Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

by Joe Butt

Strength of the preferences % 78 1 38 11

ISFPs are the first to hear the different drummer. Many eagerly plunge into new fashions, avant garde experiences, 'hip' trends--some even setting the trends.

More in touch with the reality of their senses than their INFP counterparts, ISFPs live in the here and now. Their impulses yearn to be free, and are often loosed when others least expect it. The ISFP who continually represses these impulses feels 'dead inside' and may eventually cut and run. (One ISFP friend has become nonambulatory within the past few years. He will still, on impulse, leave home in the middle of the night and go to Las Vegas or wherever, regardless of the difficulties of his physical condition.)

ISFPs may be quite charming and ingratiating on first acquaintance, flowing with compliments which may (or may not) be deserved. On other occasions, the same individual may be aloof and detached. Some ISFP males are fiercely competitive, especially in sport or table games, and may have great difficulty losing. This competitive nature, also seen in other SP types, sometimes fosters 'lucky,' 'gut' feelings and a willingness to take risks.

Organized education is difficult for the majority of ISFPs, and many drop out before finishing secondary education. Their interest can be held better through experiential learning, at which many excel. ISFPs will practice playing an instrument or honing a favored skill for hours on end, not so much as practice as for the joy of the experience.

Differential diagnosis:

ISFPs are less fantasy-oriented than INFPs. These types are often confused, however, INFPs lean strongly to daydreams, poetry, prose and more philosophical pursuits; ISFPs often live out 'id' experiences rather than writing or even talking about them.

ISFJs are driven by the conventional, by 'should's and 'ought's; ISFPs internalize their Feeling (by nature a judging function) which bursts out spontaneously and leaves as quickly and mysteriously as it came.

Because of these variant expressions of Feeling judgement, ISFPs are sometimes confused with ESFJs, but keep themselves more aloof, more often concealing the feelings that ESFJs are so apt to expose.

ESFPs express thoughts more readily (and, in the main, skillfully). ISFPs can and do perform admirably in the spotlight, but generally have little to say about the performance. For example, few ISFPs would be disc-jockeys, a field strongly represented by ES_Ps.

Functional Analysis:

Introverted Feeling

Feeling, unbridled by the external forces of society and substance, is the dominant function. ISFPs spontaneously develop their own codes and credos, about which they are quite sober and intense. ISFPs are questors, driven to find the pure and ideal, as personally and individually defined. Feeling may temporarily turn outward, but cannot be long sustained beyond its cloistered home.

If the individual has values greater than herself, feeling may express itself in valiant acts of selflessness. Turned in upon self, however, it becomes an unscrupulous, capricious enigma, capable even of heinous acts of deception and treachery.

Extraverted Sensing

ISFPs keep a finger on the pulse of here and now. They are more adept at doing than considering, at acting than reflecting, at tasting than wondering. As do most SPs, ISFPs keenly sense color, sound, texture, and movement. It is not unusual for ISFPs to excel in sensory, motor, or kinesthetic abilities.

ISFPs cherish their impulses. Some of the most beautiful, graceful, and artistic performances are the result of this drive for physical, sensate expression.

Introverted intuition

Tertiary intuition works best in the background of the ISFP's inner world. Perhaps this is the source of the "gut feeling" SPs consult in matters of chance. However "lucky" the ISFP may be, intuition as a means of communication is a poor servant, evidenced in spoonerisms, and non sequiturs and mixed metaphors.

Extraverted Thinking

The ISFP may employ Extraverted Thinking in external situations requiring closure. As is the case with inferior functions, such Thinking behaves in an all or nothing manner. Thus, as with other FP types, the ISFP's Extraverted Thinking is at risk for a lack of context and proportion. In most cases, persons of this type enjoy greater facility operating in the open-ended style of sensing, implying the opinions of feeling values in the indirect fashion characteristic of introverted functions.

Famous ISFPs:

Marie Antoinette
Auguste Rodin
Ulysses S. Grant
Warren G. Harding
Fred Astaire
Marilyn Monroe
Elizabeth Taylor
Yogi Berra
Dan Rather
Orrin Hatch
Ervin "Magic" Johnson
Patrick Duffey
Dan Quayle
Paul McCartney
Christopher Reeve
Michael Jackson
Kevin Costner
Greg Louganis
Brooke Shields
Britney Spears
John Travolta
Ashton Kutcher
Donald Trump

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Politics as Unusual

President Bush's "clout appears to be ebbing," said Ron Hutcheson in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pundits are still debating whether Republicans or Democrats got the best of the bipartisan compromise last week that averted a "showdown" over seven of President Bush's judicial nominees. But with the compromise guaranteeing that just three of the seven judges will be approved, it's clear who lost: The president himself. In his first term, Bush's popularity ratings reached a historic 90 percent, and there was virtually no program or policy he couldn't ram through a compliant Republican Congress. But just months into his second term, Bush's approval ratings have sunk into the 40s, with the public dismayed by his Social Security reform plans, his opposition to stem-cell research, and the Iraq war. With moderate Republicans defecting, the president may lack the power to reshape the U.S. Supreme Court or push through other critical elements of his agenda. Bush's second term, said presidential scholar Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution, is "looking like an hourglass with the sand running out."

But don't be so sure, said Carl Cannon in The Washington Post. In temporarily staving off all- out war over judicial nominees, seven Republican senators may have made a truce with seven Democrats, but Bush didn't. "He does not like the way Democrats talk about some of his nominees," most of whom are personal friends. Sooner or later, a fuming Bush will wreck the fragile, centrist compromise on judges by sending the Senate a new group of "ultraconservative" nominees. And when a Supreme Court vacancy or two opens, you can be sure that his picks will drive liberals up the wall.

Let's hope so, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. In 2004, Americans elected a Republican Congress and a Republican president. But, thus far, Democratic obstructionists have tied up Social Security reform and John Bolton's nomination as U.N. ambassador, blocked several of Bush's appeals court nominees, and preserved their ability to filibuster his Supreme Court nominations. "For this we elected Republicans?"

It was almost inevitable, said Howard Fineman in Newsweek. Politics "moves in cycles," and Republicans have been ascendant for 25 years. Under George W. Bush, conservatism "reached its zenith," as he and 9/11 managed to forge the GOP’s libertarians, corporate interests, and evangelical Christians into a dominant coalition. But gaping holes have appeared in Bush's "Big Tent." Libertarians and corporate chieftains are dismayed by Bush's profligate budget deficits and his evangelism on abortion and other social issues. Evangelicals feel "betrayed" by the Republican party's unwillingness to wage political war against gay marriage and abortion. Moderates such as Sen. John McCain have seized the momentum. When we look back at this moment years hence, "will we see it as the moment when the tide of conservative Republicanism crested?"

Nothing wrong with a little political moderation, said John Avlon in The New York Sun. The "ideological elites" of the extreme right and extreme left prefer war to an uneasy peace. But most Americans are pragmatic centrists, and they're thoroughly sick of partisan bickering, especially when it nearly brings the government to a grinding halt. A new Harris poll says that 79 percent of Americans now favor moderate politicians, and more than 80 percent say we need more "who are willing to vote independently rather than strictly along party lines." That's why the 14 Senate moderates have emerged as a new force in Washington. But can the moderates prevail on a playing field titled toward the extremists? Only if the American public makes it clear that it, too, stands in the center.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Stem cells:

The future of medicine or Frankenscience?

This will be one of the most emotionally fraught battles of George Bush's presidency, said Ron Hutcheson in The Philadelphia Inquire. The House of Representatives this week passed a bipartisan bill that would vastly expand federally funded research on embryonic stem cells. Extracted from newly fertilized human eggs, these undifferentiated cells can be coaxed to grow into almost any kind of tissue. Scientists hope to turn stem cells into healthy brain, nerve, pancreas, and other kinds of cells, providing treatments or even cures for such afflictions as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, diabetes, and spinal cord injuries.

Almost four years ago, President Bush restricted government-supported research on stem-cell lines to the 20 that already existed. The House bill would allow money for research on new lines, harvested from the 400,000 embryos left over from artificial-fertilization procedures. But the president has vowed to veto the new bill, arguing that any relaxation of his stem-cell rules would "promote science which destroys life in order to save life."

Bush is making a tragic mistake, said The New York Times in an editorial. British and Asian scientists have embraced stem-cell research, and are leaving the U.S. "pathetically behind the times." Last week, scientists in South Korea announced that they had extracted stem cells from human embryos they had successfully cloned, using skin cells from test subjects. The stem cells that were created are exact genetic matches to the subjects--a breakthrough that could lead to the growing of fresh, healthy tissues or organs that the body will not reject. How can Bush turn his back on such promising science, based solely on his personal religious views?

It's called conscience, said Eric Cohen in The Weekly Standard. You don't have to be a pro-lifer to be worried about the path this Frankenstein research is taking. "Everyone wants to cure diseases," but there's something deeply disturbing about fertilizing eggs and creating human embryos, so they can be killed, ripped apart, and used "as tools to help others." With "no real ethical limits" on this research, we're headed to a chilling "brave new world." It's not as if there aren't alternatives, said Cardinal William Keeler in USA Today. One is for researchers to use stem cells taken from umbilical-cord blood. These cells offer promising benefits without the "moral problems" associated with those taken from embryos.

That's a very cynical argument, said Harvard University endocrinologist David Shaywitz in The Wall Street Journal. All the evidence indicates that umbilical-cord blood cells are nowhere near as promising; they show no signs of being able to "turn into other types of cells, such as pancreas and brain." Right-to-lifers don't really care, though; their objection to stem-cell research is based on the religious belief that "the human embryo should be held as sacrosanct," even when it consists of a primitive clump of four to eight cells. Since most Americans don't share that belief, religious conservatives are using "junk science" as a smoke screen.

As someone whose health is declining rapidly because of Parkinson's disease, said Michael Kinsley in the Los Angeles Times, I find this debate deeply "disheartening." President Bush's bioethical advisor, Leon Kass, now is calling for a "moratorium" on stem-cell research until the ethical issues are resolved. Please. Eggheads like him will noodle their way "through arcane ethical mazes" for years or decades, while life-saving research is stalled. But science cannot be stopped; stem cells eventually will be developed into treatments or cures. The only question is whether I and a few million other people will still be alive to benefit from them.