Archive for category Abstract
It is interesting noting how people behave in general and what they think of themselves as well as their ideas about other people. A person can be described as outgoing or perhaps even reserved though I think extrovert and introvert respectively sounds more appropriate in describing such types of character. It goes without saying that it is not a bad thing to be an extrovert or an introvert for that matter but it is imperative that each person understand himself/herself sufficiently enough to identify which kind of profile fits his/her particular disposition.
The following is a description of Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging (INTJ) kind of a personality profile. It is from typelogic.com and credited to Marina Margaret Heiss:
To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of “definiteness”, of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise — and INTJs can have several — they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don’t know.
INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion “Does it work?” to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.
INTJs are known as the “Systems Builders” of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play, as INTJs can be unsparing of both themselves and the others on the project. Anyone considered to be “slacking,” including superiors, will lose their respect — and will generally be made aware of this; INTJs have also been known to take it upon themselves to implement critical decisions without consulting their supervisors or co-workers. On the other hand, they do tend to be scrupulous and even-handed about recognizing the individual contributions that have gone into a project, and have a gift for seizing opportunities which others might not even notice.
In the broadest terms, what INTJs “do” tends to be what they “know”. Typical INTJ career choices are in the sciences and engineering, but they can be found wherever a combination of intellect and incisiveness are required (e.g., law, some areas of academia). INTJs can rise to management positions when they are willing to invest time in marketing their abilities as well as enhancing them, and (whether for the sake of ambition or the desire for privacy) many also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality.
Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ’s Achilles heel. While they are capable of caring deeply for others (usually a select few), and are willing to spend a great deal of time and effort on a relationship, the knowledge and self-confidence that make them so successful in other areas can suddenly abandon or mislead them in interpersonal situations.
This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. 🙂 This sometimes results in a peculiar naivete’, paralleling that of many Fs — only instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the INTJ will expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness.
Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to “work at” a relationship. Although as Ts they do not always have the kind of natural empathy that many Fs do, the Intuitive function can often act as a good substitute by synthesizing the probable meanings behind such things as tone of voice, turn of phrase, and facial expression. This ability can then be honed and directed by consistent, repeated efforts to understand and support those they care about, and those relationships which ultimately do become established with an INTJ tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.
There are various explanations to how life came to be what it is: from the big bang theory, evolution to creation. It would seem that at some point all these attempts at explaining the origin of life reach a point where is there an unknown and I like thinking of that as the creator of the universe (yes, I am deliberately avoiding referring to the almighty with the common name known to everyone). Ever wondered what that primordial state (of high density and temperatures that resulted in the big bang) was? Or perhaps who originated that state in the first place? In essence you might agree that creation explanation of the origin of the universe gets to the originator of that primordial state faster than the big bang theory or perhaps even evolution.
The Bible gives an account of creation in six days and there is no reason to doubt that these six days were not millions of years in the first place: our current understanding of a day is the duration of time the earth takes to rotate once on its axis but at the time of creation there was no earth to talk about let alone the sun.
So, the universe was created by a supreme being in however long it (I don’t know the gender of God) took to create the universe. Are you getting the impression that the creator must be one powerful being: its intelligence must be off the charts and such minor inconveniences such as time and space don’t make much sense to it. Yesterday, tomorrow, today and in this moment and eternal moment can all mean the same thing at the same time or different things at the same time. How about that omnipresence? Here, there, somewhere and everywhere all can be the same place or even different places that are not so different. Wouldn’t it be cool to say something like I am going to THE place called “NOT HERE”?
To be a master of an entire creation (living and non-living, matter and anti-matter and all the other stuff that we still have no clue about) must be one boring experience I reckon. Don’t get me wrong, the power is awesome but there is practically no challenge: there is no difference in the notion of yesterday, today and tomorrow and this means that there is nothing that needed to have been known yesterday and something you are finding out today or perhaps something you will find out in the future. Knowledge about everything is known now or perhaps independent of time: what God knows is not tied to the passing of time or perhaps even more clearly it is not tied to the existence of time.
Each of us, as human beings, celebrate or at least mark the time we came into this world and the various events that mark key milestones in our struggle through life. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow but we look forward to tomorrow based on faith and more often than not (at least for those who have lived long enough), we forget what we have experienced in the past and for the now and here, our limitations as beings that possess material aspects mean that we can not experience a moment in its complete entirety so that we can say that we have experienced a second in its entirety: we have blinked and looked at the same time! Our shackles to temporal and physical limitations define the basis of our experience as human beings and perhaps without these limitations life, as we know it, would have much different and even more complicated meaning. Oh, don’t forget that after all these we still hope (at least for those who believe in its existence) to continue living forever (be it in heaven or in hell).
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed: if we, as human beings, are made of matter and and form (soul) and it is acceptable to assume that both are made of energy then the possibility of life after death is not so remote. It just boils down to transferring these forms of energy (matter which invariably decomposes and well the soul, as a form of energy, can’t just cease to be) into other forms of energy.
An innovation by its very nature is targeted at a particular problem and as such it can be viewed as a solution to a problem. From a broader perspective, there has been a tremendous amount of innovation from the past and these innovations continue to yield advances in various fields even sometimes creating new disciplines all together. A problem is circumstance specific in a sense what one person or perhaps society defines as problem is not a problem to another person or society. This has the implications that not all solutions can be universally applied to all the problems there are. Perhaps of greater concern is the fact that solving a problem is not necessarily the end of the story but instead there is a great possibility that today’s solutions will form the basis of a problem that will need a solution in the future.
The engineering disciplines have a set of rules that all professionals in the field follow in order to develop and implement solutions to problems. While these principles are an abstraction of best practices based on experience in the past, they also take into account the context within which they are applied. The effect of this understanding is that engineers need to understand their context when they think of solutions to problems; this makes sense because there are advantages in the environment that will make the solution long lasting and even less disruptive to its surrounding. Though it is sometimes necessary to disrupt an environment in order to introduce advances but generally people are not inclined to take up any radical and sudden change in how they approach life. A successful problem solver thinks outside the box and is also aware of the box that he/she is in and in combining these two views come up with the most appropriate solution to the problem at hand.
I am fascinated by human beings as individuals and persons; what they think of themselves and their seemingly contradictory capacity to be brilliantly beautiful and malicious without skipping a heart beat. I think ultimately what makes an individual is how he/she perceives himself/herself and this can broadly be grouped into introverts and extroverts. While the grouping makes for easier classification it is hardly clear cut: there are those introverts who will act as an extrovert would in a particular setting e.g in the company of friends or people they can identify with and an extrovert in the presence of a situation dominated by introvert may have to act differently as well. Given that this is human behavior I am discussing here, there are an infinite number of variations that can arise in settings that involve extroverts and introverts (in varying numbers) as well as settings in which extroverts or introverts are by themselves.
It would be acceptable to posit that every human acts from a foundation of principles and values in which they believe. These values are influenced by the society and the prevalent believe system that is in place but in this day and age of information exposure to other societies (and their respective believe systems) would also play a key role. I have come to realize that not everyone has an idea of their principles and their values – not explicitly anyway and this does not stop an individual from wanting to make the rest of the world believe and act in the same manner as he/she would. This of course is not a bad end to desire – it makes it easier for the individual to cope with life and even perhaps feel his or her own value in the group (which is ultimately the society).
One of the better indicators of one’s principles and value systems is perhaps a person’s intentions when he/she makes a decision and thus carries out an action as a result. The intention of a decision can be malicious or benevolent and the decision as to which is which boils down to a person’s perception and what his believes and principles are. Hold on, I am not going in circle here (I think): the intention (and its interpretation) indicates a persons believe system. Ethics 101 indicate that the object that will be affected by the intention of an action or decision provides sufficient understanding of whether the desired end (arising from intention) is malicious or good: as they say the means justifies the end.
Ethics has always been one of those strange disciplines in my thinking: it is good to espouse such grand ideals such as the end justifies the means but the main actor in all these is a human being. Like I mentioned earlier, a human being is sufficiently complicated and from this seeming complexity comes the individual’s unique (as him or her aside from others) but shared (similar to all other human beings) identity. When the intention of an action is applied in the context of non-human objects, then the decision is mostly straight forward but when the "object" so to speak is a human being then the situation becomes incredibly complicated. In most judicial systems in the world, there is an understanding of justifiable homicide which would mostly accommodate instance of self-defense but we all believe that we are human beings and it is bad to kill a person. So, if a person feels threatened he/she is likely to react in such a manner as to defend himself or herself and this feeling of threat is a personal matter: the way one person perceives threat is significantly different from what others might believe to be a threat. So if the intention of an action that will affect another person is a perceived as a threat then the situation is likely to get out of hand quickly. Let me digress a bit: I was watching Episode 4 of the 6th season of the Dead Zone in which a dumb character was jailed for 10 years for a murder that he didn’t commit. And it seem through his entire ordeal nobody seemed to properly interpret his intentions … How difficult is it to interpret the intentions and motives of a handicap person? The best answer I could give you is that it is not easy but at the same time I don’t think it is impossible either – my siblings seem to do it quite well … end digression 🙂
Informally, I track the intentions of the people I interact with in order to get an appreciation of their principles and value systems. It is not a scientific process but it also makes it easier for me to decide on how I engage with people. I have come across people who have the tendency to say what they don’t mean and have no intention of following through with: this of course introduces fundamental problem in understanding the intentions of such a person with regard to any effective actions he/she might take. For example in making appointments: I have had people who agreed to meet with me on a particular date and place but without any cancellation (or has it happened in one unforgettable instance cancellation on the exact time the appointment was suppose to be) choose not to show up. So my question always something like this: why would you agree to an appointment that you have no intention (deliberate or otherwise) of showing up for? Though, I am hardly that senior but I believe there was a time when a person’s word has value attached to it. In these times we have contracts being of higher importance because they carry penalties which are more often than not monetary in one way or another. On the other hand saying what you mean and meaning what you say has the penalty of credibility on your character – your seeming inability to mean what you say and say what you mean can lead to conclusions of being unreliable which means that the trust that you can be afforded will be less.
To claim an ability to understand a person’s intentions on each occasion would be wishful thinking; to address this short coming, I believe it is much better to request that a person explain his or her intentions. In my experience, this has not worked out and I am in the process of coming to an understanding of this. One possibility is that the persons I have requested to give me an explanation of their intention are not entirely sure of what it was that they wanted to achieve. The other more plausible explanation is that the manner in which I interpret their intention is significantly different from the assumptions they used: they always seem to overlook a crucial bit of information which would have made them make a different choice. This is something that puts a big grin on my face: a while back I asked someone to explain why she didn’t show for an appointment … within the first paragraph I was being told "I am not sorry I stood you up …". That is actually funny … this person seem oblivious to the extend to which I can go to ensure that she doesn’t have any opportunity to stand me up again. It is good to speak your mind but a little thought to the collateral damage that will result from what you say is a good thing to take into account: just because you can do it, it does not mean that you should.
Of course believing that it is appropriate to spit out all the thoughts your mind can conjure up is a good thing provide an opportunity for keen people around you to get a much better understanding of what you are made of … including the parts that you didn’t mean to communicate across. What a person says represents what it is that they believe and value but inferring principles and value systems from actions alone is not reliable because actions (as a result of decisions) could be aimed at solving an entirely different problem.
Mind over matter and similarly sounding adages have been around for ages. Plato’s philosophy for example placed a lot of emphasis on the working of the mind and the results thereafter and there was a time when I was sounding rather Platonic in my approach to this subject. Mind over matter for a physically handicap person, sounds like the revelation of the basic equation for life itself. I can’t entirely dismiss the effects of that particular assumption because it led me to the conclusion that proper and quality thought processes can make life significantly simple by removing the complications that cloud’s one’s judgement. For a physically handicap person, his/her challenge remains the single most important obstacle in most of life’s endeavors.
In my case this challenge is mobility and it occurred to me that keen awareness of who I am allows me to plan for my mobility in such a manner that I can get important things done while at the same time cultivating habits such as punctuality. While this is one of the most powerful uses of thought to manage a seemingly hostile physical reality, it does not obviate the importance of matter or perhaps even the most fundamental truth that matter is foundation on which these thoughts occur in the first place.
I have since adjusted my orientation to accommodate the physical reality of who I am and this means that I celebrate, at every possible opportunity the perfection of my “disability”. Think about it, I am physically handicap and can more often than not get to an appointment on time; I am proud of that fact and believe that it is something that goes beyond wanting to prove a point. It is a personal commitment that ultimately serves to foster a balance between my physical challenge and an ability to bring to bear quality thoughts and the will to carry out the resolution of these thoughts.
This is currently the most stable foundation from which I dedicate additional efforts to find out the truth of the sum of who I am (mind, body and spirit). IT IS NOT AN EVENT BUT A PROCESS. A process that will require additional calibrations and adjustments over the course of its evolution and perhaps once in a while, it may be necessary to tear down an old foundation and build a new one that will be more appropriate in the context.
Well well well … it has been quite sometime since my last post on this blog. A lot has been happening. There is literally too much to write about and some of the issues are already old but they are still important from my perspective.
From last year, Microsoft/Novell deal generated enough buzz and it was one of the topics that I was closely following. It affects some of the ideas that I am looking forward to testing out in real world.
In 2006, I grew old much faster than can be justified byt he passing of a single calender year. I think I am now ancient, with an equally buffling numeric assignment for my age. I have heard of other methods of determining a person’s age (was it on Oprah or some other talk show … yeah I used to watch such talk shows); it is under such metrics that I have aged more rapidly over the past year. That aging process is set to continue this year but the difference is that I will not be caught off guard.
To most of my friends and casual aquaintances, it is no secret that I like programming generally speaking. Last year, I have gotten into a number of programming projects that are pushing the limits of my knowledge which is exciting since this leads to a more profound understanding of some of the topics in software development, design and implementation. In the previous year, I have worked with PHP, Java and ASP.NET and with the dawn of the new calender year, I will be doing more with Java and probably PHP but I can’t outwrightly deny the possibility of working with ASP.NET.
I have installed Ubuntu and had it working for a while before my Windows installation went postal on me. I haven’t gotten around to doing a reinstall but I hope to get to it at some point. I am not looking forward to a Windows installation again but the prospects of using Ubuntu for a regular desktop OS is not far off.
On a person scale last year was interesting full of ups and downs and as is the norm the turbulence led to new realizations and conclusions. I have come to know and call a few more people my friends while I have also discovered what a person need to have so as to qualify as a friend. A friend of mine must appreciate and possibly accommodate my disability and without such a foundation a friendship is not possible. Actually for me to call anybody a friend he/she must accommodate my disability.
It occurred to me that the bulk of my time is spent managing my disability and overall most of the things I do in life tend to be geared towards coping with my “disability”. This is a conclusion that I came to in 2006 and it is a foundation that I have not taken into consideration before but I am glad that events have led me to this conclusion.