flying itself was an adventure in these days!) to follow a friend to a polar expedition. After that he drove through Mongolia with a jeep to do land surveying and similar things. These people have my highest respect and I think I'd also like to take part in one of those adventures. Not just a guided trip or something like that, it should be a genuine experience.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaDoomer View Post
    Well, I don't say Gamma NTs can't be creative or won't accept risks. I also didn't speak about conservatism. My idea is, that Alphas rather prefer 'open end' experiments, where you don't have a specific aim. They just try to do something either to see what happens or because they think it could lead to an interesting result. Gammas, in my opinion, would worry about the money and resources, if they are reasonable and efficiently used. They also undertake risky experiments, but they tend to calculate how much effort they will take and what benefit they may bring. But this approach discourages Alphas. They just want to try and see. That's my theory.
    It might be generally true, I see its functions-based rationale. I do still believe, though, that in such an advanced section of the field you necessarily need open-ended experiments. It would be different if we were speaking about the "average physics lab".
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    It might be generally true, I see its functions-based rationale. I do still believe, though, that in such an advanced section of the field you necessarily need open-ended experiments. It would be different if we were speaking about the "average physics lab".
    Sure, it's a difference if we talk about a small lab with 10 scientist or such a large facility like CERN. But you're actually grasping the point: You definietely need open-ended experiments to find something new. That's why they build larger and larger machines. But someone has to pay for this and this is the point where Gamma NTs start to calculate how you can make the most worthwhile experiments with a minimum of used resources. Or else your sponsor will just stop giving you money and you can't research anything. Their goal is the same and both goups always understand the point of the other, but they just have different styles to approach their research, which is not compatible if there are no compromises made.
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    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krig the Viking View Post
    This is what I was going to say, but then I saw that you had posted it, so now I'm just quoting your post and adding the following emoticon:
    I thought this was a very thorough and insightful analysis, so I will follow with the same positive and approving emoticon:
    3w4-5w6-9w8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    The LHC, being incredibly more powerful, will answer the question once and for all. However, it will probably take a few years before they've had the time to accumulate and process enough data to yield a meaningful result.
    If I remember correctly, they need only one run on the accelerator, but the calculation of that data will take about 5 years (!)

    I'm really curious what they will find out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    I'm really curious what they will find out.
    Yeah, me too. CERN is a very interesting laboratory because it's so large. Maybe they can create circumstances which aren't even possible in normal life.
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    It's apparent he's speaking of a few stereotypes, but not exactly of a quadra. The correlation isn't that evident.

    Some examples:
    Bold, generally true
    Italics, more or less
    Gray, not that applicable
    +, additional notice
    INTp (correlation = 44%)

    Efficient, reasonable experiments+, very organized and careful with resources+ +.50
    Spontaneous, freely chosen experiments, creative, leading to new, unknown results -.62


    INTj (correlation = 62%)

    Spontaneous, freely chosen experiments+, creative, leading to new, unknown results +.68
    Efficient, reasonable experiments, very organized and careful with resources+ -.44


    Depends upon the person and his/her variance in these which type of scientist he/she would care to be. It appears as though INTj scientists and then INTp scientists, to a somewhat lesser degree, should make up more of a percentage of experimental physicists than others. I think INTjs are probably better suited for being a scientist, and they would find their niche.

    Machine physicists in percentage come across as more ISTj or ISTp. Though the correlation is disputable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polikujm View Post
    It's apparent he's speaking of a few stereotypes, but not exactly of a quadra. The correlation isn't that evident.

    Machine physicists in percentage come across as more ISTj or ISTp. Though the correlation is disputable.
    Well, honestly, I would have rather put INTp into the experimental physicist and LII in the machine physicist group at the first glance. But then I could combine this information I found in the book loosely with the quadra traits, and then it made sense to me. Of course, the groups are not 100% correlating (as always) and I also wouldn't reject the idea of a larger percentage of sensing thinkers among the machine physicists. However, I strongly believe that the most are NT after all.
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    Very interesting thread. Seems to make sense also, and roughly correlates with where I'm working now. Alpha NTs are definitely the more creative ones, except left unchecked they can potentially waste a lot of time and resources doing trivial things, or "reinventing the wheel". You can't be doing that on a very large scale project like CERN where you have millions (billions?) of Euros tied up and people wanting results. Alpha NTs might come up with a half dozen things they want to try after something runs, but you can't run all of that. Perhaps Gamma NTs will help to narrow down which particular experiement "or two" would be most useful to run, giving the most benefit and potentially interesting information. Money, especially these days, doesn't just grow on trees and you can't be wasting time on this puppy with a less than useful experiement. There ought to be a very clear case for use/benefit of running a particular experiment vs another. Of course this will put the Gamma NTs at odds with the Alpha NTs, who aren't going to like being told that their experiment "isn't worthy" of being run, or maybe they'll see something that they think is important that the Gammas don't. So anyways I find the scenario very realistic and believable.
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    Thanks stevENTj, that's exactly what I meant. If you let both groups run their own lab it probably won't end well. But if you let them work together it may leads to conflict, but you get good results with reasonable costs at the end (given that the cooperation works). As I said, Alpha and Gamma are opposed quadras after all, so conflict between these two shouldn't appear to be uncommon.

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    It generally fits in with how I see the Quadras. Alphas are the most creative and come up with a lot of ideas. Betas are the movers and shakers that can get things to happen after picking up on an idea that may very well have come from an Alpha. Not all ideas are good though, which is where Gammas come in with their ability to judge whether something is good, useful, and/or applicable or not in the real world. Take existing ideas, and figure out what to do with them. Deltas meanwhile are trying to keep the house from burning down after sparks start flying. Delta-STs will be busy working on actually maintaining things at CERN where stuff breaks all the time, while Delta NFs will be trying to keep the Alphas, Betas, and Gammas arguing over what to do next from killing each other. LOL

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    Haha, nice analysis. I think there is some truth in it. In the book I mentioned above I read that people sometimes forget all the maintenance and service personnel working at CERN. In fact, the scientist only make up a small amount of people who are employed there. I'd be interested which personalities they have, but I guess it'll be nealy equal to the typical distribution as in the general population.
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    Any type can be creative and have new ideas, though NTs are the prime in these fields. Gamma NTs create more of a deep imagery for certain ideas, and ILIs especially aren't even all that realistic, they are normally quite distanced from reality. They just prefer their logic (a secondary validity) to match up to externally applicable and viable things, whether these be strange or normal, where as STs are much more primarily concerned with things being ultimately "realistic" and fitting the bill. So careful that you try to make Gammas into STs. Ni is all about the internalized development of certain themes which are more centralized to common imagery, basically a mirror of what reality has shown through unconscious synthesis of observation, thus why its inherently related strongly to imagination, and why Ni types basically can come up with new untried ideas that are closer to common truth and easier to amount to workable solutions (and nor do they always have ideas available that can be considered "realistic"). From what I can see this isn't exactly the same thing as being a "machine physicist." Alpha NTs are the same in that they come up with new untried ideas, but theirs are based around a configuration of system and technical knowledge and the various possibilities of use, and not primarily an imagination of processes, or much of an emulated but unverifiable source of knowledge. I generally hold the opinion that INTjs / ENTps will mostly be your scientists because of Ti. NTs > STs for experimental.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polikujm View Post
    Any type can be creative and have new ideas, though NTs are the prime in these fields. Gamma NTs create more of a deep imagery for certain ideas, and ILIs especially aren't even all that realistic, they are normally quite distanced from reality. They just prefer their logic (a secondary validity) to match up to externally applicable and viable things, whether these be strange or normal, where as STs are much more primarily concerned with things being ultimately "realistic" and fitting the bill. So careful that you try to make Gammas into STs. Ni is all about the internalized development of certain themes which are more centralized to common imagery, basically a mirror of what reality has shown through unconscious synthesis of observation, thus why its inherently related strongly to imagination, and why Ni types basically can come up with new untried ideas that are closer to common truth and easier to amount to workable solutions (and nor do they always have ideas available that can be considered "realistic"). From what I can see this isn't exactly the same thing as being a "machine physicist." Alpha NTs are the same in that they come up with new untried ideas, but theirs are based around a configuration of system and technical knowledge and the various possibilities of use, and not primarily an imagination of processes, or much of an emulated but unverifiable source of knowledge. I generally hold the opinion that INTjs / ENTps will mostly be your scientists because of Ti.
    You're really hard to understand. Could you please try using paragraphs and simplifying your speech.

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    @ polikujm:
    Well, it's a question of attitude and how you see this. But I think both groups, Alphas as well as Gammas will be part of the scientits in larger quantities than in the normal population. How would you see the clash of opposing quadras in such a context? I mean, what's the main issue of arguments in your opinion?
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    Alpha NTs can normally agree with one another on how a system works, because of their extensive researches, analyses, and attributions to theory, and they can find comfort in the idealism that "x is yet another good idea because it is logical and holds true all the same rules," and Gammas work well together because of their out of the box thinking, so one clash usually occurs when a Gamma NT holds a more or less rule-breaking, unexplainable and even fishy opinion based on a variety of seemingly unrelated observations, which are called baseless and as though one does not hold "proper knowledge," aka Ni, by the alpha NT which is accounted for them by explaining how illogical they are and the Gamma NT explaining how irrelevant their logic is, and these quarrels can go on. A good example of this conflict would be between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. Another side of the conflict, which goes to sound more in favor of Gamma this time, depending on how you look at it, is the Gamma's skepticism and foreshadowing proof that certain ideas won't really "do much" and that they are irrelevant to the more strategic qualitative cause of the company or "plan" as they see it, and then Alphas claiming them as closed-minded because they don't have as many good points and ideas. Oftentimes Alpha NTs wish they knew which ideas were most valuable so they could know what next to study, and oftentimes Gamma NTs wish they had the capability to synthesize the inner workings and relieve their skepticism. But still the Alpha NT takes pride in his cleverness, and the Gamma NT takes pride in his vision. There is no limit as to Gamma NTs ability to be great experimental scientists, only that Alphas will be more strategic in placing their numerous nodes of scientific development at the right times and Gammas will be more strategic as to what is considered a more important risk once they have the power in play, a priori (and so both quadras have equally detrimental but minor limitations to the experimental aspect.) At a personal level it does depend on what passions are held, being that Gamma NTs aren't really going to be as interested in a longer-spanned study and more technical and analytical field such as the Sciences that essentially deal in Ti. Though in likelihoods of the same clubs within similar fields, the same strengths and perceptions, NT being logic and creativity, but different egos backing up their arguments, different truths: the logically apparent (Ti) and cleverly opportune (Ne) vs the imaginatively unproven (Ni) and sensibly relevant (Te), there is going to be obvious debate as to what is right and wrong. Likewise, if all Alpha NTs were experimental scientists, there would be a lot of new applications and discoveries, with no real concern for prioritization, "let's create and make the world a better place." If all Gamma NTs were experimental scientists, there would be more question over what could been seen as realistically going farther, that is not if it is excepted and promised by public opinion, but if it is a great idea, with not as much concern for if it could actually be done professionally, but how to do it and at what cost. There is no strong reliable system for a solo-Te way of achieving goals, hence why there is conflict with Ti. In other words there is always kept in mind skepticism and a maneuverable sense of tactics, and the notion of "as long as we have a promising new plan, one hand-selected to go farthest, we will try our best to guide it." The point of the NT mindset in this circumstance is not whether something is known to be viable and the extent of the viability, but whether the idea itself is good, whether it shows great external impact (TeNi) or whether the system is cleverly deduced (NeTi). It is the NT mindset to put the idea over the reality. This is why Gamma NTs could make great experimental scientists, their imagination and sense of prioritization, but from my experience most science fields are home to Ti egos because of their logically grounded and analytical appreciations.

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    yea @ walls of text... I can't wait to read this.

    Please don't dumb your speech down though, if merky can't understand or doesn't have the patience that is his fault. I like to read walls of text, sometimes they are really interesting walls of text.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polikujm View Post
    So careful that you try to make Gammas into STs.
    In his defense, he's probably just following a recent fashion in doing so. I can hardly find a thread that doesn't involve it anymore. As if people couldn't think by themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaDoomer View Post
    Haha, nice analysis. I think there is some truth in it. In the book I mentioned above I read that people sometimes forget all the maintenance and service personnel working at CERN. In fact, the scientist only make up a small amount of people who are employed there. I'd be interested which personalities they have, but I guess it'll be nealy equal to the typical distribution as in the general population.
    Probably all sorts. ENFps, INTjs, ISTps etc, but they'd all have really big brains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aiss View Post
    As if people couldn't think by themselves.
    Do you think I'd just copy what I read in other threads? This idea was my own observation from the book and if it doesn't correlate with what you think is right, it is no problem for me. But I'm not following any trend here.
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