This world troubles me, the INTP
I open up news sites and find myself recoiling over what I see. You can read for yourself, and I rather hope that perhaps you're asking yourself the same questions I am.
I've been most disturbed by what I've seen happening recently in Israel. The sheer pointlessness of the brutality stuns me. The shot of the man leaning out of the police station, grinning, holding his bloodied hands up for the screaming crowd to see… It makes me shake my head. It makes me ashamed to be human, to be counted with these people—on both sides.
Ask yourself questions, and look behind and beyond that snapshot. First, the man—what would it take for you to become so angry, so full of hate, to attack another human being and then wear his blood on your skin like a trophy? Secondly, the crowd—to cheer such an event?
I cannot even pretend to understand, so I won't. I look at both sides and I see centuries of religious conflict, and I wonder how snobbish and hypocritical we are to expect that there is something as cut-and-dried as a "peace solution" that can be achieved in one lifetime. Or two. Or ten.
One of the fallacies of our technological age is that we believe that vast computational power comes the power to resolve conflict with the push of a button. After all, pushing buttons, in the right context, will do anything ranging from the firing of a missile to the ordering of pizza.
But the human heart, and the will of a nation, isn't something that can be controlled by a quick push of a button or the signing of a paper accord. It comes slowly, with the slowness that true changes of heart take.
I find myself needing to believe in the goodness of humanity. If there is one thing that Jeff has instilled in me, it's to offer trust and faith in another person until that person gives you a reason not to trust or believe in them. The world is exhausting enough without adding to it the assumption that every person you meet is someone out to do you ill.
Before I totally go out on a depressing limb, I thought I'd let you get a glimpse into how things are ordered in my brain. Now, granted, I was given pretty much every intelligence/personality/aptitude/learning/ etc. tests in the book while I was a child. As a result I've gotten pretty decent at throwing test results, mostly because I can usually see what the answers are pointing toward.
I don't particularly think the Myers-Briggs test is infallible, but I think the results are interesting. I can take the test and consciously skew the results, but when I took the test and answered truthfully, I always got the same result. Read through this and see if you recognize me. If not, you might need to re-evaluate your impressions of me. ;)
Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving
INTPs are pensive, analytical folks. They may venture so deeply into thought as to seem detached, and often actually are oblivious to the world around them.
Precise about their descriptions, INTPs will often correct others (or be sorely tempted to) if the shade of meaning is a bit off. While annoying to the less concise, this fine discrimination ability gives INTPs so inclined a natural advantage as, for example, grammarians and linguists.
INTPs are relatively easy-going and amenable to most anything until their principles are violated, about which they may become outspoken and inflexible. They prefer to return, however, to a reserved albeit benign ambiance, not wishing to make spectacles of themselves.
A major concern for INTPs is the haunting sense of impending failure. They spend considerable time second-guessing themselves. The open-endedness (from Perceiving) conjoined with the need for competence (NT) is expressed in a sense that one's conclusion may well be met by an equally plausible alternative solution, and that, after all, one may very well have overlooked some critical bit of data. An INTP arguing a point may very well be trying to convince himself as much as his opposition. In this way INTPs are markedly different from INTJs, who are much more confident in their competence and willing to act on their convictions.
Mathematics is a system where many INTPs love to play, similarly languages, computer systems--potentially any complex system. INTPs thrive on systems. Understanding, exploring, mastering, and manipulating systems can overtake the INTP's conscious thought. This fascination for logical wholes and their inner workings is often expressed in a detachment from the environment, a concentration where time is forgotten and extraneous stimuli are held at bay. Accomplishing a task or goal with this knowledge is secondary.
INTPs and Logic—One of the tipoffs that a person is an INTP is her obsession with logical correctness. Errors are not often due to poor logic—apparent faux pas in reasoning are usually a result of overlooking details or of incorrect context.
Taken, with no permission whatsoever, from http://typelogic.com/intp.html
(What's amusing is that I went back and added the bolding and emphasis to match what was on the original page. Sad, isn't it?)