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Ted Nelson on Intertwingularity

Thursday September 20, 2018

I’d normally put this up in the links, but I think it’s worth emphasizing here. This (Ted!) talk by Ted Nelson is a very good one.

Direct Youtube link

I think it’s not too big of a stretch to say that Nelson is firmly grounded in the ENTP cognitive model. :-) We INTJs can learn a lot from this:

  • Broad surveys and outside knowledge are interesting to us and can help us achieve breakthroughs (I’d call this the Ne-Te complex of functions)
  • Grasping the underlying pattern, the eventual outcome, accepting it for what it is and creating a model for it (Ni-Ti) can help us engage in deeply meaningful work

Some other things to notice:

  • Ted remarks on people who got stuck/lost making tools. Feynman made this same observation. There is a level at which tool-making and tool-refining becomes a low-leverage effort for a theorist personality. Too much high-leverage theory work is left on the table. What is that level for you? Personally I enjoy making cognitive tools and try to keep my actual hands-on tooling (software design, etc.) as simple as possible.
  • Listen to Ted’s very formal style of speech. Contrast that with the typically informal INTJ style. There is something to be learned here.
  • Listen to the way Ted folds in his personal memories of his past, stories of the past, and builds that into a model of who he is, or what kind of a guy he is. We INTJs can benefit from this, as an exercise and as a sort of bridge-building process as we communicate.
  • Watch for the way Ted is very proprietary about what he has created himself, what he has named it, how it belongs to him, and that he deserves credit for it. He is calmly assertive regarding these factors, even though much of that work is still in the theoretical realm. You can also see this in his Xanadu videos on Youtube. This kind of assertion does not typically come easily for INTJs.
  • Watch Ted’s periodic open and friendly facial expressions as he connects with his audience, and the way they serve as interludes or transitions that lighten the mood a bit while the focus shifts.

It’s also just a fun video to watch, IMO. His grounding in the broad-ideas-connections work of Ne is clearly biasing his life’s work, but it also motivates his life’s work, and that’s healthy and good.

Comparative personalities: Richard Feynman, Buckminster Fuller, Rupert Sheldrake, Clifford Stoll, Tony Buzan.

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