P+ as a Visual Explanation

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    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    This is a thread detailing the operations of P+ (corresponding to Pe) from a computational point of view. Now, I know most members here are not into programming so I'm going to not stress that portion of it in this thread. Instead, I want to give a tangible and visual explanation of what the code means. Please feel free to ask questions if it doesn't seem clear, since I do hope to improve my communication wherever possible. 🙂
    The written version of P+ describes these steps:

    • 1: The function begins by loading the necessary libraries for its operation: the perception and visual systems.
    • 2: It then gets the objects from the visual system after pre-processing, which get them from the (physical or conceptual) environment.
    • 3: Next, the function checks each object to see if it exists in a previous memory.
    • 4: If the object is not catalogued, then the object is catalogued (appended) to memory, and the visual system is instructed to examine the adjacent environment for new objects.
    • 5: If the object does exist in memory already, then that object is ignored and the general area is left in favor of a more distant environment.

    Lets play this out using visuals:

    ^ Here we see a little robot car. Lets pretend this is P+ (Pe). The big rectangle/room holding everything together is the total environment. The different shapes within the environment are objects. The little robot car has a yellow light and camera in front of it which represents its field of vision. If the yellow light is pointed at an object, that object is being "seen."
    STEP 1:

    IMPORT pSystem
    SIDELOAD visualSystem

    Okay, so lets skip over Step 1 for now since it's more of a technical point -- but you can think of this as turning the robot "on."
    STEP 2:

    theObjects = GET visualSystem preprocessed

    Step 2 says P+ gets objects after pre-processing from the physical or conceptual environment. For this metaphor we're going to focus only on a physical environment. So, basically, the pre-processor here is the camera feed. The camera feed pre-processes the objects. These would be like human eyes but also any automatic adjustments that the eyes do to shadows and focus, etc. The eyes have some programming in themselves, and this programming is separate from P+. For example, the famous checker shadow illusion is due to this pre-processing. Before it even gets to P+, the visual system runs a few interpretations of the data, prepping it for conscious handling.
    STEP 3:

    FOR i to theObjects length do
    IF theObjects[i] is not in memory do
            APPEND theObjects[i] to memory

    Now we get to the interesting part. Here P+ checks each object to see if it exists in (short-term) memory. Since it's just been booted up, it's pretty fresh, so the first time it sees an object it isn't yet in short-term memory. Therefore it appends it to memory.

    STEP 4:

    SCAN visualSystem for adjacent

    This next part says that if it did manage to find an uncataloged object (which it did), the instructions are to look adjacently for more objects. In other words, this little robot car scouts out the surrounding area:

    This loop continues to run and run and run until no new objects are in its line of sight, at which point the "IF" conditional statement triggers the next part of the code:
    STEP 5:

    ELSE do
    IGNORE theObjects[i]
    SCAN visualSystem for distant

    This part of the code says that if it cannot find any objects that are not in memory (in other words, it's exhausted the uncataloged objects in its field of view), then it is instructed to scan "distantly." In other words, "go far away" or "look elsewhere" is the instruction that it receives. And so the little robot car does this:

    ^ It went to a whole different area, and is now interested in the green squares, having left the blue circles behind.
    Now the whole process repeats again. It will start to catalog each green square until it has no more uncataloged objects in its field of view. And when that happens, it will go elsewhere to look distantly for more objects. So lets play this out a bit more and lets say he finishes with the green squares and decides to go top-left....

    ^ What it will come across are more blue circles. But we have a problem here, this robot car is already familiar with the blue circles. In other words the objects are already in memory (i.e. "been there, done that") so the robot car looks at the blue spheres in the top-left very briefly before going somewhere else (distantly).
    If it happens to go top-right, it will again have to move on, because it already saw those. It will do this until it reaches the bottom-right, where there are new, uncatalogued orange stars:

    Now the little robot gets the remaining objects in the environment. But now there's a problem isn't there? If we keep this programming loop running, when it's done with the orange stars it will have no new objects to catalog. The program will essentially grind to a half as everything will trigger "IGNORE theObjects." The robot would then just spin around the room going from object to object only to ignore each one as soon as it approaches it:

    I'll explain more on the next post, but this is basically it. That's all P+ means, in its operational sense.

    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    As you can see, these few sets of instructions produce a behavior that can be summarized as: look for new things, if you see new things, look more around that area. If there are no new things in that area, go look in another area. Rinse and repeat. This is the explorer function, which is basically a scouting function.
    I skipped over a few things here for the sake of giving an overview. But for instance, the process of identifying the objects would require some aide from J-. Since none of the four modules exist in isolation, they're constantly passing information to each other. So in a real scenario, the diagrams above would have some micro J- checks thrown in there.
    Another thing to note is that at the end of the OP, the robot car is spinning around not knowing what to do. But in reality this wouldn't happen, because P+ doesn't exist in isolation. The OP scenario is only describing a physical scenario with no capacity for conceptualization. But humans have a conceptual environment in our heads that is always accessible to us, and which is infinite in scope.
    So lets say a human is in a waiting room, and they've scanned every wall and chair and there's nothing new to see there. The physical environment is exhausted.  Well, their P+ will go "distantly", which will translate to becoming lost in their own thoughts (mental objects). Going "distant", when one cannot physically go distant, translates to conceptual distance. They may start thinking about yesterday, about tomorrow, about friends, family, or anything else. And this is because the totality of our "environment" includes the physical and conceptual together.

    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    So while on topic, I'd like to also explain how P+ ties into libido, from the psychodynamics perspective.
    Psychodynamics brings other aspects into focus, such as the qualia of pleasure and pain. If we propose that all cognitive processes are not just mechanical/computer instructions, but that they have a living motive & aim for acting, then the operation of P+ is also driven by some willful desire. We can also frame this from a neurological angle and say that all actions are ultimately driven by an instinct from the reward system.
    From this view, we can say that P+ doesn't just perform brute computation but it does so in the context of a reward system, wherein pleasure is the qualitative result felt when it locates new objects, while pain results when it cannot find any new objects.
    We can then imagine the little robot car above being 'excited' or 'curious' when it sees new objects:

    ....and maybe 'frustrated' and 'restless' when it spins around not finding anything else:

    Framing things this way allows us to examine all sorts of implications. For example, we can examine the correlations that may exist between P+ and social media addictions. As you scroll through a news feed, every new post is a new object you see, and thus it triggers a micro-reward through P+, because new objects are streaming into the environment.
    At the mildest level, P+'s tie to libido can lead to a healthy curiosity and sense of wonder/adventure. At the heaviest level, if this single neural pathway is over-relied upon, it can lead to a loop where all pleasure is sought from the experience of new objects streaming through. The individual may become dependent on a stream of new objects, for their gratification in life -- and this is where we see crossover with things like enneagram's type 7 descriptions ("gluttony").
    But it's important to note that P+ is not itself the reward system. This is very important because being P+ lead does not necessarily mean your reward system will exist in a way where it's dependent on this reward pathway for satisfaction. A person may have other very enriching sources of satisfaction in their life that make it so they don't seek pleasure excessively from this one pathway. Or they may even have a different fixation. It does make it more likely though, because it's an easy pathway to get pleasure from if you're weighted towards P+, but many other life variables contribute to what happens to someone's emotional response patterns.
    Framing things this way allows us to both correlate P+ to said fixations/impulses, while not making it equivalent to it. And it's one of the reasons why I find parsing out computation from psychodynamics to be important.
    ~ ~ ~
    I wonder if that makes sense?
    Let me know what you guys think! Any feedback or thoughts are welcome.
    Or if it needs more clarification, please don't feel shy to ask.

    • Type: FiSe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    This psychodynamics explanation is really enlightening! Do you think you will write up little explanations like this for the other functions? That'd be very cool 🙂

    • Type:
    • Development:
    • Attitude:

    Cool. I would say take out the short term memory. A true Pe (P+) process would be able to go back to an object for further exploration and then jump back to another one. Yes with memory it gets bored because it remembers it has explored it, but not a pure Pe process, just like in real life we can revisit and explore the same object again and find new things. I would say then that the Pi process or P- would include a kind of layering of Pe data for when it gets reprocessed "deeper," meaning just a bunch of reprocess d layers on top of each other, kinda like Google's deep dream generator algortyrhm where you could submit a picture ad infinitum to be reprocessed and it got weirder every time. So the pe process wouldn't go in a circle, it would re-explore again and again  indiscriminately

    • Type: Unknown
    • Development:
    • Attitude: Unknown

    I see reward system (in bigger scale, emotions) as fundamental in any kind of decision-making or thought processes so I agree with you on that one. I also see Pe and Je to the external world the same way I see Pi and Ji applied to the internal world. But that internal world would be something unconscious and not part of the processing mind itself, just like the outer world is a separate reality on its own. That internal world would be something like accumulated personal memories and inherited collective unconscious.
    I still think the quadra groups are simply the result of different pathways of otherwise the same faculties of human minds and these faculties are none other than the energetics (Pe, Je, Pi, Ji) in connection with the reward system. But I don't know if only one pathway can exist exclusively negating the other ones or the others are simply repressed for practical purposes.

    • Type: Unknown
    • Development:
    • Attitude: Unknown

    I used to be a purist too (there's only four functions oriented differently, not eight), though I saw it as a spectrum rather than strict categories. And then I started to see that even for the function one "doesn't use", there would be at least a negative imprint on one's psyche by the lack of it (this is how I see Socionics describe them), so this could be a potential mine you could base your personality profile descriptions off from both sides (the traits and the un-traits), making them more accurate.

    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    @gnosis - Right. Thanks for that, I agree with you here too!
    That was a missing detail on my end. I've changed memory to st-memory (short-term memory).  Short-term memory would just entail the current objects loaded into awareness right-now. P+ doesn't search in long-term memory, otherwise it would basically be a P- function too, and make P- redundant. Instead, P- is the one which is given short-term memory objects and tries to match them to prior narratives or landscapes in long-term memory, involving that object, in order to provide spatial and temporal context.
    This is what allows for an object to be recognized with more sides and angles. For example, when we observe an object we're only ever seeing it from one angle, and the angle is never exactly the same twice. But if, when we see an object, P- recalls all the angles that the object has, and its placement across time, then all those other angles are loaded into awareness too. This means that, theoretically, if you just had pure P+, an object would enter short-term memory just as the static front-facing graphic that appears before it, but as soon as any change appears in angle or lighting, it would appear as a new object.
    So a pure P+ experience, that is never echoing P-, would be dazzled at every new frame/angle of their perception, of even the same object. And indeed, when an object is totally unknown, we usually turn it around to scan all of its angles anyway. Kinda like how spatial mapping software does so, to account for object occlusions:

    Our capacity to look at an object and infer the occluded elements is part of P-'s participation with P+. And that's what prevents us from revisiting them every second.
    Anyway... yes, I think this is better. And it's pretty much what I meant, but I wasn't very clear on "memory" in that post, so thanks!

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