# Thread: How do I distinguish "dimensionality of functions" from functions themselves? For instance, Tm = Ni?

1. ## How do I distinguish "dimensionality of functions" from functions themselves? For instance, Tm = Ni?

How do I distinguish "dimensionality of functions" from functions themselves? For instance, Tm = Ni?

(Ignore the asterisks. I pasted from my iPod and it's adding weird formatting characters at the ends of paragraphs.)

So I'm slowly, gradually adding to my socionics knowledge. I've been going to wikisocion and exploring the secret, hard-to-find pages, and I found the page about "dimensionality of functions." This idea makes sense to me, and I'm excited to read more about it. Are there any articles in English that go into more depth?

However, I'm confused now and I'm changing my interpretations of things that I thought I already knew. I know that I can sometimes look at the future of my own life, and project a trend. I can say that if I keep doing X, my health will get worse, and things like that. I thought I was using intuition briefly, so, to me, it seemed like I was "using a weak function."

But now this "dimensionality" idea makes it seem like, instead of "briefly using Ni," I was just "seeing how IM aspect 1 (or whatever) changes over time." (How WHAT changes over time? The information stream? Your knowledge? What?) I might have been using the fourth dimension of my first function (Si) instead of using Ni. How would you distinguish between Ni and Tm?

Similarly, the "experience" (Ex) dimension might resemble sensing, no matter which type you are. All types are capable of seeing visual images, hearing sounds, and feeling sensations, etc, and that all becomes part of their "experience." Even when you read a book, you use your eyes to see the words. In some ways, "experience" (Ex) and sensing resemble each other. And it turns out that Ex is the last one you lose as you progress towards weaker functions with fewer dimensions. Everyone still uses their senses, or, at least, some part of their bodies (the brain is a physical body part) to interact with the world. When all else fails, you're still using your physical body to do something.

How would someone use Tm with Ni? Would they observe "how things develop over time" "over time?" This is starting to sound like Calculus class and derivatives (that was a long time ago for me!). How time changes, over time? What exactly would someone be DOING if they used the Tm dimension of their Ni function?

So anyway, I've believed for a long time that I was "temporarily using Ni" in those moments when I would look at the future of my own life, but now I'm wondering if I was really using the Tm dimension of my Si function.*

I once saw a blogger who I typed as possibly EIE. He wrote a post about becoming a vegetarian. He saw vegetarianism as "one simple rule: never eat any animal products of any kind," while I myself see vegetarianism as a complex, difficult lifestyle filled with hundreds of rules and information you need to know (how do you get the nutrients that you are no longer getting from animal products?) which is one of the hints I used to type him as EIE. The "one simple rule" to deal with an aspect of reality is a sign of someone's weak functions. He said from experience (Ex) that he temporarily stopped eating all animal products, and felt better physically for a while, and that was all he needed to convince him. But I was predicting that a few years from now in the future he would be going to the doctor because of anemia or something -am I "using the Tm dimension" of Si?

Do you "use" the dimensions? Or should I say some other word for what you do with the dimensions? Can you switch them on and off, focus your attention upon them, or what? How does one experience one's own functions' dimensions?

(My own "one simple rules" for Fe are: If someone says "How are you doing?" always say "Pretty good, how are you?" or "Not too bad, how are you?" even though you're NOT doing "pretty good" and the story of how and why you're not doing pretty good is something they don't understand and don't care about and never will. Meanwhile, expert ethics users can convey warmth or sadness or genuine concern or whatever they want to convey, while I myself am limited to merely conveying that I'm kind of sick today or I'm tired or I can't wait to leave work and go home - and that's if I'm feeling especially friendly and willing to talk at ALL about "how I'm doing.")

Anyway I got the impression from wikisocion that the dimensionality theory was well developed in Russia and that a lot of people knew about it and were writing articles about it. I would love to know more. This concept intrigues me. It almost seems like something a person could have control over, do something with, or focus more attention upon. I like knowing techniques that I can actually use to do something. (Look up Edward de Bono's books to see the kind of thing I'm talking about.)

I already know some examples of people who were weak at something and had to "follow a rule" instead of doing whatever was appropriate in the situation. I notice it most often with a couple of SLEs I work with at McDonald's. To make a long story short (note, after rereading this paragraph, I noticed that I made a long story long. Sorry.), we cook a lot of meat ahead of time and keep it in a heated cabinet and take it out when we need it. We should use the oldest stuff first to make sure the meat doesn't sit there for hours.*

But the SLEs will always "follow a rule" that somebody told them, something like "take the meat from the top tray and work your way down to the bottom tray." We have other ways of indicating which tray to use - you can push a button that makes a number light up next to the tray. The SLEs always ignore the lit up number and take from the top tray because some manager in the past told them to take from the top tray. They are incapable of doing something different depending on the situation ("Normally we try to go from the top down, but for various reasons, sometimes the oldest meat is in a different place, so you should also read the lights next to the trays, and then decide which one is oldest.") It's like they're more scared that a manager will SEE them taking from the "wrong" tray, because if the manager was standing far away from them, the manager couldn't see that they were using the lit up tray, because it's harder to see the lights from far away. So they don't want to get in trouble.*

But anyway it seems as though they are unable to use "situation dependent" judgments for Si functions (Si = It's very important to use the oldest meat first because it gets yucky and makes you sick when it sits there for four hours heating and drying out) and instead they can only blindly follow a rule that someone else gave them, and keeping the meat fresh and edible is of less importance than possibly being seen by a manager who might yell at them for taking meat from the "wrong" tray.*

It seems like they were using fewer dimensions of Si than I usually use there. They followed what they thought was the most important "norm" (Nm) but couldn't decide which norm was most important in the situation, or didn't care, because they were more concerned about their preferred Se function. *

It annoys me every time because I always forget that they don't bother to look at the lit up numbers and I forget that I have to do things their way and think the way they do in order to get them to use the right tray. I forget it because I dislike it - I dislike thinking about managers yelling at people and misunderstanding why people do what they do. (And by the way, they almost never yell at anyone for taking from the wrong tray. Our store has a very apathetic culture compared to other stores.) *

So is that a correct observation? Is that, or is that not, an example of someone using fewer dimensions of the Si function, in favor of using their preferred Se functions?

And are there more articles about dimensionality in English?

And when DO I use Ni for real? I'm still trying to figure out when I'm really using it instead of using the Tm dimension of my Si function.

Sorry, what was supposed to be a quick question turned into a huge blog-length post. By the way I might not answer back for a few days because I'm not using the Internet at home, I'm using it at the library and wi-fi places. * * *

2. High dimensionality seems to allow the processing of two multiplexes of information aspects simultaneously, making the comparison of ideas and states possible. It also allows that divergent perspectives on an information aspect be reconciled without getting all emotional about it. It lets you be objective.

In EM type terms, it means you can be competent when dealing with information aspects of that element.

3. I haven't come across any more information than what's on wikisocion.

It's been a while since I've read exactly what it says there, but what I got from it is that the experience dimension means you that you are minimally aware of that aspect. The norm dimension means you are sufficiently aware enough of the aspect that you recognize how others respond to the aspect and adapt accordingly. The space dimension means that you are aware of the nuances related to that aspect and can easily determine how to respond to it yourself. The time dimension means you are able to take your awareness of the aspect and fill in gaps beyond what merely comes to you which essentially means you project beyond the awareness itself.

The consequence this may have for Ni, for example, may be that ESxx types, while aware of how one event lead to another in hindsight, aren't inclined to let implicit consequences beyond what's physically apparent or what they can directly attempt to cause become a major part of their behavior. OTOH, ISxx are more inclined to adapt to conducting themselves in way that considers consequences that are commonly associated by others. For instance, if many people believe that doing x leads to y, ISxx will tend to follow the crowd in this regard. ENxx are more aware of these consequences and are quite aware of how things will likely turn out and are confident at acting according to their own evaluation of a situation, but they don't take it any farther than what they can come to be aware of. While they may see things as likely to go one way or another, there is always the possibility for someone to change that direction. INxx are more inclined to project beyond what seems apparent. They are more inclined to see connections where there are none, though that doesn't mean they'll always take it seriously. They may commonly make strong inferences about the outcome of events and see how all the variables are in place to lead to certain results.

Anyway, it's probably not exactly like that, but hopefully that gives you an idea about how dimensionality works.
My definition of Ni needs work.

4. It's easier to think of it as a mode of learning than anything else.

1-dimensional - Experience - is limited to case-by-case learning. That is, "experience" refers not so much to physical, or real, or sensory, as to instances. It doesn't need to have been "lived through" by that person, learning of something through any means counts. When a person perceives new situation through these lens, they're often wrong, as no two cases are the same, and often only understand it afterwards, in retrospection.

2-dimensional - Experience and Norm - is capable of deriving "rules" from instances. Those aren't necessarily strictly rules, or even formulated rules, the point is, it isn't really easily adaptable, i.e. it doesn't take circumstances into account much. So they're often "doing it right", but not "getting it", in a way.

3-dimensional - Experience, Norm and Situation - can not only recall instances and derive principles, but also be flexible with those to apply them to a situation. That is a significant step from 2-dimensionality, enough to consider the function "strong". Person appears good in this area, since they're no longer merely re-creating, but creating - and an unknown situation isn't a complete unknown.

4-dimensional - Experience, Norm, Situation and Time - ventures into realm of speculation. It helps with what was seemingly unrelated to what was learned, which leads to an impression of a "natural" talent sometimes. What it does is rather go off vague material, being capable of gaining a lot from very little.

For example, 1-d Ni would tend to be overconfident about the outcomes. ESxj is likely to assume situation will develop precisely as it they'd know it to (not necessarily in reality), or claim it's impossible to predict if they don't recognize it at all. ESxp can be similarly sure, except they're usually of the "let's go for it, it'll work out" variety, valuing Ni changeability aspect.

On the other hand, 1-d Fe would suck at expressions, body language, understanding others' emotionality except what they're really familiar with, Fe-DS being more likely to take it for what they wish (similarly to how Ni-DS often seem to think about the future), and Fe-PoLR to rant against its significance (similarly to how Ni-PoLR rejects "unproved", aka not-experienced, speculation on the future).

I attempted an example in the past with completely not-socionics-related ability to illustrate it, but I got no feedback on that, so I guess it doesn't work wonders. Anyways, here it is:

So when we're faced with an unknown situation, we're able to use what we learned via a stronger functions, because it's flexible and adaptable, but what we learned by a weaker one is useless in comparison, as in this area we need experience and familiarity with the matter first (which always helps, but it's an essential difference early on).

A really lame analogy (purposefully revolving around abilities unrelated to socionics):
1-d - learning how to draw a line with a pencil.
2-d - learning how to use a pencil.
3-d - learning how to draw.
4-d - learning how to represent an object.

The point of that pattern is, 1-d is most specific and 4-d most generic. You may start with learning to draw a specific object with a specific tool, but depending on the "mode" of learning (dimensionality) you effectively learn this, to use a tool, to draw in general, or the most vague yet widely applicable "creating a representation". And when you're faced with a new situation - for example 3d modeling - only the latter would be of any use to get started in the area, though of course not nearly as good as an actual experience.

So to 1-d, higher dimensions seem to generalize what's learned, to project it onto other things; to 4-d, lower dimensions seem too specific, not making full use of it.

5. Originally Posted by Aiss
It's easier to think of it as a mode of learning than anything else.

1-dimensional - Experience - is limited to case-by-case learning. That is, "experience" refers not so much to physical, or real, or sensory, as to instances. It doesn't need to have been "lived through" by that person, learning of something through any means counts. When a person perceives new situation through these lens, they're often wrong, as no two cases are the same, and often only understand it afterwards, in retrospection.

2-dimensional - Experience and Norm - is capable of deriving "rules" from instances. Those aren't necessarily strictly rules, or even formulated rules, the point is, it isn't really easily adaptable, i.e. it doesn't take circumstances into account much. So they're often "doing it right", but not "getting it", in a way.

3-dimensional - Experience, Norm and Situation - can not only recall instances and derive principles, but also be flexible with those to apply them to a situation. That is a significant step from 2-dimensionality, enough to consider the function "strong". Person appears good in this area, since they're no longer merely re-creating, but creating - and an unknown situation isn't a complete unknown.

4-dimensional - Experience, Norm, Situation and Time - ventures into realm of speculation. It helps with what was seemingly unrelated to what was learned, which leads to an impression of a "natural" talent sometimes. What it does is rather go off vague material, being capable of gaining a lot from very little.

For example, 1-d Ni would tend to be overconfident about the outcomes. ESxj is likely to assume situation will develop precisely as it they'd know it to (not necessarily in reality), or claim it's impossible to predict if they don't recognize it at all. ESxp can be similarly sure, except they're usually of the "let's go for it, it'll work out" variety, valuing Ni changeability aspect.

On the other hand, 1-d Fe would suck at expressions, body language, understanding others' emotionality except what they're really familiar with, Fe-DS being more likely to take it for what they wish (similarly to how Ni-DS often seem to think about the future), and Fe-PoLR to rant against its significance (similarly to how Ni-PoLR rejects "unproved", aka not-experienced, speculation on the future).

I attempted an example in the past with completely not-socionics-related ability to illustrate it, but I got no feedback on that, so I guess it doesn't work wonders. Anyways, here it is:

So when we're faced with an unknown situation, we're able to use what we learned via a stronger functions, because it's flexible and adaptable, but what we learned by a weaker one is useless in comparison, as in this area we need experience and familiarity with the matter first (which always helps, but it's an essential difference early on).

A really lame analogy (purposefully revolving around abilities unrelated to socionics):
1-d - learning how to draw a line with a pencil.
2-d - learning how to use a pencil.
3-d - learning how to draw.
4-d - learning how to represent an object.

The point of that pattern is, 1-d is most specific and 4-d most generic. You may start with learning to draw a specific object with a specific tool, but depending on the "mode" of learning (dimensionality) you effectively learn this, to use a tool, to draw in general, or the most vague yet widely applicable "creating a representation". And when you're faced with a new situation - for example 3d modeling - only the latter would be of any use to get started in the area, though of course not nearly as good as an actual experience.

So to 1-d, higher dimensions seem to generalize what's learned, to project it onto other things; to 4-d, lower dimensions seem too specific, not making full use of it.

6. Imagine flying in a helicopter. You can see ahead of you, behind you, with your mirrors, and down below. Perhaps you also have a map so you know where you're going.

If you lose your map, you no longer know how to get to your destination.

If you don't have side mirrors, you can't see behind you.

If you're not in the cockpit, you can only see what the plane is flying past.

If you have no windows at all, then it is completely up to you to either admit you are totally oblivious or to assert for yourself what is the meaning of your situation. (maybe you'll just take someone else's word for it.

Having the map is 4 dimensional thinking.

Flying without the map is 3 dimensional thinking. You can see what's going all around you, but it's not clear what in the immediate situation is relevant to the larger picture, unless someone tells you.

Flying without the side mirrors is 2 dimensional thinking. You can go towards whatever you like, but you're oblivious as to what else is happening around you.

Being the passenger is 1 dimensional thinking. You are just an observer watching the scene constantly change.

Being totally oblivious to the nature of your own flight, is below even the 1D level. 0 dimensional, like a point. Your values and idealism will ultimately shape your self-assertion of what your situation is. Alternative, you can be humble say you know nothing.

Or you might take someone else's word for what's happening. The word of anyone who can see outside the plane will suffice, but you'd rather talk to someone who understands the entire environment. Certainly, everyone at lower awareness levels is somewhat dependent on the people at levels higher than theirs, unless they are going to arrogantly assert the truth of the situation for themselves.

And is that not arrogance, to lack the humility to acknowledge that you have incomplete understanding of the situation, and need it explained to you?

7. The wikisocion pages that make this most clear to me are the pages that show each IM element in every possible position:

http://www.wikisocion.org/en/index.p...verted_sensing

With the "riding in a vehicle and looking at a map" analogy, it means, a higher dimensional function (4th, Tm) can see beyond the immediate moment and easily recall things from yesterday or possibly imagine what they would be like in the future. So you might imagine, and care about, and invest energy in, something you've never directly experienced but which you think might happen in the future, as though you're looking at a map and seeing the terrain ahead of you beyond the next mountain, or elsewhere far away. (I'm trying to paraphrase these ideas here.) If an Si thinks their health will get worse in the future, they might invest energy in trying to stop that from happening, even if it's something they've never experienced. It's just kind of hard for me to imagine how that Tm dimension might manifest in all the other functions. I'd love to see it on those pages that I put the link to up above. I can sort of see the Time dimension in my own strong function, but not in everyone else's. I'm taking the "Time dimension" literally as actually referring to something having to do with time, instead of possibly taking it as just a "fourth dimension" in a general way, because the words describing the previous three dimensions were literal, too.

@Korpsey: I suspect Adam and Eve might have also been black; you live someplace with a hot climate; and, I think that burned cookies are not good.

more later...

8. Earlier today I felt like I had more to write about this, but I'm still processing it, and I'm here at the library able to write, but haven't had any new ideas, so I won't worry about it for now.

One off-topic comment: About videos, I hardly ever get to watch any videos that people post, but if someone actually makes a video themselves, then I will most likely watch it. That is the reason why I was saying 'I watched the video.' @Korpsey are you an ILI? I want to learn to recognize them. I would actually like to see videos of ordinary people (not famous people) who have already been typed by someone else, so that I can see whether I agree with that typing, and so I can learn to recognize them when I see them, so you would be part of my mental 'ILI template' for future reference.

9. Really, what the time dimension means, is that you can evaluate consequences. Like an Fe-type person will be able to see one person's emotions change, and they will be able to infer the direct consequence of that change on another person. So instead they might modulate their own emotions to try to chart a path of greatest Fe. The map 4D functions use, is made by the function itself. Every function wants absolute predominance of positive aspects of its element. When it processes something, anything, it wants to be pleased by what it discovers. When it finds something unpleasing, it feels compelled to create a strategy for the transformation, which its 3D partner ultimately holds the key to.

However your take on the map analogy sounds like the conservative perspective, which sustains and avoids, rather than the liberal "transformative" approach to information. The 4D functions are special in that they can calculate positive transformations of surrounding aspects without losing ground. They are not liberal or conservative, right-wing or left-wing, but "mainstream". It seems like the 2D and 1D functions have to choose one way or the other though, and as such risk either losing ground or becoming stagnant. They always keep us guessing....

#### Posting Permissions

• You may not post new threads
• You may not post replies
• You may not post attachments
• You may not edit your posts
•