Thursday, 22 March 2018

Túpac Amaru II (EIE): Personality Type Analysis

José Gabriel Túpac Amaru, better known as Túpac Amaru II, was a member of the Peruvian indigenous nobility who undertook a rebellion against the Bourbonic reforms of the 17th century, which threatened the way of life his ancestors had held since before the Viceroyalty of Peru had been established, perhaps even earlier than the existence of the Inca Empire. As such, there are plenty of historical records which are possible to be gathered for his typing. 

One of the main observable features of his character was his adaptability to what the situation required of him, as he quickly changed his attire from a European one to an Inca attire when he needed the support of the indigenous populations. Also, he took under his banner the fight against slavery in order to broaden his support base. Furthermore, he built himself a messianic image that catered to what his followers were expecting of him, changing his name to that of the last indigenous Incan ruler, Túpac Amaru I and claiming direct lineage from him. This shows evidence of valued T working for a valued E, as it was all in the name of broadening the movement. This can further be seen in Túpac's insistence on his followers being committed to the goals of the movement, trying to form a cohesive group instead of a loose alliance, suggesting valued L

Túpac Amaru positioned himself as a leader of a common cause regardless of any personal connections with those he led. Even when he involved his own relatives in the movement, he always made sure that it was him in the spotlight, hence his Messianic allegories. This is good evidence that Túpac's E was valued very much at the expense of R, perhaps R7. Already, from looking at his valuing of E+T and L while not valuing R,  we can see that he was someone of the Beta quadra.

Túpac Amaru II was well-versed in the writings of French Enlightenment philosophers, which were primarily aphoristic and L-heavy. However, it never was strongly integrated into his movement, which was targeted to far less educated indigenous peasants. He instead seemed much more comfortable presenting himself as a cathartic force. The fact that it was based on him as a Messianic figure who represented the demands of his followers means that E prevailed over L, as little if any thought was directed into the details of the ideology. Here, the emphasis was placed on the goals common to all factions of his supporter base. As such, it is apparent that E was strong and L, although valued, was very weak, suggesting E1 and L5.

In contrast, we can see plenty of use of F as a valued function, not only in his energy as a military leader, but also his ruthless zeal at public executions, where he would order a slave to hang his old creole owner before the crowds. However, one difference between his expressions of F and the other valued elements is that he seldom overused his ET or L. Executing captives in this way, although contributing substantially to furthering his support, went far beyond the point of dealing effectively with the enemy, becoming more a display of vengeance to engage his followers. Thus, his use of this element again served E1. Meanwhile, the use of F seems to be typical of F6, i.e. used with enthusiasm but without nuance or control. 

His source of income was the land he had inherited and which he used to generate profits due to his serfs’ working on it. Although nowadays this job is regarded as mostly a managerial position, for Túpac Amaru it was more about mediating between the Spanish authorities and the labourers he protected. He always managed to find a common ground between his interests and those of the indigenous lower class, thus being able to earn their favour by denouncing the unpopular mit'a: compulsory work in the mines which meant his serfs having less time to work in his land, substantially lowering profits. This shows elements of him having ease in winning over others’ support and building connections, which was what he found himself doing most of the time, boldly leading them into battle as a charismatic leader, but also a some sense of pragmatic decision making. This again serves as clear evidence of very strong E1, while still retaining some use of P3.

The evidence presented here for E1, T2, P3, L5, F6 and R7 clearly indicate that Túpac Amaru II was an EIE.

To learn more about EIE, click here.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Constantine the Great (EIE): Personality Type Analysis

Constantine the Great, his official name Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus, also known as Saint Constantine, was the 57th Emperor of the Western Roman Empire from 306 to 324 and from 324 to 337 as ruler of the whole empire. Constantine is famed for uniting the western and eastern halves of the Roman Empire, presiding over the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church, founding Constantinople on the ancient trading colony of Byzantium and formally ending the persecution of Christians following the defeat of Licinius in 324. 

Constantine was born in Naissus, a military settlement where at the time of his birth, the current emperor Claudius II Gothicus died of a severe illness (likely smallpox). Constantine's mother Helena, was tolerant of Christianity and even converted before Constantine did, while his father never converted to Christianity, he was tolerant to Christians and ignored orders from his superiors to behave otherwise. However, the time when exactly Constantine became a Christian isn't clear to most historians, but the following facts are well established by the written history of Socrates Scholasticus and Sozomen. One of the reasons Constantine embraced Christianity was to guarantee his success on the battlefield by praying to God. It brought him honor and pride to fashion himself with Christian symbols that represented divine power, such as the labarum and the chi-rho (the first two Greek letters of Jesus Christ's name). He uniquely desired to be venerated as a "demi-god" after his victories in battle and sought to restore the glory of the Roman Empire's past. 

What little is known about Constantine's youth is that he was in a position of moderate political influence as his father Constantius Chlorus (LSE) who served as imperial bodyguard to Aurelian (SLE) at the time. At around the age of thirty, Constantine was already an experienced solider who fought against the Sarmatians and Persians in the 290s and was a member of Diocletian's inner circle, where he had received a formal education at his palace. In the year 303, preparations were being made to celebrate the successes of the Tetrarchy and all four emperors were required to attend this celebration. Diocletian (LSI) said that he would abdicate the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire, which in turn, would make it all the more easier for Maximian of the Western Roman Empire to retire. Maximian was enraged by this proposal and instead let the promotion of both emperors from Caesars to Augusti to proceed. The date of the abdication was rescheduled to next year and the emperor's sons were to be associates of Galerius (SLE) rather than immediately assume the position of Caesar in their respective empires. A conversation between Diocletian and Galerius concerning their sons was reported by a Christian author a decade later:

Diocletian: "What shall we do then?" 
Galerius: "Maxentius is not worthy of it... If he has shown such contempt for me as a private citizen, what will he do as an emperor?" 
Diocletian: "But Constantine is popular and will rule in such a way that he will be judged better and more merciful than his father." 
Galerius: "But in that case I shall not be able to do what I want. We must appoint men who will be in my power, who will fear me and do nothing but what I command." 

Now, Galerius may have claimed the position of Augusti, thus assuming that Constantine had lost the possibility of becoming Caesari, but this was far from the truth. Constantine's father Constantius had claimed the position of Augusti as well, meaning that Constantine would succeed him as emperor upon his passing. The situation quickly undid itself in 305, when Constantius requested to Galerius to have his son come with him to fight against the Picts beyond Hadrian's Wall. Galerius denied the request at first, thinking it would be too dangerous for Constantius to put his life at risk when the Tetrarchy had already been arranged in his favor, but he eventually agreed after a night of drinking and when he woke up the next morning, Constantius and his son had already fled to the campaign. However, Constantius was gravely ill during the time of his reign in 306, he arrived at the battle much later than the energetic Constantine did and right before he died, Constantius wished for his son to be promoted to the full rank of Augustus (essentially saying that his son were to replace him). 

Constantine was quick to actualize his accession upon recognition as Caesar in 306, he struck coins identifying himself as the "Prince of Youth" (princeps iuventutis). While Constantine was busy crafting his image, Maxentius seized the title of Augustus and gained the support of the army and senate to resist Galerius' harsh plans for the Praetorian Guard (Galerius planned to disband the remaining cohorts of Praetorians and transfer them to the frontier garrisons on lower wages). Galerius was overwhelmed with having to fight back the Sarmatians, so he had to dispatch Severus to take care of Maxentius' usurpation. Upon marching to Rome, Severus didn't anticipate that his own troops would change sides, forcing him to withdraw and was subsequently captured. Constantine took note that since Galerius was left with little option but to accept defeat, he saw the opportunity to advance join Maximian (SLE) at Trier and assume the title of Augustus like his father originally promised.

During the early years of his reign, the Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy had decimated all those who had previously been in power before Constantine. By 310, Maximian was sick of Constantine's apparent luck and rebelled against him during a campaign against the Franks. Constantine captured him, but he still retained his imperial titles. A few months later, Maximian was reported to have hanged himself on Constantine's orders. With Maximian dead, the tensions grew with more people claiming the title of Western Roman emperor and the only remaining "valid" claimants were Maxentius and Constantine. The night before the Battle of Milvian Bridge, a battle that would determine who would be the next Roman Emperor and end the civil wars - Constantine was advised in a dream to mark the shields of his soldiers with the heavenly sign of god (the Chi-Rho) and then engage in battle. Maxentius sat anxiously in Rome, growing more tense upon hearing the news of Constantine's victories in northern Italy. When Verona fell, Maxentius marched out of the city to battle him to avoid the possibility of Rome's siege. Afraid that Constantine had actually been blessed with divine support, he consulted the Sibylline Books and found solace upon hearing that the time was right for Rome to be liberated from a tyrant. The outcome of the battle only demonstrated that he was the tyrant. (The italicized portion is actual propaganda from Constantius to make the public believe that Maxentius was addicted to superstition).

His early reign shows more than it tells about Constantius, it portrays a guy who was greatly skilled in matters of diplomacy, i.e. his natural disposition to win people over to his side through charisma. It also shows his sheer sense of courage and determination when rising through the ranks in the army, it is clear that having to climb a social ladder or hierarchy of sorts to achieve an end goal is in his values. He made deep alliances of connection and support to those who were loyal to him and short strategic ones (like with Maximian) as a means to an end. All of that points to, stronger E than R, visible T, valued F and Beta values.

Characterizing the latter part of his reign, i.e. after the Tetrarchy ended and the Edict of Milan was put into place, will be shorter, but evident in confirming the typing of EIE

In 330, Constantine had chosen the Greek settlement of Byzantium as a victory city because of its proximity to the battlefield of Chrysopolis, but secondarily to revive the previously profitable trade colony that had been active in the seventh century BC. This strategic thinking was hardly unique to Constantine, but his sweeping monetary reforms had secured the restoration of the city as a center of trade five centuries later. Constantine assumed the role of a city-planner reluctantly, only working with P when he had to.

Upon the construction of Constantinople, it soon became the second metropolis of the Roman empire, it's strategic placement to the east meant that diplomatic envoys from other "barbaric" civilizations could reach the emperor faster and more efficiently. When Constantine wasn't amusing himself with the souvenirs from other empires, he surrounded himself with intellectuals - members of his coterie - who offered their latest philosophical and historical insights. For instance, Sopater was an orator and Neoplatonist philosopher who became a member of his court, he swiftly became a court favorite of Constantine and his patronage of the philosophical tradition hardly went unnoticed, pointing to weaker valued L and strong I in the "free-thinking" sense of the function.

Furthermore, the emperor in his personal life was a bit different from his benevolence that is venerated in Christianity. He was of choleric temperament, stubborn, short-tempered and vain about his appearance. In fact, there were even rumors surrounding that he was sensitive about his hair and his balding in old age. He would ignore the physical complaints of his body that came with aging or long periods of time, believing that his aging would bring him closer to death and subsequent salvation. On his deathbed, he cast aside his robes of purple and crimson, wearing only pure white robes so that he might "die and live forever". This alone places S at the lowest value.

Constantine the Great is a model EIE, everything fits from E1, T2, P3, S4, L5, F6, R7 to I8.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Contempt (1963): Socionics Analysis of a Case Study of Conflict and Duality

Contempt (Le Mépris) is a 1963 French film directed and written by Jean-Luc Godard (IEI), the most "conventional" and most expensive of his films, with the script following closely the general plot of the novel Il disprezzo by Alberto Moravia. Godard was reportedly unhappy with the whole experience of making a conventional movie with his freedom limited by the producers; he also thought little of the novel. Be that as it may (or maybe because of it), I have found that the insights of the film and the points it seems to make, although not immediately explicit and often confusing for audiences, are made clear by socionics analysis.

The basic story is simple (spoilers follow): the French couple Paul and Camille Javal (played by Michel Piccoli and Brigitte Bardot) live in Rome.  Paul, whose goal is to establish himself as a serious playwright, still needs to make a living by writing crime novels and as a screenwriter-for-hire for the Italian film industry, having written a script for the commercially successful "Toto against Hercules". That leads to an invitation by Hollywood producer Jeremy Prokosch (played by Jack Palance) for Paul to re-write the script of the film he is currently shooting in Italy, a version of the Odyssey, directed by the master of German expressionism, Fritz Lang (played by Lang himself). Prokosch fears that Lang is making it too "artsy" and not commercial enough. Paul accepts the job, with Lang not objecting, because his fees will allow him to pay off the apartment in Rome where he and Camille live. Several encounters between Paul, Camille, Lang and Prokosch (and his assistant/interpreter, Francesca) take place in Rome and finally in Capri, where the Odyssey is being shot. The relationship between Camille and Paul is shown as very loving at first, but gradually cooling off each time they encounter the other characters, culminating in Camille clearly telling Paul in Capri that she no longer loves him; on the contrary, now she only feels contempt for him, and it is suggested that she may be starting a relationship with Prokosch.

The script itself does not make it easy for the audiences to understand exactly why Camille's feelings towards Paul shifted from love to contempt in just a couple of days. A large part of the dialogue is of the increasingly exasperated Paul asking her precisely that, with Camille initially either denying it or giving vague answers, until making it brutally clear in the final sequences in Capri that she indeed now detested him but refusing to explain why: that I will never tell you, until I die. Brief lines of dialogue suggest that Paul does suspect her true reasons and they are hinted at throughout the film, but still not in a very explicit way or explaining precisely why Camille's attitude towards her husband would change so drastically.

A fully consistent explanation is given by looking at the socionics types of the characters. Camille is a very clear and consistent IEI (which is Godard's own type and perhaps also Bardot's); Jeremy Prokosch is an equally clear and consistent SLE, although one whose need to brag about himself points to a clumsy use of E6 not unlike Donald Trump's (also a SLE). Paul is less consistently portrayed but he can be typed as a LSE.  That is, Camille and Paul's relationship was one of LSE-IEI Conflict, and the inherent issues with that relationship were brought to the surface in the presence of Camille's Dual, the SLE Prokosch.

Camille and Paul, although married, did not really understand each other's motivations. Paul was utterly captivated by Camille's beauty and her apparently solid love for him, which he assumed was a "fixed" thing: that is a manifestation of R5, a difficulty with understanding the status of others' relationships to oneself and how stable they are. From her side, Camille admired in Paul what she saw as his artistic integrity and independence, as well as his efforts to provide for her and thus protect her - appreciation of apparent L in others as well as a sign of her F5, the appreciation of others using assertiveness and power on her behalf.

That started to collapse with the entrance of Jeremy Prokosch. First, Paul decided to "sell out" to a vulgar Hollywood producer for the sake of the money he would have to finish paying off their apartment - a "mercenary" P motivation which however may be seen as corrupt by an IEI putting idealistic integrity (higher focus on L) first. Second, Paul, a LSE with very strong but devalued F8, clearly was not intimidated or impressed by Prokosch's overbearing use of F1, essentially not taking him seriously. That however caused precisely the wrong impression on Camille when, on two occasions, Prokosch (not very appropriately) offered Camille rides on his car and later boat, without her husband, with Paul not objecting and even encouraging her to accept, despite her expecting him to object and so "protect" her. But Paul was not taking Prokosch seriously as far as a threat to his relationship with his wife was concerned, due to his dismissive attitude to Prokosch's F and his obliviousness to risks to his R status with Camille - probably also aggravated by LSEs's difficulties in perceiving trends due to their T4. Also, from a practical P perspective, Paul saw no reason to object to her accepting rides from Prokosch.

From a F perspective though - the one that would be natural for the SLE-IEI Dual pair of Camille and Prokosch - what was going on was a high F man making clear his dominance of those around him, extending that to another man's wife. Paul's reaction was perceived not as obliviousness or not taking it seriously, but as submission to Prokosch's F, even to the point of letting his wife exposed to it as well. Paul's "corruption of his artistic integrity" - giving priority to P concerns over L principles - was not enough to make Camille despise him; but his apparent refusal to exercise F on her behalf was too much for her F5. He failed to show precisely what she most expected from him. Hence, her attitude to him became one of contempt. If Paul had used his F to "mark his territory" and said he would take a taxi with Camille, the first time, Prokosch might have taken the hint and Paul might have saved his marriage - at least for a time. As it was, the obvious manifestation of his R5 - his insistent asking of Camille for an explanation as to why she now despised him - would be as puzzling and irritating to her own R8 as her own desire for F had been to him.

There is a good-quality full version of Contempt on YouTube here - unfortunately not with English subtitles. The trailer of the 2016 restoration and re-release, with subtitles in English, is here.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Caligula (EIE): Personality Type Analysis

Caligula, official name Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, also known as the Emperor Gaius, was the third Roman Emperor, from 37 until his assassination in 41 at the age of twenty-eight. Along with his nephew the Emperor Nero (SEI), Caligula is probably the most (in)famous of all Roman Emperors, known popularly, for two millennia, as the archetype of the insane, depraved ruler. "Caligula" is a nickname, meaning "Little Boots", which he got as a little boy: his parents liked to dress him up in soldier's uniform while among the Rhine legions.

Caligula's "madness":  The image of Caligula as mad, in the sense of clinically insane, goes back to his own time. The most notorious story is that he appointed his horse to the position of consul (i.e. most senior magistrate); that however is an exaggeration of the historical record, which is that Caligula just said he was thinking of doing that. Nevertheless, all the existing historical records are consistent in pointing to Caligula as fond of making sarcastic, insulting, shocking remarks, as well as engaging in equally shocking and cruel behaviour, which often seemed inexplicable, and so it was easy to characterise him as insane. Nowadays the most accepted theory is that although an erratic and often capricious and irresponsible ruler, Caligula's behaviour was closer to what we'd today call a "troll" rather than that of a true lunatic.

Background: Caligula was the great-grandson of Augustus (LIE) and grand-nephew of Tiberius (ILI)Although only twenty-four years old, with no experience in government, and mostly unknown to the general public when Tiberius died, Caligula was the most suitable survivor of the "dynastic civil war" of the ruling family that took place in Tiberius' reign. He was acclaimed and accepted as Emperor of Rome by the Senate, the army, and the general population without much difficulty, above all because he had "inherited" the popularity of his late father, Germanicus.

Caligula was extremely popular at first due to feel-good gestures aimed at erasing the "gloom and doom" mood of the last years of Tiberius, especially the free (or rather reckless) spending on spectacles and public works, dissipating in less than one year the reserves built up by his predecessor. When money ran out, he had to turn to draconian measures to raise money, including higher taxes and confiscation of property of members of the aristocracy on trumped-up charges. He also executed or exiled close members of his family and inner circle, including his two surviving sisters and the Praetorian Prefect, Macro, who had been his most important supporter. A massive military expedition with the official aim of conquering Britain never crossed the Channel; instead Caligula stopped in France to remove and execute his own military governor on charges of conspiracy. Returning to Rome, he addressed the ongoing conflicts between the Greek and Jewish communities in Alexandria by ordering a statue of himself placed at the Temple of Jerusalem, since the Greeks had accused the Jews of not honouring the emperor. The local Roman governor managed to stall fulfilling that inflammatory plan until Caligula's timely assassination. That was the result of a plot involving not only members of Caligula's inner circle, but also senior members of his Praetorian Guard, fed up with the way the emperor would taunt and insult them: by giving them ridiculous and obscene watchwords and moving his finger pornographically when offering his hand to be kissed. A faction of the conspirators, and of the Senate, intended to abolish the very position of emperor and return to the system of the Republic; such dreams were completely derailed when the majority of the Praetorian Guard acclaimed Caligula's uncle, Claudius (ILI) as emperor.

Caligula's obelisk, St Peter's Square, Vatican
Caligula's behaviour:  As already mentioned above, it was Caligula's personal and public behaviour that made the theory of his lunacy seem credible. In a nutshell, he seemed to enjoy taunting, humiliating and scaring anyone of any kind of authority that was in his immediate presence; when interacting with truly humble members of the public, he tended to be more easy-going. His behaviour could be called that of a "troll" or prankster, except that his practically unlimited power, and his lack of scruples in punishing and even executing people, made his behaviour absolutely terrifying to those around him. His assassination was a backlash from that behaviour.

The most complete eyewitness description of Caligula's personal behavior was written by Philo of Alexandria, in his On the Embassy to Gaius, describing how he led an embassy of Jews from Alexandria to make their case to the emperor regarding the ongoing clashes there. Caligula received them as he was inspecting one of his villas and ordering changes in its interior decoration. Caligula seemed to only half listen to Philo's arguments as the whole group followed him from room to room, occasionally taunting them with questions like "why don't you eat pork?" As the Jews argued that different nations have different customs, and some don't eat lamb for instance, Caligula retorted "they're right, for it's not very nice". After complaining to the embassy that Jews were not paying him enough respect by making sacrifices to his statues, he ordered them to leave, saying, "these men do not appear to me to be wicked so much as unfortunate and foolish, in not believing that I have been endowed with the nature of a god".

This behavior - which is consistent with many other reports - makes clear that Caligula did not care at all about making others feel comfortable, welcome, or at ease; on the contrary, his inclination was to make others uncomfortable, scared, uncertain of whether he was joking or not. His pattern was to show in an "in your face" manner that he was far more powerful than those around him. Sometimes he would make the point explicitly, saying, "remember that I can do whatever I want to whomever I want". This very consistent pattern in his behaviour already points to F as quadra value with very subdued S, that is, to the Beta or Gamma quadras. That he also seemed very focused on the emotional response he would cause on others (whether fear, terror, or humiliation) points to a higher focus on E than on P.

Those priorities can also be seen in what is known of his actions in government. First, for someone who was emperor for under four years, the impact of Caligula's building projects in Italy is extraordinary (the tight-fisted Tiberius had built next to nothing in twenty-three years). Caligula brought to Rome the famous obelisk in St Peter's Square, weighing 326 tonnes, ordering the design and construction of a giant ship specifically for that purpose (it would remain the longest recorded ship for centuries, surpassed only in the 19th century). The obelisk was originally placed in Caligula's circus, or race-track, also built by the emperor on his private estates there. Even without knowing the actual sums, it is clear that they must have been astronomical. He also built a vast palace on the Palatine Hill (until then the so-called "imperial palace" had been a network of previously existing private houses), extending it down towards the Forum, behind the Temple of Castor and Pollux. Archaeological evidence confirms that Caligula actually connected the back of the temple to his palace, and it's recorded that he joked that the twin gods were now his "doorkeepers" - yet another example of his sense of humour aimed at making others uncomfortable or at being "edgy". Those building projects, focusing on the biggest, largest, most shocking etc., regardless of cost, are physical manifestations of a higher focus on F and E than on P, pointing to the Beta quadra (or if Gamma, only to SEE).
Caligula's palace on the Palatine hill, with the columns of the Temple of Castor

Much more bizarrely, and defying rational explanation, in the year 39 AD Caligula assembled the available ships (disrupting the grain supply in the process) besides building more for the purpose, in the bay of Naples. He ordered a pontoon bridge, over 2 miles long, built on the ships, connecting the towns of Baiae and Puteoli. Then, wearing Alexander the Great's armour, he spent two days riding his horse back and forth across the bridge, followed by soldiers and cronies, alternating that with wild drunken parties at night, with lots of people falling or being thrown into the sea, with a few drowning in the process. A contemporary, Seneca, wrote that the diversion of merchant ships to that purpose caused a disruption in the grain supply to Rome and its surroundings, with even a short-lived famine.

To the extent that this bizarre and hugely expensive spectacle had any purpose, it can only have been a combination of Caligula's personal amusement, and some kind of "message" he intended to convey with that spectacle, in an "artistic" way; and that message would be somehow related to Caligula's power. The problem is that contemporaries were all baffled at the precise reason for that exercise, demonstrating that Caligula did not bother announcing it. Since it preceded Caligula's (never completed) expedition to Britain, it has been speculated that it was meant as a symbol of his mastery of the seas and of his future conquest of Britain. But whatever Caligula had precisely in mind, the fact that its precise purpose remained unannounced and was almost certainly of symbolic meaning, points strongly to T as in one of Caligula's stronger functions, and T + E in particular. That Caligula again did not care about the expense of that project (and was seemingly unconcerned with the disruption of ship traffic caused by it) points again to P as a subdued and not very strong function.  This combination of functional preferences points more strongly to the Beta quadra, and to EIE or IEI in particular.

Caligula seemed to find it easy to think of cutting, witty remarks, and his approach to policies, projects and even interior decoration seemed more quirky and impulsive than settled; the historian Tacitus (LSI) summed that up with, "his impulsive ideas shifted like a weather-cock". This points to an ease with I and maybe to an Energiser. Finally, what sealed Caligula's fate was his inability or lack of concern with how the attitude of those around him was being shaped by his behaviour.  By making his inner circle, and even his personal armed guard, hate him more than they feared him, he was opening himself to his eventual assassination, yet he did not seem to realise that. That points not only to R as subdued in relation to E, but to R as more like an Ignoring rather than Background function, that is, R7 rather than R8, and I8 rather than I7. Finally, his approach to F - constantly reminding others of how powerful he was in an over-the-top way, which should be unnecessary - fits perfectly F6.

That is, the type that fits the evidence best on Caligula's functional preferences and strengths is EIE.

To learn more about EIE, click here.

Sources: the scholarly work on all aspects of Caligula's reign, referencing all the available historical and archaeological evidence, is Anthony Barrett's Caligula: the corruption of power

Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Walking Dead: Quadra Analysis

This analysis refers only to the TV series The Walking Dead, not to the comic book series on which it was based, looking at seasons 1-7. Warning: in analysing the series, some spoilers inevitably follow.

The basic premise is simple: what happens to a select, if changeable, group of individuals in the aftermath of a 'zombie apocalypse' that has led to the total collapse of modern society, economy, and political structure in the United States (and presumably the rest of the world), accompanied apparently by a not-fully explained fall (over 95%?) of the population. Although the first season dealt mostly with the issue of how to survive against attacks by the zombies themselves, in the later seasons the zombies increasingly became part of the 'background' of this new world, as one more challenge to daily survival, added to the more mundane ones of finding food, shelter, fuel, weapons, and the like. The actual danger (and source of dramatic tension) shifted in the later seasons from the zombies to the several groups of individuals, or communities, the main protagonists encounter in their wanderings from their original area around Atlanta, Georgia, to their later settlement in Alexandria, Virginia. While the background of the zombie apocalypse remains integral to plot structure and character development, it has become secondary to the clashes between the different groups of survivors.

I argue here that the whole premise and basic plot of The Walking Dead can be summarised thus: a Gamma group (the main protagonists) successively meets groups that are either Delta or Beta. Encounters with the Delta groups are peaceful, resulting in either cooperation or in the Delta group being taken over or absorbed by the Gamma group. Encounters with the Beta groups are mostly hostile, resulting in violent conflict, although in a few cases some sort of precarious accommodation is possible. Once one of the above encounters with a Delta or Beta group is settled, the plot moves on to the the encounter with the next Beta or Delta group.

And - - that's it. That's essentially what the whole show is about. I believe this reflects the natural point of view of the series's creator, Robert Kirkman, a likely Gamma himself.

In making this case, I will not suggest socionics types for every single individual character. When I type a group of people as Gamma or Delta, I do not mean that every single individual member is of a type of that quadra, but that the group as a whole is. Generally speaking, though, the leader of each group is usually of a type of that quadra (but, again, not without exception).

So here is my quadra analysis of each of those groups in their order of appearance:

Rick's group (for lack of a better name): Gamma quadra. Led by the series's protagonist, Rick Grimes, an ESI in my view, this group is characterised by the following traits.

  • intense sense of personal loyalty between the members, which is based on bonds of personal mutual trust rather than any sense of common identity or structure, united by trust and the goal of survival (R and F), providing most of the 'soap-opera' side of the series
  • leadership is (mostly) exercised by Rick by common consent, as a person they naturally accept as the leader due to his personal qualities (R), even when he is in 'Ricktatorship' mode
  • extreme suspicion towards outsiders, making a clear distinction between who is 'theirs' and who is not, especially in life-or-death matters (R blocked with F)
  • however, once an outsider is accepted into the group (even if reluctantly), the former outsider becomes as solid a member as the others and equally suspicious of 'new' strangers (again R and F)
  • no real sense of social hierarchy within the group (R)
  • the criteria used to decide whether an outsider should be accepted are based on utilitarianism (i.e. do they have what it takes) and on whether they can be trusted. However, exceptions are made for people for whom the group feels some concern for, even if thought to be useless at first (e.g. Eugene and Gabriel) (P but with R overruling it)
  • - instinct of immediate scepticism when situations or locations become too easy or comfortable - 'this is too good to last' or 'there is a catch' mindset: rather than enjoy it, their reaction is to assume that something is off (devalued S and hint of T).

The Farm: Delta quadra: led by Herschel Greene (perhaps a SLI). To keep it short, I will say that it shares most of the R traits above, but with a more generous and welcoming attitude to strangers, that is Rick's group, and even to the zombies, which they were extremely reluctant to acknowledge as no longer human: that is R blocked with I rather than F. Also much more focused on the daily practical matters of running their farm and preserving a normal, comfortable life as much as they could, rather than focus on its inevitable destruction. P blocked with S rather than T, and subdued F.

Woodbury: Beta quadra: led by "the Governor" (EIE). Essentially a few walled-off city blocks, trying to re-create for its inhabitants what normal life was like before the zombie apocalypse. Chief traits are:

  • - rigid hierarchical structure, with the Governor at the top, aided by an inner circle of armed sidekicks and technical specialists, exercising rigid control over the 'civilians' e.g. when to allow them to go outside the walls etc. (F blocked with L)
  • - approach to strangers is: either submit and join them, or be killed, even engaging on small-scale 'wars' to that end (F with L)
  • - however, there is considerable focus on the need to keep said civilians feeling happy, safe, and confident in the Governor's leadership, also by keeping them in the dark about a lot of what goes on - focus on E, preserving the image of normality
  • - also, an understanding that in order to sustain the above E image, things do need to work at a practical level, such as electricity, water, food, etc. Awareness of P
  • - but in the end, the bottom line for that community was the preservation of the power of the Governor, even with the use of savage force (F).

Terminus: Beta quadra: led by Gareth (IEI or EIE) a community that functions in a far more passive manner than Woodbury, consisting of a small number of people (maybe a few dozens) who survive by luring to their site any wandering strangers, via several posted signs promising shelter, and then slaughtering and eating them (that is, they are cannibals). The Terminus community has these interesting traits:

  • leadership far more based on a shared sense of purpose, mission, past, and even 'sin', than on the leader's charisma or brutal force (T stronger than F or E)
  • that shared sense of purpose is sustained by the existence of a large room containing memorabilia of their dead, for emotional reassurance, in a quasi-religious way (blocked with E)
  • rather than immediately confront any unsuspecting newcomer directly, with force, their tactic is to lure them with an initial atmosphere of deceptive, warm friendliness (E stronger than F)
  • apparently barely functional at a practical level, and unlike all other groups, resorted to cannibalism due to a complete inability to survive otherwise, by scavenging and the like (very poor P)

Although both Woodbury and Terminus are Beta, Woodbury had more of an EIE focus and Terminus, IEI

Grady Memorial Hospital: Beta quadra: led by Dawn (LSI), a police officer, this community is formed essentially of members of the Atlanta police force, medical staff, patients, and former patients now forced to pay back their treatment with indentured labour. It has given itself the purpose and mission (T) of providing hospital care to whomever may need it, but at the cost of maintaining an authoritarian, rigid set of rules devised by Dawn and ultimately enforced at gunpoint (L blocked with F). The focus on maintaining things running properly (P) is far greater than any feel-good or motivational concern (E). Although acting as yet another Beta antagonist of Rick's Gamma group, this community is portrayed as more humane and reasonable, and more open to negotiation, than the previous two Beta communities.

Alexandria Safe-Zone: Delta quadra when first introduced, led by Deanna Monroe (maybe LSE), this community is initially shown as living in a sort of 'bubble', the one that has managed to preserve the greatest resemblance to life before the zombie apocalypse. Centred on a neighbourhood that had been built with 'sustainable lifestyle' facilities such as solar panels and water treatment, their chief traits were:
  • focus on the practical, technical features of their community that maintain their lifestyle - besides the above mentioned, also the careful construction of a properly engineered wall around the site (P)
  • cautious opening to strangers to their community, with active 'recruitment' activities (R with focus on I rather than F)
  • Deanna is leader due to common consent and trust rather than through imposition of force (again R but with little F)
  • their approach to the future is to build upon, and improve, their existing facilities, with little awareness of the fragility of their existence (focus on S and I rather than F and T)

And, as with the Farm, the approach of Rick's group was to immediately 'see the necessity' of taking over control over Alexandria, due to a typical Gamma view of Deltas as oblivious to F and T dangers.

The Hilltop: Delta quadra, even if led by Gregory (ILE); it has Jesus (maybe EII) as its main character. Essentially the same general traits as Alexandria, but with P and S more focused on food production as the top priority (which would suggest that Alexandria has a higher focus on S than P).

At this point in the series, with the protagonists of Rick's group settling in one area and ceasing their journeys, rather than meet new groups in succession they start meeting new groups in a 'wider circle' way, with the general theme of Beta and Delta now happening simultaneously among several communities. Besides the Hilltop, these are:

The Sanctuary of the Saviors: Beta quadra, led by Negan (SLE). A very big group based on an old industrial facility (the Sanctuary) but with several outposts, its chief characteristic is its imposition of overlordship on the surrounding communities by brute force (F). Other notable traits are:

  • the authority of Negan is sustained by the threat of savage punishment with no pretense of it being otherwise (F 'unsoftened' by E)
  • power is exercised via a rigid hierarchy, with a privileged inner circle around Negan enjoying higher status and authority over the bulk of the Sanctuary's inhabitants, whose status is comparable to that of medieval serfs (F blocked with L)
  • rewards and punishments are awarded rigidly, based on a set of fixed rules (again F with L) but with Negan also deviating from them according to his whim (more focus on F than L)
  • existence of rituals aiming at emphasising Negan's superior status and everyone else's subservience, such as kneeling as he walks by (E used to reinforce F)
  • focus on erasure of personal relational bonds: Negan takes as 'wives' even the companions of members of his inner circle, and there is an effort to erase the meaning of personal identity (the "I am Negan" routine) - all of that is extreme devaluing of R, even obliviousness to it
  • nevertheless, the Sanctuary also places value on P matters, with things like electricity and food production functioning seemingly smoothly and with Negan micromanaging it (points to P with S)

What is very clear is that when thinking of groups that would antagonise the protagonists of Rick's Gamma group, Robert Kirkman could only think of the Beta quadra, and in trying to create groups as distinct from each other as possible, he ended up with groups that resemble each of the Beta types: EIE (Woodbury), IEI (Terminus), LSI (the Hospital) and SLE (the Saviors). Another example is:

The Oceanside: Beta quadra, led by Natania (LSI), based on an isolated beach campground, its chief trait is a ruthless no-exceptions rule that any person who learns of their existence has no choice besides joining them or being killed, even if they accept that the person is generally trustworthy (L blocked with F). Leadership is based on Natania being the obvious leader as an older, motherly figure (L with F). As with the other LSI group (the hospital), this group is shown as one that Rick's group sees as relatively reasonable.

The final group I will describe is The Kingdom: a mix of Delta and Alpha quadras, led by King Ezekiel (ESE). This community can be described as a sort of combination of the best traits of the Hilltop and Alexandria, on a larger scale, but interestingly with an added awareness of F (organised defence force) and E (Ezekiel's self-aware theatrical presentation as a medieval king acting as a beacon of reassurance and trust in his leadership). It's interesting that Kirkman's solution to 'improve' an otherwise Delta community was to add a benign source of F and E to it. It could be argued that the Kingdom as a whole reflects Ezekiel's type best, ESE, including the grudging focus on P and F, and that his policy of keeping most of his people "blissfully unaware" of the Saviors points to higher focus on E. Therefore a case can be made for the Kingdom as an Alpha community.

Conclusion: The Walking Dead, despite its apparent complexity due to the large number of characters and eventful plots, in the end it could be summed up as: 'Gamma group faces a succession of Beta and Delta groups. The Betas are always antagonists and need to be fought, the Deltas are allies but need to be helped or even taken over 'for their own good'.'

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Ovid (ESE): Personality Type Analysis

Publius Ovidius Naso, known in the English-speaking world as Ovid, was a Roman poet known for his legacy of bringing a diverse array Latin poems into that of Western canon. He lived during the reign of Augustus (LIE), as a contemporaries of the legendary Virgil (ILI) and lofty Horace (ESI). At an early age, Ovid was tutored under Arellius Fuscus and Marcus Porcius Latro in Rome to study rhetoric and law along with his older brother. However, when his brother died at the age of 20, Ovid abandoned his studies altogether and devoted the rest of his life to poetry. His first success was penned around 16 BCE, known as Amores, a collection of erotic poems that were praised for their descriptiveness and consistently light-hearted themes. Ovid followed this work with more romantic poetry, eventually producing Metamorphoses, - 12,000 lines written in dactylic hexameter chronicling all of human history up until the death of Julius Caesar (SEE).

The majority of what is known of Ovid comes from his own writings. He was an ardent, passionate lover of women, he married thrice and divorced twice before turning 30. As a young adult, he travelled about the Empire to Athens and Asia Minor, squandering his family fortune on his relationships with women until returning home. He loved the popularity he got from writing poetry and understood that his poetry began to reach out to a certain group of people who not only had an appreciation for romance, but knew that romance certainly wasn't the only manifestation of human affection that could be shared between others. Ovid didn't want to be perceived as an expert on these topics, his motivation was out of pure fascination and interest with love's role in facilitating the quality of life's pleasures. It is clear that Ovid's great enthusiasm and engagement in the arts for the emotional experience of it, is first and foremost an indication of E1.

His most ambitious work, Metamorphoses, was organized by Ovid through the large amount of material covered in it and its engaging way of connecting topics discussed in the story to a different theme or by relating to the real world in some way. Ovid works his way through this subject matter, often in an apparently arbitrary fashion, by jumping from one transformation tale to another, sometimes retelling what had come to be seen as central events in the world of Greek mythology and sometimes straying in odd directions. It begins with the ritual 'invocation of the muse', and makes use of traditional epithets and circumlocutions. But instead of following and extolling the deeds of a human hero, it leaps from story to story with no dynamic connections, almost as if the author didn't acknowledge the importance of the progression of time. Ovid attempts to use I, out of pure interest to start a new trend of story-telling, with no sign of T in comparison to Virgil's literary prose. He is a man who was comfortable with exploring and improving upon I, even in the cases where he would get it wrong (I6) and almost a confusing disdain for using T when there was no valid reason to (T4).

The one person who definitely seemed to hate Ovid was Emperor Augustus, he didn't really care for Ovid's charisma and was annoyed with his lack of personal integrity. Augustus observed that Ovid's humanizing perspective of the gods was concerning and he believed Ovid's lifestyle to be in direct opposition to his efforts for incorporating Roman standards of morality. His own hatred towards Ovid was made clear when he eventually banished him from Rome to the live on the coast of the Black Sea. The details as to why he was banished is still a historical mystery. Historians tend to think that it had to do with a political or sexual scandal involving Augustus's granddaughter Julia, though there is a very thin basis for this assessment, and so it is thought that Augustus valued his standards of morality to such a degree that he banished his own granddaughter Julia for adultery. Ovid was in Julia's circle of friends, and Augustus perhaps blamed Ovid for venting the flame that led to her banishment. However, the only potential evidence that would allude to such an event occurring was in a poem that he had written on the topic of his recent mistakes that briefly mentioned, "something that I saw but shouldn't have seen". Ovid in this situation, failed to understand why Augustus was so concerned about the importance of R, the matter with Julia only being one example of many. Ovid's R7, or simply the greater emphasis on E > R, is evident based on what information is available in Ovid's relationships, not devoting himself singularly with one person and instead wanting to please anyone (or even everyone) he loved.

During his forced exile to the Romanian coast, the topics of his poems became excessively melodramatic as a result with his dissatisfaction of how horrid the scenery and weather was there, hoping for the chance that he could return to Rome one day. However, his attitude towards his banishment could be seen as an overreaction, since Ovid still retained his property rights and Roman citizenship. This, along with his appreciation of the passionate expression of love is intertwined with material pleasures works with a combination of E+S, more specifically S2.

Ovid worked tirelessly to produce these poems. A great amount of personal energy was directed to produce these works, with little or no intention of 'taking a break' - as was a common occurrence with Roman poets who were busy with a second job to earn more money. While never an underlying theme in his poetry, his use of F was only for the purposes of 'toughing it out' when tying up loose ends, and not giving up or considering switching professions during the period of time when his poems weren't doing as well as his earlier works. This shows that he had strong enough F, but unvalued for the most part, thus making F8 the best possibility.

In conclusion, Alpha values with no interest in T whatsoever, valued I though obviously not strong, devalued R to the point of getting him in trouble, a high focus on E and S, using F for personal ambitions only and conveying the impression of a friendly, joyful and even carefree man. Thus far, what has been mentioned about Ovid clearly points towards E1, S2, T4, I6, R7 and F8, suggesting consistently that he was the ESE type of information metabolism.

To learn more about ESE, click here.

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.