About twenty years ago, I recognised that my life was going nowhere, that I was stuck in a loop. I labelled this a “process-only” loop. I imagined that humans worked like computers: we took input in the form of new information; we processed it by thinking about it; and we output it as a new idea, product or invention.
I believed that I had become stuck in the “process” step, analysing the same information over and over again. The solution, I reasoned, was more data – a return to the “input” step. It turns out that this idea was close to the theory espoused by MBTI, as described by the idea of the Ti-Si loop.
Forgive me if I don’t elaborate on the Ti-Si loop. My knowledge is patchy on the subject, and if I wait until I get round to looking up the information, I’ll end up never completing this article, brief though it is. Safe to say, the Ti-Si loop is a thought-process by which the sufferer (and it is a form of suffering) gets stuck trying to find a way out of a situation but being unable to move on because it perhaps hasn’t occurred to them that they don’t have enough information – a bit like being reluctant to look things up for an article because of the time it would take. Ah. 😦
In the 1980s, like many teenagers, I used to play computer games. By far my favourite type was the “arcade adventure”. These were usually platform-style games, and involved exploring an environment – such as a building or mine-working – and solving puzzles to get past obstacles. They were the forerunners to Tomb Raider and similar games.
I liken the “process-only” Ti-Si loop to some of my attempts to navigate the games – trying repeatedly to use the same objects or keys to solve a puzzle or open a door, and getting nowhere. The only solution was to go to another part of the game and search for a new object, or find another way through. My attempts to get through life have been much the same, for many years. Despite identifying the problem and positing a viable solution over two decades ago, it’s only recently that I’ve taken the message seriously.
Perhaps I liked those games not because they were an escape, as I’ve always assumed, but they were true-to-life as far as an INTP sees it.