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Thread: INXp, but not sure which

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    I think feet have a lot to do with Si (but not necessarily valuing, just Si related in general)

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    Quote Originally Posted by senki View Post
    Thanks, Myst!

    I think you might be correct in your inferences. I am familiar with attachment theory . Luckily, over the past years (mostly based on the fact that I think I sabotaged some relationships by having this fatalistic attitude and not examining enough how it may actually be in part my behavior that led to such problems in relationships, I think I've become more secure and have really fought this fearful avoidant way in which I used to deal with things. I now actually let myself get into conflicts and risk losing relationships by being more open about my feelings or more communicative if I don't feel comfortable with how someone is acting toward me. Also have realized it's not the end of the world if something doesn't work out, but I think a lot of that is just maturity.

    I will consider EIE and IEI for now.
    This is cool! And np.

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    As for the topic of categorizing things: categorizing has to be based on sensible reasoning... so it does always mean something beyond just the name of the "label" itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Singu View Post
    So I think that there are always causes for something. It doesn't really matter whether you say that is related to a type or Fe or whatever, because that is just categorizing of present behavior or cognition, but it doesn't explain its cause. It's like you say this or that is type related. Now what? You're not going to be getting anything new out of it. Ironically, you're not even in control of it. Only by understanding the causal mechanism of something, then you can control it.

    You can neurotically categorize EVERY SINGLE ONE of your behaviors and cognitions, and you still won't be getting single new information out of it (unless of course, the causal mechanisms are already explained in that categorization).
    I agree, and I think a lot of behavior is just a mirroring of what's seen in the environment or as a response to the environment, like you said. Usually, I think I can understand why I, or others, behave or behaved a certain way, just based on what's happened to me or others, and therefore can set about fixing unhealthy or maladaptive behaviors if I have some understanding of how an experience has fostered that. Of course, traits like shyness, sensitivity, or boldness and openness can be inborn. That being said, (and I guess this has always been the problem I've had with these personality theories) is that it's always a 'what came first, the chicken or the egg?' type argument. When I read about MBTI type or socionics type, people seem to generally take the position that type is some kind of permanent and pre-ordained thing, but it seems so weird for me, because it doesn't really explain any kind of causal element, like why you began favoring certain functions over others in the first place. It sort of makes me think of nature vs. nurture debates, and it feels extremely murky for that reason. It's possible I am just not understanding the theory well enough, but that is just my two cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by senki View Post
    I agree, and I think a lot of behavior is just a mirroring of what's seen in the environment or as a response to the environment, like you said. Usually, I think I can understand why I, or others, behave or behaved a certain way, just based on what's happened to me or others, and therefore can set about fixing unhealthy or maladaptive behaviors if I have some understanding of how an experience has fostered that. Of course, traits like shyness, sensitivity, or boldness and openness can be inborn. That being said, (and I guess this has always been the problem I've had with these personality theories) is that it's always a 'what came first, the chicken or the egg?' type argument. When I read about MBTI type or socionics type, people seem to generally take the position that type is some kind of permanent and pre-ordained thing, but it seems so weird for me, because it doesn't really explain any kind of causal element, like why you began favoring certain functions over others in the first place. It sort of makes me think of nature vs. nurture debates, and it feels extremely murky for that reason. It's possible I am just not understanding the theory well enough, but that is just my two cents.
    Afaik you can have the influences of hormones etc even prenatally in the womb, babies are already born with a basic temperament, and then I'm sure some interactions with the environment in the very early years will shape that further and type is born from all that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by senki View Post
    I agree, and I think a lot of behavior is just a mirroring of what's seen in the environment or as a response to the environment, like you said. Usually, I think I can understand why I, or others, behave or behaved a certain way, just based on what's happened to me or others, and therefore can set about fixing unhealthy or maladaptive behaviors if I have some understanding of how an experience has fostered that. Of course, traits like shyness, sensitivity, or boldness and openness can be inborn. That being said, (and I guess this has always been the problem I've had with these personality theories) is that it's always a 'what came first, the chicken or the egg?' type argument. When I read about MBTI type or socionics type, people seem to generally take the position that type is some kind of permanent and pre-ordained thing, but it seems so weird for me, because it doesn't really explain any kind of causal element, like why you began favoring certain functions over others in the first place. It sort of makes me think of nature vs. nurture debates, and it feels extremely murky for that reason. It's possible I am just not understanding the theory well enough, but that is just my two cents.
    I think socionics tries to look at it as multi layered where like environmental factors can start to prevail, but if they go against individual disposition it can result in accents or neuroticism, but generally speaking every individual has a hardened core that cannot be remade at will. however their ability to adapt just takes on a certain form in accordance with their inborn preference, in the same way persons of other varying genetic factors can all adapt to be good at the same thing but in different ways. think pro athletes with different strengths and weaknesses, but all playing the same sport at the same level. when people get sick its when theyre in the equivalent of being out of their league based on factors beyond their control. it sounds harsh to "doom" someone to such a fate, as if it were a matter of our conscious assent, but that seems naive. in other words, not believing it doesn't make it any less true. however, at the same time, what someone can adapt to is amazing. for example I think any type could be a successful lawyer, it would just look different based on type--and isn't that what personality is after all? so i think the "solution" is not to say that people can remake their personality (although I do think it is perhaps possible to some extent) but rather to say all personalities can do most things. that way one is not "dooming" somoene to some kind of determinism. the kind of things a personality would be bad at would be things in all likelihood they dont want todo anyway, and thats the point, so they're not asking for favors anyway in trying to get people onboard with this idea they can in fact do anything. i think in the final analysis a lot of the "problem" is illusory, although kierkegaard would say despair is wanting to be yourselfand feeling you're not allowed, or not wanting to be yourself. personality is aimed at resolving that though not exacerbating it, in other words, the solution is not to redefine what you're capable of vis-a-vis a theory, but to come to terms with whoever you really are. jung would say if the "solution" does not sit well with you, and you're being absolutely honest, then its not right. hence people who are worried about being "trapped" by personality are really more afraid of simply being assigned the wrong one and feeling bound to it. if you find the right one it should sit well with you, and it should not feel like some kind of prison, thus the quesiton of whether it can be changed should not be a live quesiton is the person is being honest and healthy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myst View Post
    Afaik you can have the influences of hormones etc even prenatally in the womb, babies are already born with a basic temperament, and then I'm sure some interactions with the environment in the very early years will shape that further and type is born from all that.
    That's as far as I understand it as well. I read a book a long time ago called The Agile Gene by Matt Ridley that seemed to posit the same. In the book he explains how such conditions like Schizophrenia could be linked to infections that the mother has during pregnancy that predispose people to developing the condition. The general argument of the book was that genetics and environment interact to produce or 'activate' certain behaviors or traits. . .someone might have a propensity or the higher potential to develop certain behaviors, traits, or conditions, but the environment serves to activate them, or not. This is only one book though, and by now it's kinda old, so I imagine there are dissenting opinions which maybe I need to read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by senki View Post
    That being said, (and I guess this has always been the problem I've had with these personality theories) is that it's always a 'what came first, the chicken or the egg?' type argument. When I read about MBTI type or socionics type, people seem to generally take the position that type is some kind of permanent and pre-ordained thing, but it seems so weird for me, because it doesn't really explain any kind of causal element, like why you began favoring certain functions over others in the first place. It sort of makes me think of nature vs. nurture debates, and it feels extremely murky for that reason. It's possible I am just not understanding the theory well enough, but that is just my two cents.
    Well you're right that Socionics and MBTI don't offer any explanations for their assertions. I think the problem is that people (more like the theory) are trying to find the Truth with a capital T, instead of solving the problems at hand, such as "is it nature or nature?" "why are the people the way they are?" etc. Those questions can be potentially answered by rival theories and explanations, that do attempt to solve those problems.

    Questions like "are there 16 types of people in the world?" "does the world work according to quadra progressions?" are about attempting to find the Truth with a capital T. It doesn't solve any problems. It just becomes a kind of a dogma or a religious faith, a type of a conversion, you either believe in it or you don't, by saying "this is the Truth, accept it or don't accept it".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Singu View Post
    Well you're right that Socionics and MBTI don't offer any explanations for their assertions. I think the problem is that people (more like the theory) are trying to find the Truth with a capital T, instead of solving the problems at hand, such as "is it nature or nature?" "why are the people the way they are?" etc. Those questions can be potentially answered by rival theories and explanations, that do attempt to solve those problems.

    Questions like "are there 16 types of people in the world?" "does the world work according to quadra progressions?" are about attempting to find the Truth with a capital T. It doesn't solve any problems. It just becomes a kind of a dogma or a religious faith, a type of a conversion, you either believe in it or you don't, by saying "this is the Truth, accept it or don't accept it".
    Well, I think it's good to regard socionics and many other psychological theories with a healthy dose of skepticism (and people definitely do), and from what I see, a lot of the conversations that take place on the this forum speak to that and seem to argue against or support different interpretations of the theory.

    The utility of the system is clear, in that people categorize so that they may understand things and the world easier. I saw some posts of yours before saying 'the question isn't if there are 16 types of people in the world, but rather, what if there are 32 or 100?' I'm of course paraphrasing, hopefully not getting the flavor of your words wrong, but I think your questions are obviously valid, because it's true that you can't know what you don't know. Then again, like any other discipline, science included, we can only proceed with the information and knowledge available to us at any given time. . .for now, we have these distinctions and these categories (quadras, information elements, 8 functions, etc.), and people are just trying to work within that framework the best they can. Psychological theory and philosophical theory, at least how I understand it, is unfortunately by its very nature a lot harder to measure or prove in any sort of definitive or empirical way. . .so it's probably better to just toy with such theory in your mind and maybe take what resonates with you and apply it where you see fit. But yes, trying to find the truth with a capital 'T' using socionics is probably going to be relatively unfulfilling in the end.

    I think Myst does well when she says to just think of how you *usually* are or how people usually receive you and approximate from there regarding type. That works for me and seems like a straightforward and practical enough manner of using the theory. If some description doesn't fit perfectly, or certain behavior in which you engage seems to somehow contradict type, it could very well be explained by something completely independent from socionics, or at least something the theory hasn't (perhaps yet) taken into account.

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    Well what problem is Socionics solving, or what is Socionics hoping to achieve? It seems like nothing other than finding the ultimate answer of how every single persons in the world can be perfectly categorized into 16 types, with quadra progression that can perfectly predict how every single societies, cultures will progress in the future, with perfect prediction of every single human relationships that there ever will be, and of course how every single possible human thoughts and cognitions can be categorized into 8 functions.

    That, I think, is not exactly a very realistic goal. It's also not really solving any problems. It just wants to know the ultimate answer to humanity, it seems. It's like the Final Solution to the problem of Mankind.

    I mean, that also just smacks of creationism. Why should we start with the assumption that there are 16 types of people and 8 functions, and then trying to fit everything into this model? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

    I mean, of course, we all start with assumptions or theories. But the point is that theories explain observations, not that we try to fit observations to a theory. And if a theory can no longer explain something adequately, then rival theories or revisions that can better explain it are proposed. It's the Finality of this whole thing that's so problematic. It allows no further improvements.

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    @Dingu

    1) It provides hope. That people can have good relationships, and have a grasp on their own understanding of themselves and others.
    2) It provides a language and lexicon of concepts with which to communicate interpersonal relationship and personality dynamics with. For someone like me, I didn’t know “Fi”, aka inherent connections to others even existed in the world necessarily. Socionics helped fill in the blanks to my experience of life.

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    @Singu P.S. You should throw yourself down a staircase. For science.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Singu View Post
    Well what problem is Socionics solving, or what is Socionics hoping to achieve? It seems like nothing other than finding the ultimate answer of how every single persons in the world can be perfectly categorized into 16 types, with quadra progression that can perfectly predict how every single societies, cultures will progress in the future, with perfect prediction of every single human relationships that there ever will be, and of course how every single possible human thoughts and cognitions can be categorized into 8 functions.
    Is there anyone really using it for this, though? I think, in general, it's used to better understand the self and others, perhaps to isolate strengths and weaknesses and explain different ways of taking in or of seeing the world. I think there are so many question marks just inherent in the theory that no one, unless they were extremely misguided, would use it to predict the future of mankind and civilization or even just his or her personal relationships. I mean, I have seen so many people here saying things like dual relationships are no magic bullet, dual relations are not failproof, you can hate your dual, as there are outside factors to consider etc., etc. Just based on statements like that, I hardly think anyone is attempting to predict the outcome of every relationship with the use of socionics alone. I think people are maybe trying to determine potential for compatibility, but that's probably about it. There are a vast array of factors that could make people compatible or incompatible. . .I think most people would regard socionics as just one measuring tool in the toolbox.

    Quote Originally Posted by Singu View Post
    I mean, that also just smacks of creationism. Why should we start with the assumption that there are 16 types of people and 8 functions, and then trying to fit everything into this model? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

    I mean, of course, we all start with assumptions or theories. But the point is that theories explain observations, not that we try to fit observations to a theory. And if a theory can no longer explain something adequately, then rival theories or revisions that can better explain it are proposed. It's the Finality of this whole thing that's so problematic. It allows no further improvements.
    I don't understand exactly what you mean by this. One observes the environment and then applies classifications based on what he or she observes. It would be useless to to start the other way around, because then there is no theory, and we're completely open-ended and not attempting to explain anything at all. The second points you make about updating or proposing new theories if old ones seem outmoded and/or consistently not in accordance with our observations is straightforward enough and I can't imagine people disagree with that, but do people not do that when discussing socionics? People have come forth with rival revisions and expansions on the theory. I think you can look at something like Subtypes and the DCHN system and see that as an example. And of course, everyone here seems to be discussing their interpretation of the theory and how they believe it manifests in real life and so on. If anything, the real problem I see with the theory is that it's in a constant state of revision (maybe not in the sense of the literature, but certainly in people's understanding and interpretation of it), so there actually aren't as many anchors as people would like.

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    @niffer @senki

    It's like some of the "explanations" of an observation that you often see on this forum:

    1) Someone is seeking a "strong mate". Socionics would say that this is "Se seeking behavior".

    2) Evolutionary biology/psychology would say that this is explained by the fact of evolution, and how a female seeks a protector that would be required when she is delivering a baby and when she's potentially vulnerable, and/or by the fact of seeking the most promising genes (of course, this is just an example).

    So which is the better explanation? I would argue that 2) is the better explanation, for that it explains MORE, it's more detailed and it has more constraints. It also has universality and universal reach, and hence it's more "objective". Its basic behavior is consistent across pretty much all biological beings, such as mammals. Of course, there's the complexity of human psychology, and one can learn to love someone with "crappy genes". But there is still the basic biological desire of seeking a mate. But what about of people who are asexual, homosexual, etc? Again, that is also complex, but it can still be explained by evolution, and there are many theories on why there are gay people, etc.

    Of course, there is evolution in human thoughts and human psychology as well, and not just as in evolutionary psychology. Our existing thoughts are explained by the fact of "memes" and "replicators", the idea that our thoughts and ideas that we have right now had survived the competition of evolution, and like the DNA they replicate themselves. Like the genes that adapt to the environment are what survive, our thoughts that adapt to the environment (or thoughts that haven't being discarded) are what survive. Our thoughts are the results of what have EVOLVED over time.

    The theory of evolution is not limited to human psychology only, and it can be applied, and it's also consistent with, both biology AND human psychology, as well as pretty much any physical phenomena in this world. This is not to be confused with saying "it can be applied to anything", but it puts MORE constraints in each explanations.

    It's needless to say that the 1) explanation is so artificial and so contrived. It also has no universal reach, and hardly explained by the theory of evolution, which is one of the most universal explanations ever devised.
    Last edited by Singu; 06-14-2018 at 05:49 PM.

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    Evolution can’t tell me why I like twinks. Socionics can.

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    ...Good thing basic Socionics theory never claimes such crazy stuff Singu writes about. Maybe Gulenko and the likes do.


    That, I think, is not exactly a very realistic goal. It's also not really solving any problems. It just wants to know the ultimate answer to humanity, it seems. It's like the Final Solution to the problem of Mankind.
    I'm actually going to answer your post here - yes, this is a good point, some people seem to make magic out of Socionics. It's not meant to be that...


    I mean, that also just smacks of creationism. Why should we start with the assumption that there are 16 types of people and 8 functions, and then trying to fit everything into this model? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

    I mean, of course, we all start with assumptions or theories. But the point is that theories explain observations, not that we try to fit observations to a theory. And if a theory can no longer explain something adequately, then rival theories or revisions that can better explain it are proposed. It's the Finality of this whole thing that's so problematic. It allows no further improvements.
    Lol gonna have to respond to this too........ If we start with such an assumption and if we have a non-working theory without realizing that it doesn't work, the problem is not that we start from observation. The problem is simply not testing the theory sufficiently.

    I don't really see "finality" advertised in the Socionics model tho'. It's a testable model.


    Quote Originally Posted by Singu View Post
    @niffer @senki

    It's like some of the "explanations" of an observation that you often see on this forum:

    1) Someone is seeking a "strong mate". Socionics would say that this is "Se seeking behavior".

    2) Evolutionary biology/psychology would say that this is explained by the fact of evolution, and how a female seeks a protector that would be required when she is delivering a baby and when she's potentially vulnerable, and/or by the fact of seeking the most promising genes (of course, this is just an example).
    Lol not all females seek a protector in that way... And no, men can get injured too and the baby can be taken care of by other members of the group too and whatnot.


    So which is the better explanation? I would argue that 2) is the better explanation, for that it explains MORE, it's more detailed and it has more constraints.
    What you outlined does have constraints but it does not explain certain things better.

    *Newsflash* - evolution theory is very speculative too. There are quite some competing theories there, too. This one you gave is just one of them and isn't even exactly this simple (thank god). I have no idea why these oversimplified evolutionary theories get floating around, anyway.


    Of course, there is evolution in human thoughts and human psychology as well, and not just as in evolutionary psychology. Our existing thoughts are explained by the fact of "memes" and "replicators", the idea that our thoughts and ideas that we have right now had survived the competition of evolution, and like the DNA they replicate themselves. Like the genes that adapt to the environment are what survive, our thoughts that adapt to the environment (or thoughts that haven't being discarded) are what survive. Our thoughts are the results of what have EVOLVED over time.
    The meme theory is also speculative. And BTW I find it explains fuck all. I find it's the wrong level of explanation to say that thoughts replicate themselves like the DNA. What the fuck does this actually explain let alone predict?

    If it involved an explanation of how the selection process works (much like for DNA), it'd have more value to me...


    The theory of evolution is not limited to human psychology only, and it can be applied, and it's also consistent with, both biology AND human psychology, as well as pretty much any physical phenomena in this world. This is not to be confused with saying "it can be applied to anything", but it puts MORE constraints in each explanations.
    Constraints on Socionics model are very much applicable too.


    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    Evolution can’t tell me why I like twinks. Socionics can.
    Uhm same yeah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    @Dingu

    1) It provides hope. That people can have good relationships, and have a grasp on their own understanding of themselves and others.
    2) It provides a language and lexicon of concepts with which to communicate interpersonal relationship and personality dynamics with. For someone like me, I didn’t know “Fi”, aka inherent connections to others even existed in the world necessarily. Socionics helped fill in the blanks to my experience of life.
    For 1) I guess it helps me see some factors for that. And it did help me a lot yeah. I didn't personally need hope for this though.
    BTW for 2) I don't really like to use basic Socionics for such a language. It's a basic lexicon of concepts yes from which I've been able to investigate further but I found I had to extend that lexicon way further to explore interpersonal relationships and personality dynamics with, for myself anyway, adding in non-Socionics psychology things. The basics from Socionics are too unrefined for me now for those further explorations. But they still provide a good framework within which I can discover more information. And yeah not sure how I'd have started without Jung+Socionics for certain stuff because I never saw that stuff explained by it in any other psychology theory or anywhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myst View Post
    Lol not all females seek a protector in that way... And no, men can get injured too and the baby can be taken care of by other members of the group too and whatnot.
    We're talking about the specific behavior "seeking a strong mate", not about how entire females act. That can be explained by such an evolutionary explanation, which is a better explanation than just "Se seeking behavior".

    Quote Originally Posted by Myst View Post
    Constraints on Socionics model are very much applicable too.
    There are no constraints put on Socionics explanations, and that's why things are so easy to vary, like there's no explanation for why the number of types should be 16 and not 32, or why 8 and not 12 functions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myst View Post
    The meme theory is also speculative. And BTW I find it explains fuck all. I find it's the wrong level of explanation to say that thoughts replicate themselves like the DNA. What the fuck does this actually explain let alone predict?
    Explanation:

    It explains why we have the thoughts that we have right now: it has evolved over time, either inside of our own brains, or in our society. It explains that the thoughts and ideas that are useful to either ourselves or others have staying power and hence replicate themselves, in the same way that DNA does. Just like how the DNA and genes controls us, the memes control us in their ideas, such as ideologies or beliefs. We are the hosts, and memes are the replicators.

    Prediction:

    It's true that evolution can't predict what creatures will evolve in the future, that would be too complex. But we can predict retrogressively.

    Here's a list of what evolution had predicted:

    http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/c...o_science.html

    In the same way, the meme theory can predict that for example, our thoughts have evolved over time. This means that there will not be a single moment in human history where the knowledge didn't gradually improve from previous knowledge. There will not be a single moment in human history where our knowledge suddenly "leaped" or "jumped" from nowhere, without any previous knowledge that allowed it to happen, unless an alien civilization came into contact and gave them knowledge or something.

    And yet Socionics would look at the past history, and would say "this *fits* Alpha, this *fits* Beta, etc". That's a completely backward way of looking at things. It's not predicting or explaining, it's just fitting in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myst View Post
    If it involved an explanation of how the selection process works (much like for DNA), it'd have more value to me...
    It does explain how the selection process works. It works in the same way as natural selection does. In natural selection, the environment selects what genes to keep and what genes to discard. If the genes (that get activated) don't "work" in reality, as in it doesn't do anything or it's a failed creation, then it gets discarded. And then variation will be created through random mutations, and nature will select the best variation.

    So in the meme theory, instead of having "nature" doing the selection, we will be doing the selection instead. Any thoughts that are good and useful to us or others will be kept, and not useful to us will be discarded. Of course, just like viruses, not all thoughts are good for us or others. There are destructive, irrational thoughts that nonetheless have staying power, and hence they replicate themselves (such as dogmas and ideologies). And just like random mutations, the thoughts that we pass onto others will not be an exact copy: there will be slight errors and miscommunication, which will lead to more variation. Of course, we can also deliberately change the details within our thoughts. That still works the same way as in evolution does: we discard the thoughts that don't do any good, as in the thoughts that get criticized, and we keep the thoughts that do good.
    Last edited by Singu; 06-15-2018 at 10:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Singu View Post
    We're talking about the specific behavior "seeking a strong mate", not about how entire females act. That can be explained by such an evolutionary explanation, which is a better explanation than just "Se seeking behavior"
    Nope, it doesn't say why only some females seek the strong mate, the explanation is supposed to apply to all females. So the explanation fails.


    There are no constraints put on Socionics explanations, and that's why things are so easy to vary, like there's no explanation for why the number of types should be 16 and not 32, or why 8 and not 12 functions.
    There are constraints, you just ignore them. And I will not repeat my answer to why 16 types......... but btw who said that it means anything that it's 16? It isn't supposed to mean anything magical lol.


    Explanation:
    It explains why we have the thoughts that we have right now: it has evolved over time, either inside of our own brains, or in our society. It explains that the thoughts and ideas that are useful to either ourselves or others have staying power and hence replicate themselves, in the same way that DNA does. Just like how the DNA and genes controls us, the memes control us in their ideas, such as ideologies or beliefs. We are the hosts, and memes are the replicators.
    How is this not purely an inductive observation lol if Socionics is just that to you?


    In the same way, the meme theory can predict that for example, our thoughts have evolved over time. This means that there will not be a single moment in human history where the knowledge didn't gradually improve from previous knowledge. There will not be a single moment in human history where our knowledge suddenly "leaped" or "jumped" from nowhere, without any previous knowledge that allowed it to happen, unless an alien civilization came into contact and gave them knowledge or something.
    Again how is this not inductive observation if you call Socionics just that?

    Socionics noting that certain factors cause recurring conflict long term is the same as this with the statement that our thoughts evolved over time. Except meme theory does not even offer causal factors for it besides this incredibly general idea.


    And yet Socionics would look at the past history, and would say "this *fits* Alpha, this *fits* Beta, etc". That's a completely backward way of looking at things. It's not predicting or explaining, it's just fitting in.
    No, that's just how YOU look at it.


    It does explain how the selection process works. It works in the same way as natural selection does. In natural selection, the environment selects what genes to keep and what genes to discard. If the genes (that get activated) don't "work" in reality, as in it doesn't do anything or it's a failed creation, then it gets discarded. And then variation will be created through random mutations, and nature will select the best variation.

    So in the meme theory, instead of having "nature" doing the selection, we will be doing the selection instead. Any thoughts that are good and useful to us or others will be kept, and not useful to us will be discarded. Of course, just like viruses, not all thoughts are good for us or others. There are destructive, irrational thoughts that nonetheless have staying power, and hence they replicate themselves (such as dogmas and ideologies). And just like random mutations, the thoughts that we pass onto others will not be an exact copy: there will be slight errors and miscommunication, which will lead to more variation. Of course, we can also deliberately change the details within our thoughts. That still works the same way as in evolution does: we discard the thoughts that don't do any good, as in the thoughts that get criticized, and we keep the thoughts that do good.
    Nope this doesn't give any specific factors and conditions about the selection process. So to me this is really meaningless. With evolution theories, even if they got speculative aspects, these theories do specify such, I've yet to see meme theory do so. It doesn't say what determines which good thoughts get "replicated" and which destructive ones get "replicated" and so on. It doesn't say what gives them "staying power". With evolution theory, it does have the concept of fitness specified way better than this (with evolution theory being relevant to the whole science of biology, it's easy enough), I've yet to see meme theory specify anything like that. And so on and on...


    The whole meme theory is just wrong, wrong level of explanation, trying to explain cognitive processes by oversimplified concepts borrowed from biology (where these concepts are actually part of way more complex and sensible theories than meme theory). Just no.

    Note my problem isn't the use of biological concepts in psychology, but the way they are used, that's just wrong, as I pointed it out above. There are other theories that do utilize concepts from evolution theory (e.g. ideas about the selection process yes) for explaining the mind's workings and those are way better than this.

    When explaining how some neural patterns get created or how certain mental products or action programs generated in the brain may compete with each other, then use (in the right way) of these concepts do have a place IMO, with them actually being used in a real explanation, but when it comes to cultural evolution of ideas, meme theory has no explanation offered as to how that happens, it completely misses any factors about the psychological and the cultural environment inside which memes are supposed to exist and replicate, also, the idea that a thought or an idea has the same role as DNA is wrong too, and the concept of a meme doesn't explain anything other than just pointing out that mental products of the mind may change or may get maintained SOMEHOW in some indeterminate environment with minds as hosts.

    Let me sum up the basic issue here. The idea that we want to explain cultural evolution is ok, it is a valid topic, the problem however is that biological evolution theory is not able to explain how society evolves, and this is what I meant by it being the wrong level of explanation. In biology it's good because it does explain how living beings came to existence and survival actually is a direct driving force for living beings in the environment. It is also good with modifications for explaining some of the brain's workings. Cultural evolution however IMO depends on entirely different determinants, it's no longer simply about survival, it's more like an environment that's a product of the human mind as it psychologically works (its origins are of course biological survival but it's way past that now). And so what we need to understand is these psychological workings and what determinants that gives to evolution of ideas in society. Society overall does try to survive in the environment but societies on the whole have gone past just that goal of pure survival by now.


    PS: If you reply to this, please create your own thread on meme theory or something. I realize it's been enough off topic. Sorry to OP!
    Last edited by Myst; 06-15-2018 at 02:41 PM.

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