Se and Si are both involved in the management of turf and territory. This is perhaps different from the
mainstream idea of Se being associated with territory and Si with comfort, homeostasis, etc.
The difference between Se and Si is that Se takes a masculine, active, yang approach to the acquisition
and management of territory, due to its quality of extroversion. Its defense of territory is proactive, and
it acts in a manner similar to the idea, "The best defense is a good offense." Extroverted sensing types are always trying to gain territory, because the extroverted elements act based on a positive feedback loop. That is why Se-based quadras (Beta and Gamma) often tend to have an acquisitive mindset. They feel a need to gain territory to protect the territory that they have. They feel a need to gain more resources to protect the ones that they already have. The more resources they gain, the more they can mtaintain what they have.
Because Se operates from a principle of positive feedback, in order to check and balance Se, it is
necessary to provide Se with an impulse that is equal in force, strength, or magnitude to prevent Se
from overstepping its boundaries. The idea of "mutually assured destruction" is similar to how Se
thinks about defense, offense, and territory. We don't attack them, because they would attack us if we
did. We don't try to hurt them, because we know they have the power to hurt us. If someone (or something) does not exert an impulse of Se of equal or slightly greater magnitude, Se will simply overstep a boundary without conscience, and it will have a tendency to call whatever allowed it to do
so "weak." The conscience of Se is gained by a variety of experiences that check the positive feedback loops and establish a static equilibrium in which the Se type does not exceed itself because it would be disastrous to do so. If one can imagine it, think of a bunch of "Se" points all exerting force equally around themselves, and reaching a static point at which everyone has the necessary amount of space or "Lebensraum" because everyone exerts the necessary amount of force at all times to maintain this static equilibrium.
When Se characterizes a sensory impulse as weak, its tendency is to offer a corresponding strong
impulse -- presumably with the intent of taking it over, supplanting it, or overcoming it. Because Se
operates on the basis of positive feedback, I suppose, though, that the intent of Se is to strengthen the weaker impulse by providing it with positive feedback. In Crowleyan terms, "As brothers fight ye!" It's quite possible that the intent is not pure aggression or an attempt to conquer, but rather to increase the strength of the weaker impulse so that it can maintain its boundaries, because it assumes that other influences operate according to the same positive feedback principles in the context of sensing.In cases where Se types do not feel a check or balance coming from external Se in other sources (or apparent other sources), their tendency becomes overstepping their boundaries repeatedly. Se wants to expand until it can no longer do so, because that /is/ their way of establishing boundaries.Si operates from a completely different principle, but is associated with the same context of the management of territory and resources. In contrast to Se, Si acts from the feminine, passive, yin
principle due to the introverted nature applied to the context of sensing. Instead of working from the
principle of positive feedback, it instead works from the idea of negative feedback. Si will note
"checks" on its territory before attempting to gain and occupy space. If there is no negative feedback
presented, Si will contentedly occupy a space and manage its resources within that space, only
expanding whenever there is the opportunity to do so that it cannot anticipate a check being offered in
return. As such, Si tends to occupy what some would think of as "free space," or space without a claim. Si ego types, for example, tend to not exert themselves in an Se manner so that Si superid types can have the opportunity to occupy space if they so desire. In other words, Si works from the perspective of "negative space." If there is no one else occupying this territory, I will take it for myself -- Si says.
Before continuing, a confusion must be corrected concerning the ideas of "yin," "the feminine
element," "introversion," etc. (These things are the same 'thing' applied to different contexts. The same
principle underlies all these different ideas.) One only thinks of the 'yin' type as being receptive--never
active. The "truth" of the yin principle is that it is 99% receptive and 1% active. That is, the yin principle exists in passive mode 99% of the time, and on very rare occasion (1% of opportunities), the yin principle will actually exert itself in a way that is muchstronger and forceful even than yang would
do so. (One can find examples of the truth of this idea by examining the differences in aggression
between male and female dogs. Male dogs are more consistently aggressive, while female dogs are
rarely aggressive, but when they do so, they are frighteningly so and more difficult to disengage.)
The problems that occur between Se and Si types do so because they conflict in their "operating principles." Similarly to the Si method of 99% receptive acquiescence in management of territory, with its 1% dogged acquisitiveness (or "striking" behavior), the yang Se element will switch in very rare cases to the inactive, receptive yin mode and discontinue defending its territory for very short periods of time (1% of cases). Se views the negative space occupied by Si as a legitimate opportunity for
expansion. Si, however, leaves negative space unoccupied to preserve it for certain cases (certain
people, certain resources that might be used in the future, etc.). So, when Se sees opportunity, it attacks
it and attempts to take territory it sees as rightly belonging to it -- because, after all, nobody was using it, so it's mine now, thanks.
Se can become angry with Si during its short "break moments" when it switches into a yin mode,
because Si then sees that act of no longer exerting force as a presentation of opportunity to occupy
space. Si moves in, and Se says, "No, that's not what I had in mind. Get out. This is mine. I was just
taking a break/having a rest. Why are you here?" Each of these modes contrarily assumes that they are acting according to their own principles instead of a different principle. Se thinks Si is Se. Si thinks Se is Si. So each thinks that the rest breaks or lack of occupying territory is in fact an invitation or
opportunity, when the offended party never intended for it to be so.
What people often don't realize is that, even though Si is about comfort, homeostasis, and often has the
character of the "yin" element, it also has a very strong, yet unoften revealed active mode that is
shatteringly more offensive than anything Se would attempt to perform. It's just that this is done reactively, often to defend the territory acquired in a negative space that Si then began to perceive as its
own. Si is, in this sense, kind of like that quiet kid who lets you fuck with him 99 times, but on the
100th -- complete apeshit. To this kind of behavior, in the context of sensing, Se says, "Oh shit, what
the fuck is this guy up to, he's fucking crazy!!!"
Instead of asserting boundaries by establishing an equilibrium of opposiing forces, Si carves out space
and only offers a "check" occasionally, which can be perceived as an opportunity by Se. If this space is
offended, Si responds with a catastrophic attack, not merely re-asserting the boundaries it claimed before, but going so far as to offend the space of the confronted Se type, imposing pressure far beyond
what it would use, as a way of ensuring that the Se types knows its place. Of course, the Se type does
not understand this sudden imposition of lightning force and pressure, because it did not perceive a
boundary violation. Se and Si do not set boundaries in the same way, nor do they preserve them in the
When Si superid types are in an Se-oriented environment, my guess is that they often feel as if there is "no space for them." The Se types in question tend to exert constant force with small, rare breaks in between. If the Se types see the Si superid type attempting to acquire space in that intervening break, they perceive it as the Si type being sneaky, selfish, etc., when in reality, the Si superid type is acting according to its natural principle and perceiving the break unconsciously as an invitation. In cases like LII and EII, that is really the only principle the types can act with. Especially for the introverted Si superid types, the result can be an unhealthy body. Si, because it acts according to negative feedback, remains at a low level of operation because it is constantly assailed by Se influences, when Si superid types operate best when being "left to themselves" in a sensory context, not having sensory impulses imposed on them. Si will repair itself over time if left alone. It does not need to be jogged or whipped into shape like the extroverted elements, which operate on external consistent positive feedback, require. And in actuality, attempting to repair the Si superid type with Se will prevent it from recovering. (And yet, Se valuing types constantly attempt to do this and become angry, frustrated, and hateful when their "attempts to help" do not work.)
Contrarily, in cases when the Si superid type (esp. LII and EII) does not internalize its supposed
weakness and devalue its own method of natural operation, there is a tendency for that type to assert
itself in those 1% or .1% of cases and do so catastrophically -- to the genuine surprise of the Se types.
That is the nature of Si, which is the only thing these two types have. Failing that, when the Si-only
type devalues itself, it does not assert itself at all and simply views the world as an evil, harsh place that needs to be "perfected." (Remember that Robespierre was LII.)
And when Se superid types are in an Si environment, my guess is that extroverts continually overstep
Si-consensus boundaries in a social context, because they feel that they were never “checked”
appropriately, or were “checked” in a way that was unpredictable and inapprpriate to them. In the case
of introverts, they operate somewhat more like Si superid types -- they never gain the necessary
positive feedback -- the clash of arms -- and they remain underdeveloped and incapable of asserting
themselves in the sensory context.
A lot of social disagreements come from conflicts on what contexts (feeling, intuition, thinking, and
sensing) need to be defended and which need to be trained. This disagreement is the essential conflict
between the quadras: this is up for grabs, if you can take it, while that is sacred and must not be touched. Also, contexts and cases in which people are supposedly needing to be "toughened up" or in
which they need to be protected from harm.
Analogically, the difference between Se and Si is like comparing ancient Imperial Rome and today's
Switzerland of the last 400 years, respectively. Rome, like all empires, sought to acquire territory to
make itself stable. And only if they could not take a territory would they acquiesce and occupy what
they then figured was rightly theirs. Switzerland, contrarily, is a small country, but extraordinarily well-
armed for its size, and historically operated a group of mercenaries for hire. I'm sure everyone has
heard of Switzerland's compulsive military service for men, the idea they have guns in all the houses in
Switzerland, if there's an active duty military member there, etc. No one fucks with Switzerland for a number of reasons. It's a nice cozy place where people keep their shit that has been stable for a long
time, but it is also well-defended territory without the imperialistic attitude in sensory context.
The Socionical/psychological/sociological dynamic here presented shows a pattern:
When Se switches into rest mode, Ni has the opportunity to go into active state.
When Si switches into active mode, Ne has the opportunity to rest.
(This formula applies to all pairs of information elements, e.g. Ti-Fe, Fi-Te, etc.)
This waltz, or play of active and passive modes, in the case of introverted elements, and resting states in the case of the extroverted elements, shows the dynamic of how the individual elements
themselves operate effectively and acquire resources. It also demonstrates how differences in
boundaries can be perceived, and illustrates why some people might be seen as barbaric, impulsive,
unpredictable, or selfish from the perspective of opposing quadras.
The inspiration for this thread was discovered originally by reading Hans J. Eysenck's The Biological Basis of Personality, and applying the idea of cases in which introverted and extroverted individuals are more conditionable, to the idea of resource acquisition and maintenance. For conditionability and stress resistance (resistance to conditionability), see my thread on amendments to Gulenko's concept of the stress resistance of types. This concept expands Eyseneck's view of conditionability differences between introverts and extroverts to a more contextualized perspective that comes from joining it with Socionics. People are either more or less resistant to stress in certain contexts -- not totally and completely resistant to or vulnerable to stress in all cases.
Considering the idea of "social layers" upon type, I figure that it's also possible for people to profess
that values contrary to their own quadra, if the social environment they exist in contradicts their native
strengths and modes. It might be possible to find an Si ego who supports Se, for example, potentially to
their own detriment. This idea is especially applicable to countries in which people live or local
geographical environments with a contrary integral type. These people will wonder without discovering
why they just can't succeed and get ahead, or they will succeed, but be rather bitter about what they had to do to get there. Ego types that profess their id will end up driving away duals and attracting
conflictors. Etc. People who are forced to act according to the superego will eventually learn how to do so -- but not really -- and will typically be unhappy, because the people they desire always get chased away by their antics. They perceive that they act appropriately (because they've been well-manhandled into a value that opposes who they are), but the interesting party looks at them with disgust. And they have no idea what to do to fix the mistake.These statements are by now probably common knowledge to most people into Socionics for any length of time, but I felt like repeating them to connect all these ideas together. (Could Hitler's Jewish paranoia have come from being born into a Delta or Alpha P family?)
I will potentially make threads in which I expand the ideas I outlined here for Se & Si to the other
information elements, if I have the time and interest in doing so.
The dynamics I've revealed in this thread are actually more complex and interesting than I've let on. Some statements are bound to be wrong, but the essential idea is accurate, I think. More important than anything else is this statement: it's all relative, and there is no wrong or right. This is just the way thingsexist. Perhaps you can extrapolate even more?
Thanks for reading!