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Ne versus Se
24 July 2007

by I/O

Simplicity of life is the cornerstone of the Se psyche, while for the Ne complexity is sublime. Ne will take a leap of faith while Se will first test the water. The sum total of stuff (opinions, feelings, beliefs and judgements about one's external world) accumulated defines who Se is, whereas a contextual understanding of stuff defines Ne.

Se builds an understanding of the world by amassing stuff - from the bottom up, starting with basics and progressing to the more diverse. Ne builds understanding from the top down - creates a process, sees whether or not stuff validates the process, and then modifies it until understanding is achieved; and Ne usually stores the process but discards the stuff.

Ne thinks that stuff can always be picked up when needed while the Se considers that processes are not really useful without the details of their application. The more stuff Se amasses the more secure Se becomes because Se considers most stuff as relatively constant and hence, valuable. Se is a packrat of stuff and strives for an accumulation of knowledge, discarding little.

Ne is never convinced stuff will remain the same so Ne hones an analytical ability keeping the mind clear of stuff, which is forgotten so easily. Security for Ne is having a problem solving capability to analyse or take on the complexities of life. Ne will integrate a lot of processes into the fabric of their being making their persona very complex but Ne will amass very little stuff.

Se keeps it simple: all the details to solve a problem are simply remembered for future reference. Se notices everything but will only pick up new stuff that fits in with the stuff already possessed; knowledge is built one brick at a time. And, Se does not necessarily need to understand all the stuff amassed but it must in some way be familiar. Se solves problems by sorting through vast amounts of collected stuff - drawing on experience.

Ne will often go back to first principles and solve the same problem in a different way because they pick up different stuff having forgotten most of what was done in the past; experience is not wholly trusted. Ne notices very little but seeks to understand all stuff that is picked up, but will instantly discard the stuff not deemed relevant to the immediate problem or issue.

Se is a knowledge farmer sowing order, while Ne is the hunter-gatherer of knowledge adapting to each situation. Se fears stuff that is not already on the farm while Ne fears not having gathered enough stuff. Se looks upon most Ne as lacking practical knowledge or ability while Ne looks upon Se as intransigent or narrow-minded.
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