The thal cognitive style is best described as a massive, interdependent system of hypotheticals. It is nonverbal and not strictly logical, because every sense impression and memory is assigned a probability when it is stored. It’s the summation of these probabilities that produces convictions and action. So let’s say I see a herd of bison going West, and I believe my eyes and figure it’s not a dream (99%). Last year, I saw the same thing and the herd eventually ended up at a particular lake three days later, so I infer that they will do so again (80%). I figure I can convince some buddies of this (85%) and we’ll have a high chance of success spending calories on a trek to earn a surplus of calories, with relatively few injuries or deaths. All of these probabilities get plugged into a heavily approximated risk/reward calculation.
Having determined that the cost of asking my buddies is basically nil, my brain produces the conviction to do so, which produces the action. This isn’t just a thal thing, obviously everybody who has any gray matter does this (otherwise they would be relentlessly obtuse, spergy narcissists…hmm…). The real difference is in scale- quantity has a quality all its own, along with some interesting emergent effects. When it comes to gray matter, it’s the volume that counts, not the cortical folding.
These hypotheticals are analogous to puzzle pieces, and sorting them into a holistic interpretive framework is a lot like the process of putting together a puzzle. It is primarily a task of perceiving, interpreting, hypothesizing, and back to perceiving again, with bursts of highly constructive activity. The outward appearance seems to be short periods of dithering (sorting into colors, perceiving individual pieces) and paralysis (endogenous pattern-perception) interspersed with frenzies of activity when a big chunk of the puzzle gets knocked out all of a sudden, because an overall pattern was perceived (“looks like I have all the pieces for the dog in the corner here…”).
The base state of dithering/perceiving looks like the ADHD brain scan characteristic of the ENTP personality. The eureka moments (all red) precede the bursts of activity, which are experienced as high-focus flow states (all blue, some small yellow eureka moments along the way). Generally, the all-blue input state which typifies melonhead observation is not experienced during this sort of task.
The moment of initial fascination is also notable, but it is something of a mystery to me. This is analogous to the moment of opening the box of a new puzzle, and getting excited by seeing all of the exciting, colorful pieces. It is like when we stumble across a new idea and beginning the process of red pilling. A problem naturally arises when we open too many new boxes without finishing any of the puzzles- hence the mythical tinkerer’s workshop full of unfinished projects and open work tickets. Thal-backs have to practice an information diet, although I have no idea what that entails yet. I have a method for finding out which is easily derived from the intuitive diet experimentation model:
I don’t have nutrition specifications. I’ve previously described it as “shotgun” experimentation, which is to say I try stuff and then see what feels good and what sticks.
1) What feels good- this refers to the feelings that follow after eating, rather than the feelings during eating, which can be deceptive.
2) What sticks- some foods you want to keep eating (complex carbs, particularly), some you don’t.
If a food makes me feel good AND sticks, it goes into the basic diet until I start feeling sick of it. 1 lb of beef stayed on much longer than I would have expected, but I eventually backed off to 1/2 lb. So for whatever reason, that really, really helped me out.
I allow for the peripheral satisfaction of some cravings, but not all cravings, because eating nothing is better than eating poison. So once a week or so I’ll eat something out of the ordinary just because I feel like it.