Tertiary Temptation in INFJs: Examples of INFJs w/High Ti?

INFJs w/High Ti:

In Response To @Blake’s Article Tertiary Temptation in INFJ(link)

This is a great article, and it makes total sense for probably a majority of INFJs(80% or more) to not consider college majors and careers requiring hard sciences, engineering, and IT chops - but if you have a genuine interest and capacity - why not?

I don’t think, even for the 80+% INFJs should at least consider, and not shy, from these interests (side-note: I am INFJ and work in Networking and previously as a Voice Over IP engineer for 5 years…I did it for the money I admit :wink: )

Do any of you know any examples of “High Ti” INFJs, or any notable INFJ Inventors, Programmers, Hackers, Engineers, Scientists, Thinkers…etc?

Do any of you INFJs here work or study in any “High T” fields? If so , how did it go?: Did you fail succeed, burn out, stuck with it?

The one prominent High Ti INFJ example I have( who I also believe is also very underrated) - when most people think of a computer genius they think “Bill Gates” or “Steve Jobs”. But why not Richard Stallman?


(maybe) has Asberger Syndrome???

Who is Richard Stallman?

He is a computer scientist and famous hacker who is known for inventing the GNU/Linux operating system back in the mid-1980s, the “Copy-left” Creative Common’s License(in opposition to “copyright”), and the Free Software Movement. He is often times overshadowed by the programmer Linus Torvalds, who wrote the original Linux kernal(which is still used as basis for devices like your Android phone).

[details=Why Is He an INFJ and Not Say…An INTJ or INTP? ]I strongly believe that Stallman is an INFJ because of what he expresses. He just has a very high-Ti(and probably Asperger Syndrome). He is extremely inventive, and without him you wouldn’t have Free Software Programs like Mozilla Firefox, the Ubuntu OS, VLC Media Player(which are common), but even more specifically, you wouldn’t have essential hacker tools like the GNU C Compiler[GCC], the Emacs Text Editor, and the GNU Debugger(those which I believe he wrote majority of the original code himself). IMO without Stallman, the world of computing would be so walled off by the large tech companies that control everything, to the point that hackers wouldn’t have tools that they can play with, learn, break, reinvent themselves to make all of our digital lives a little safer, informed, and transparent.

If you see him during a QA, you can just tell Se is an obvious inferior function for him, and when people disagree with him, unlike an INTJ who will tend to shoot down criticism with a bit of dry with, Stallman actually seems to care that people “get him” and he gets very worked up when people don’t understand taking such a dogmatic stance to the “purity” of “free software” and overexagerrating the conspiratorial dangers of “proprietary” software.

He’s an INFJ because his motivation wasn’t really to solve some impossible algorithm, nor was it to invent a new process, he was motivated by fear of people never being able to “be one with their computer” or to “freely share their knowledge” which he calls all source code “recopies”. Techno-Social Revolution! Promotion Of Hacker Idealism = anonymity, creative problem-solving, and “playful cleverness”(don’t get more INFJ than that) He is more of like a computer “prophet” or “philosopher” who is driven by a cause(to protect individual privacy, respect, and autonomy/freedom when it comes to relating to your computer). You can tell he is more “visionary” than he is an “engineer”[aka. Linus Torvalds] because he was all about seeing a world where people are encouraged to learn how to use their computer and relate to it, the way they relate to their own private property. He argues that the big tech companies(aka. Microsoft, Apple, etc.), are actually stealing away human’s “liberty” and make it hard for people to integrate computers in their lives without being a “slave to the machine”.[/details]

[details=This Picture Says it All : INFJ Playful Fe Expression of Ti “Clarities”(=dogmas, lol)]

INFJ w/ High Ti = A Political and Prophetic “eMacs” Hacker-Saint??? :yum:

Richard Stallman as “St. iGNUcius”[/details]

Why So Much About Richard Stallman?

First, Richard Stallman may be the most overlooked, misunderstood, and underrated geniuses of our time. Why so much attention was paid to the “innovations” of Bill Gates of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple, but little to no proper attention given to Richard Stallman, who was even really influential before Gates and Jobs took off - a matter of fact - w/o Stallman and his GNU system + Coplyleft Software license, you wouldn’t have Bill Gates, Steve Jobes, nor even Linus Torvalds for that matter.

It is a misconception that INFJ Fe expression is unanimously “emotionally chaotic”. A matter of fact Fe, especially when sharpened by Ti, is pretty “clarifying” - it’s meant to teach, to show, and to do it in an entertaining way. But to judge that INFJs are these super-arty, dreamy, out-of-control utterly irrational emotional “people-persons”/ “counselors”, who get bored w/math or who are discouraged from pursuing scientific and technological careers, etc…is extremely short-sighted.

I believe that Richard Stallman is actually more important to the world of technology (to the “common man”) than Bill Gates and even Steve Jobbs - he was certainly more controversial. I think he is also the most misunderstood tech-revolutionary of all time, even more than Alan Turing, because of his extremely dogmatic practice of his values(basically never go near non-free software, which is software that restricts users from having the right to see, modify, and share the code), people tend to consider him more of a nut these days than the most influential and “visionary” contributors to our “technocratic” future.

IMO: If IT experts actually tried to understand Stallman’s cautious and skeptical perspective on the dangers of power+capital-motivated corporate proprietary software dominance(as opposed to casting him off as a nut), the Gucifer hackers(technically, “crackers” ) of the 2016 U.S. presidential election may not have been so successful.

For more on Richard Stallman:

[ A cool documentary gives more info on how Stallman started the Free Software that shows clearly this battle in the technology world between proprietary & free-software(and open-source, and how hackers like Stallman and Torvalds shook it all up]

Famous Stallman quote, on Microsoft:

"Microsoft would have us believe that helping your neighbour is the moral equivalent of attacking a ship"

" Microsoft would have us believe that helping your neighbour is the moral equivalent of attacking a ship(link to article) "

[Note re-post from: One image or one word for each type]

Do any of you know any examples of “High Ti” INFJs, or any notable INFJ Inventors, Programmers, Hackers, Engineers, Scientists, Thinkers…etc?

I don’t know anyone famous, but I betcha many professors especially in liberal arts colleges and the humanities/social sciences are high Ti INFJs.

Do any of you INFJs here work or study in any “High T” fields? If so , how did it go?: Did you fail succeed, burn out, stuck with it?

Used to study Industrial & Systems Engineering at a very elite university in Asia. Worst nightmare of my life. I turned down a kickass opportunity to study at a new liberal college literally a few hundred meters away because I had a scholarship to study the Engineering course, and the tuition fee for that liberal arts thing was so damn high it scared me into not even applying for that. Ugh. Anyway, I totally disliked it because:

  1. Lack of compatibility with coursemates - NTs, SJs, etc, lacking in imagination and the artistic spirit generally.

  2. Programming - horrible. I could perform with average results (B pluses) and create functional but not excellent programs, and I didn’t see the point in doing something pointless. (For reference, I was a straight A student in the equivalent of high school and could pull off B pluses with some effort in general in the various maths, statistics and programming courses but I simply couldn’t hit A- and above no matter how I tried. Probably an overloaded and uncooperative Ti function in rebellion.) I found that designing a (crappy) algorithm, implementing it in code, and debugging was doable, but thinking in terms of binaries and logical cases was difficult and taxing. I also faced an impassable blind spot in designing algorithms that were efficient and elegant because it was difficult to think like a computer.

  3. Lack of interest in the general vibe and culture of engineering. As Blake says, the culture in science and engineering can be alienating to INFJs. So I transferred to Sociology within the same university, and though I still don’t really care much about my studies, it’s going way better this time around. Lots of girls and easier grades.

There you have it.

I will try not to bore you, but I used to have a moderately “High T” job.

I designed highly technical pilot training courses for an airline. I worked with engineers and pilots (who are basically engineers). I read countless airplane manuals with detailed schematics that I was somehow responsible for understanding and implementing. Then I worked with graphic designers and animators to create visuals for all of this technical info.

To be honest, I was really good at this job. The aspect of the job that ultimately drove me insane was that all info had to be correct, and I was responsible for all info being correct. I eventually burned the fuck out.

Richard Stallman is not an INFJ in my book. I have him typed an ENFP and I have no reason to change my mind on it. Yeah, he’d have high T for an NF type.

Thinkers, yes. Not inventors, programmers, hackers, engineers, or scientists though.

I’m sure there are some, but, I’m not aware of any really. The point is that an INFJ will not tend to be notable in technical and scientific professions. They tend more to the amateur side of those pursuits. Not at the top levels.

Which is not to say they can’t have a decent career in something of that nature. Some do. It’s sort of OK for them sometimes. But, not great. That’s the general reports that I hear about it. Something is missing.

That something is called the gifts and inevitable joys of the feeling function for the INFJ type. Can’t get around that.

And I’m talking tech IT stuff and hard sciences. An INFJ can be very in their star in the realm of philsophy, for example. Some of the most notable philosophers have been INFJ in my opinion. You can start with Plato.

All the existentialists are almost by definition an INFJ: Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, Rousseau, and yes, even Nietzsche (not an INTJ), after long consideration.

Camus was an INFJ too.

So, some of the greatest thinkers/philosophers/verging on poets were INFJs.

The higher and more general the level of thought, the more an INFJ will tend to be notable in that realm.

But, engineering and invention and programming involve too much nitty-gritty shit for INFJs to really take flight.

The greatest poets were definitely mostly INFJs. Poetic thought is the INFJ realm par excellence.

But, philosophy is often close to this sort of thought. As long as we aren’t talking about the great analytical philosophers.

The human condition is where an INFJ will excel in thought. Not in the realm of machines, hardware, software, applications interfaces, and other such things.

Some INFJs can be in those fields, but, they won’t likely be notable nor happy. But, if they’re a particularly smart INFJ (high Ti, for example), they could get along in it for a time.

But, why get along when you could fly to the heights of heaven?

For the money and easy availability of jobs in those fields in this day and age.

I think it’s a mistake for an INFJ to waste their potential in those fields. But, whatever, that’s just my highly informed opinion. Do what thou wilt.

Because sometimes that’s the only way to know for sure. By experience. And that’s totally valid. :slight_smile:

Yes, that is quite true. Many professors in liberal arts (humanities, human element) are high Ti INFJs. In liberal arts, not engineering or hard sciences. The best English professor I ever had was an INFJ with scintillating Ti. He was also quite popular with the students, especially female students. I would think that the best liberal arts professors would be INFJs because not only do they have a wide knowledge base, they have a thorough humanism and ability to engage their audience with the subject matter. This guy I’m talking about was the best teacher I have ever encountered in my life. He was one of the most intelligent people I have ever personally met. Brilliant mind combined with a magical gift of engaging the class. The latter is an Fe ability.

@Blake This rings very true. You see, I’m in my early thirties, and when I was a high school graduate I was sure I was going to be a film director cinematographer. My idol, out of all movie directors to fall in love with, was Andrei Tarkovsky. I didn’t care about money, or sex, or things, or anything at the time - I grew up extremely religious, christian orthodoxy, and I just knew I was destined to be a serious art filmmaker. I told my parents I didn’t care if I had to work a couple of jobs to save up the money, I wanted to go to New York Film Academy. But I was naive, and they pushed me into getting into comp sci because, well I was “good” with computers since age 9. But I had no interest in being a programmer or tech, I built and configured my machines for fun and because the programs allowed me to make short movies and tunes. Always it was a “fun” thing and challenge. Anyway, long-story short, I didn’t do so well in college, dropped out, picked up a number of dead-end jobs because I didn’t want to put my effort into a “job” but into my scriptwriting and film ideas on free time. But overtime I realized I was getting nowhere, and in my mid-twenties, while living alone, picked up some tech certs, and Viola!, I thought, survival issues solved, and this stuff isn’t all that difficult - I just don’t give a shit. But it is true that in the long-run it gets harder to keep going with it, with the same enthusiasm as when you started. But if I were 100% candid about how I feel about striving for success in tech careers, as an INFJ, I would say that you are right that the actual work doesn’t make me happy or fulfilled, just the paycheck. So…a lot of truth there. But that is the conundrum - “destined” to be an artist, but need to pay the bills.

I’ve studied physics at universities for two years and I found myself closer to abstract mathematical subject like Algebra than the more physics-related ones like programming or laboratory. I think that the whole concept of natural science is pretty alien to INFJ nature. This style of investigation, the subject, this is Ne territory. Ironic that the very basic foundations of Physics have been put by an Ni user in the form of universal statement even applicable to humankind. I think that an INFJ can find himself at home in the most abstract fields of theoretical Physics, where common sense (and actually senses) is an obstacle. Just the very true nature of this world. But that would probably mean anyway, most of the time, a lot of frustration.
I think INFJs really excel at meta reflection, and philosophy of science is probably the best playground they can share with the ENTPs.

I know is a little off topic but… how do you see this humanistic vs scientific argument related to INFPs? Do you think their Ne aux make them more suited for natural sciences than an INFJ?

This makes me wonder. Would they be susceptible to Ni-Ti loops? Would the Aquarian form of Ti (ie social sciences professors) ameliorate this somewhat? What about those professors in Geminian Ti fields of the liberal arts like philosophy? I would think the insular culture of academia (specialized, esoteric knowledge; Ti-style debates about esoteric minutae and the general lack of meaningful human contact) would promote this, though this would be mitigated somewhat by the need to use Fe in teaching classes and administrative duties such as department meetings.


But if I were 100% candid about how I feel about striving for success in tech careers, as an INFJ, I would say that you are right that the actual work doesn’t make me happy or fulfilled, just the paycheck. So…a lot of truth there. But that is the conundrum - “destined” to be an artist, but need to pay the bills.

Yes. The question is, who will pay to hear about the human condition. Instead of paying for machines, hardware, software, applications interfaces, and other such things. That’s the fundamental dilemma. Whether tis’ nobler to in the mind to suffer the indignities and banality of toiling for mammon, or to raise one’s pen against a sea of practicalities, and by opposing, be ended by them.

Life doesn’t seem to make much sense does it? Be yourself or squish yourself into some other form so you can survive…like your Hamlet thing going on…:slight_smile:

I’ve been wondering if there’s some kind of job that pays well while not fucking up the INFJ’s mind. I can’t think of anything, really. Are INFJs really doomed to either not enjoy life or to have no money for their whole lives? Damn…

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Actually my friend (INTP) was talking about HR and sales while we were gyming yesterday. He said something about how a being financial advisor was basically about tailoring financial products to suit people’s needs, and the most successful salespeople enjoy their job and basically see it as a calling, ie serving people through meeting their survival needs with insurance etc, and most of them are not really in it just for the money. He actually signed on as a financial advisor with one of the major banks in my country, because jobs are really scarce right now especially for fresh graduates and the economy is in the doldrums. I think he has about the same chance of succeeding as a snowball in hell, but that line of work could be somewhat motivating if the product is actually legit and not a ripoff. Probably would rank about 8/10 for me as a career. But at least the Fe at the core of it aligns with the INFJ’s intrinsic psychology - provided the company is not one of those doubtful MLM type scams or has a culture of shortsighted greed/selfishness/sales-at-all-costs etc.

So you’re an INFJ in tech and passionate about cinematography? Emm… we should hang out :slight_smile: I want to see your work and show you mine.

All you said here (and saying elsewhere on the forum) resonates deeply with me. I even renewed my subscription to write this :slight_smile: Thank you!

Ooh, finally a verdict on Nietsche! Nice.


BTW, I’m a yuuuge Camus fan. The first time I read The Myth of Sisyphus it was like reading the story of my entire life…hehe

pla.xitore13, I am an INFJ currently doing a PhD in the molecular/cell biology field. I happen to work at one of the best institutes in the world for biological research, and am really really fortunate to be given the chance to work there. Many big shot scientists and Nobel Laureates work in the very building I spend literally 14-17 fucking hours a day.

So how do I feel about it? Well, to be honest, I like it. No, I really like it. How successful? Too early to tell, but I’m already having success with what I’m doing. Could that change? Maybe. Academia is difficult for anyone, especially in these days, regardless of what type you are. And dare I say, it’d be boring if there were only NTs. Science needs everyone. But this may just only apply to biology.

So why did I choose science? Well, first of all, I have to say I really respect Blake’s advice. In fact, I pretty much think he’s right. But then again, I don’t want to base off a huge life decision based on what one person says… If I had felt for most of my life that my calling was to be a biologist, then let me follow that calling lest I regret it for a vast portion of my life…and if indeed I was wrong and Blake was correct, then I’ll simply change paths. Of course that’s easier said than done, but I am pretty optimistic about my future. Whatever that future is.

I think I have been really lucky so far. I met all the right people and did all the right things at the right time. Some people think I was born to do science - have I fooled them? Maybe. Anyways, I grew up in an East Asian household, so I’ve learned to get shit done no matter what. This gave me success academically all my life. However, I had a bit of trouble with language at times. I was a bit high maintenance: if I work at it, I can write really well (lol this post here is not exemplary), but you see, verbal-matters are not always intuitive to me. Same with reading. I can read well with high precision, understanding, and insight, but again, words are so difficult to translate into my own language in my head. Mathematics and logical concepts were far easier for me, since I was a child. And perhaps this whole East Asian thing of discouraging children from artsy-subject matters influenced my leanings to more scientific subjects.

Then before I went to university, a fatherly figure emerged who doted on me and given me the opportunity to work in his lab. Before all this, I was fucking shit with experimental work. All this Si-shit and Ti/Te-shit kinda confused me (was only good with theoretical stuff), but then this ISFJ (or ISTJ) mentor taught me well to mind all this Si- and Te-shit…this got me ahead of the game for my age. I truly believe if I didn’t have this crucial year of training, I wouldn’t have gone this far. I’ve somehow adapted a sense of know-how of practical labwork, but mind you, I still can’t deal with other Si-realms for shit. Did you see my desk or house? Damn.

Anyways, this fatherly figure (ENFP…?) has continued to support me behind the scenes and treats me like his second daughter…and then up popped up another chance to work in a very prominent lab run by a beloved ENTP. There, I discovered a love and jealousy for the ENTP-way of thinking. I guess this was the second father figure of my life who influenced my decision to continue in science…Everything that I do points back to these two “fathers,” especially the latter who cultivated my love for flies. And repeat after me, schlopadoo loves flies. <3

Anyways, now I ended up here. In science. And I’m so damn lucky because the place I work at is literally HEAVEN for researchers who can do ANYTHING they want and study the most basic processes ever without worrying about money. It’s a dedicated scientific playground, and well renowned for being so. So I’m lucky. Many people here are a little crazy, and actually, it’s the people there that really make my life. Like I have an ENTP deskmate, you know how fun that is? Or spending late nights tending to my flies with an equally crazy INFP? It’s like I’m playing 24/7, so I don’t really mind.

Interestingly, it’s the Fe that has helped me succeed thus far. My writing and presenting skills have helped me pass all the interviews. And in fact, a week ago I enamoured my INTJ boss with a draft of my report, and inspired all this crazy enthusiastic brainstorming on my current results/project direction. The thing is he never does this. He’s a cynical cat, and pretty much denies anything you find potentially interesting…So you see, INTPs, INTJs, and ENTPs are all fascinated by the power of Fe. In fact, science is suffering from cluelessness with Fe…and if you suck with some Fe-matters, well your chances of succeeding will be vastly diminished these days. At least for biology. I’m not sure about other subject matters.

With regards to Ti…well…I think sometimes the way I arrive at crucial Ti-conclusions is like a reckless train filled with meandering here and there. The end result is correct, but the process is high maintenance. And no, I cannot attribute my success to high Ti, but I am an Aquarius rising with Mercury, Mars, and Pluto in the 9th house. I guess that led to my pulling towards academia… I also don’t find myself that smart, but I’m absolutely ANAL about precision and have a weird high-maintenance-but-good grasp of Te (I’m a Libra sun brainwashed by a stringent enneatype 3 tiger-mom). Apparently that’s enough to get ahead of most NTs, actually. I’m also extremely skeptical of bullshit, and though I love intuitive/fire-related matters, I will put all of that through my bullshit filter, until I see a golden one that is backed by something really sound and logical.

And speaking of bullshit, I’m bullshitting now, so I’ll stop blabbing. But this is my story about my life in science now. It may all change. Fe-flow is something I should keep doing regularly on the side to keep my sanity. (And it does, but I don’t do enough of it). The end.

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And that right there should be your sole guiding criteria. [quote=“schlopadoo, post:18, topic:306”]
So why did I choose science? Well, first of all, I have to say I really respect Blake’s advice. In fact, I pretty much think he’s right. But then again, I don’t want to base off a huge life decision based on what one person says…

Yeah, please don’t not be in science because of anything I said. I mean, you won’t not be in it if…

Fucking Jesus.

Yeah, you shouldn’t listen to me. I can’t even write sentences without compounded double negative clusterfuck heaven thing going on.

Bottomline: If an INFJ wants to be in science, likes to be in science, their ain’t no motherfucking problem.

There is generally only a problem when an INFJ is considering whether they would like to be in science. And even in that case, ya know, check it out. You don’t have to do it forever and you’ll undoubtedly get some valuable experience from it whatever you end up doing.

Yeah, absolutely. If you feel that way, then, no one may say nay. Except horses that like hay.

Um, I think you’re gonna owe me something because you were wrong. And then you may change paths. After I take from you everything you had left before you were absolutely crushed. [quote=“schlopadoo, post:18, topic:306”]
Of course that’s easier said than done, but I am pretty optimistic about my future. Whatever that future is.

Schlopadoo, you gold, baby.

Nice writeup here. Very good commentary as usual. :clap:

See the thing for me is that I simply don’t get how Fe helps in scientific research…unless it’s to network with people :kissing_heart: I find writing reports to be very heavy on the Ti/Te aspect of things…my PI is always harping on me to be more concise and I always think he’s nitpicking…and I’ve never had an experience like yours spurred by Fe…so tell me your mystic Fe-ways schlopadoo!! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: