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on modeling [Apr. 22nd, 2002|11:12 am]
[Current Mood |busybusy]

The only useful thing that my thesis adviser ever said to me was as follows- "if you make a model with enough adjustible parameters, you can get it to fit any situation. The point of modeling is not to convey inner truths or to make grand theories. Simple models which don't have any basis in reality and are obviously wrong from an ab-initio standpoint are still very useful if they have predictive power."

I've noticed a lot of people I've been spending time online around using tests and assesments to determine what type they are or sorting their temperament. I wanted to write down my feelings on these things. First of all, I don't buy into assessment because it has little in the way of predictive power. Knowing that I'm a type 5 does not tell you something about how I make or assess things internally, and it doesn't tell you how I'm going to handle situations. Some might argue the very fact that I disagree analytically with being categorized as a type 5 proves how type 5 I really am. That's fine, but in order to relate to me on that level, you need to explain to me why this model is wrong from an ab-initio standpoint and how you intend to use the model to have predictive power. One of the key personal principles I've betrayed for the last eight years or so is a failure to begin from first principles.
If there's anything that quantum mechanics has taught me well, it's that models are always inherently wrong, and first principles are a simplicity that belies complexity. The uncertainty principle, in physics, is not about things are uncertain. It says that all knowledge is a tradeoff- for particles, it is the tradeoff between knowledge of position and velocity. It is not that you can't know things- you just have to understand and accept what you trade off as the price of knowledge. We use tools to observe systems, and tools have impact on the systems we study.
I will also mercilessly attack anyone who uses quantum theory, or indeed, any system of study such as language analysis or numerology or whatever if I perceive the slightest lack of rigor or care. I need to do something about carefully destroying the Pirsigs and the Robert Anton Wilsons of the universe, especially my own. Destroy all systems! Destroy all nations! Destroy! Kill! Kill! Kill!

[User Picture]From: reive
2002-04-22 08:22 am (UTC)
What being a 5 tells me (as another one), is how people are going to react to me.
It's a reminder that my behavior, and in fact no behavior is the default.
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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2002-04-22 08:53 am (UTC)

I would find use in being classified as a five

I agree. I think that creating the perception that I am a five allows me to manipulate and control others. I can use it against (or more boringly, for) the other person.
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[User Picture]From: orobouros
2002-04-22 08:37 am (UTC)

(you forgot Destroy All Monsters! -my favorite Godzilla movie)

at least you acknowledge: "Some might argue the very fact that I disagree analytically with being categorized as a type 5 proves how type 5 I really am."

But, I'll attempt to jump in on this one, what the hell.

I too have continuously tested out as a type 5. Do I think there's some grand objective 9 degree typing system out there? No. Quantum physics teaches us that there is no "objective". Do I define myself by my 5-ness? No. But I find it a useful construct when trying to describe my methods of perception to others.

I will agree with you that models are inherently wrong, but that does not mean they aren't useful in certain exercises, and in putting together contexts to explain or describe things. We agree to play by certain rules (which in and of themselves constitute a model) in order to cope with the concepts of our awareness and our surroundings. Which I guess is another way of saying:

"you just have to understand and accept what you trade off as the price of knowledge. We use tools to observe systems, and tools have impact on the systems we study."

We accepted that by agreeing to be here, and participating in this reality. And while we are right now pursuing an intellectual exercise to think outside the box (so to speak), we still do so from within the box. We posit that there's a box to think outside of, when we know that its all maya. Which again, by temporarily defining it as maya, we give it the substance of maya. This is a rather vicious circle we're falling into.

Like language, numerology is a tool, nothing more.

A wise person once described language as originally being a form of expression. Now it has become restricting and confining.

The moment you name something (through language), it becomes. The cat is dead. Or alive.

The Way which can be spoken of is not the True Way...-Lao Tzu

just some disjointed thoughts, most likely in a good portion of agreement.
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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2002-04-22 08:50 am (UTC)

when all you have is a hammer, all problems are nails.

I think my comment is more toward the use of tools non-rigorously. I disagree that you can take the result of a tool, and then bend the result to fit the facts. It's like skeet shooting- you cannot take the fact that you measured your miss to be five yards to mean that you succeeded in hitting the target.

The point is not the insight. All insights are false. The point is the process. Quantum physics does not teach us that there is no objective. It teaches us that the process becomes the objective. It teaches us that there is *always* an undefinable, unknowable process which creates the correct result. It gives us a path to creating new processes to estimate new (and wholly inaccurate) results. Follow the process, use the process. If the process is wrong, use a different process. Quantum mechanics is not some highly refined tool. It is a meta tool- and if you buy in, it is a wholly accurate meta tool.
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[User Picture]From: onesoul
2002-04-22 06:05 pm (UTC)
The enneagram is the only one that has ever been powerful for me. I'm the living breathing poster girl for 4!!!! I'm drawn to 5's always have been. That is because I wing 5. The best match for me tends to be 5's with a wing of 4. Just random knowledge... oh yeah I run the enneagram lj community too ;)
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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2002-04-22 06:49 pm (UTC)

I think we'd have a lot of fun in dispute

I'm trying to decide (based upon minimal information) if your self-certain attitude is a fantasy or a well observed point. I'm very leery of people who appear to have figured themselves out, especially myself.

While I concede how people would find me to be a 5, I am also very strongly a six and an eight. I'm a registered republican, I vote and pay taxes, I obey authority. I command the respect of CEO's and tell them what to do. I play chess emotionally, not analytically. I drive teams and work well in them because I naturally assume leadership roles. I listen to others but make my own decisions. I don't need answers, I need questions. I work best with unsolvable problems. I have an intense need to be secure and am obsessed with investing and saving for my future as a path to security. I take on the personality characteristics of people I admire and who I see as successful leaders.
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[User Picture]From: onesoul
2002-04-22 07:26 pm (UTC)

Re: I think we'd have a lot of fun in dispute

Ummmm, okay. I think you are missing a strong point of a 4, they can't figure anything out *laugh*. I feel out everything... and I feel most close to a 4... that is part of how it works. If I gave you the impression that I know anything other than I relate... well... don't think that ;) I'm just floating emotional Jasmine :)
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