Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Christopher Langan (LSI): Personality Type Analysis

Christopher Michael Langan rose to fame due to media attention concerning his unusually high intelligence, being dubbed "The Smartest Man in the World". He has worked a number of day jobs, including bouncer, construction worker, farmhand, and cowboy, but his main focus is on developing his "Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe" (CTMU), which he classifies as "reality theory", a discipline involving philosophy, logic, mathematics, and some general aspects of science.

Langan's major goal with CTMU is to logically resolve the paradoxes that have plagued the philosophy of science and empiricism. To this end, Langan repeatedly invokes logical consistency as the overriding criterion for what makes a good theory. Yet, many have read his work and found it disappointing -- his theories give very little in the way of extra observable information about the world, but rather help to reorganize and explain facts that are already known (why language works so well to describe the world, why anything exists, etc.). Langan has nothing against empirical research, yet he is not really interested in working on it himself. All this is a strong indication of subdued P, and both strong and valued L. And unlike L2 types, for Langan theorical understanding and mental order is an end in itself - its conclusions to be disturbed only when absolutely necessary. Langan strongly emphasizes the use of binary logic: yes or no, this or that. He sees the unknown and ambiguity as essentially problematic -- distracting things to be eliminated if at all possible -- rather than being fascinated by them and desiring to explore them. This is an indication of I4. He also almost invariably regards his conclusions as being obviously correct, and only has limited patience for discussing alternative viewpoints, or explaining them to dummies who just don't get it, yet continue to ask lots of annoying questions. This demonstrates a reluctance to use both E and I.

Langan is also known in the high IQ community for aggressively promoting his logical views in the face of opposition, and seeking material influence in high-IQ organizations like the "Mega Society" -- not necessarily for the sake of power, but to fix them and change them for the better. This shows that he is easily able to use F (blocked with L), and his desire to communicate his views to others demonstrates valued E. However, he often alienates people rather than converting them to his viewpoint (weak E). In recent years however, he has withdrawn from the public sphere -- where the response to CTMU has mostly been hostile and skeptical of its value -- and started a small, exclusive organization which has the sole purpose of discussing and developing his theory, with him being the one who is clearly in charge (again, strong and valued F).

Langan's interest in the abstract might be seen as an indication of strong intuition rather than sensing. However, he is not content to just sit back and theorize; he would much prefer that his theories would have some kind of real-world impact. In the Errol Morris documentary about his life (see links below), he alludes to having aspirations to be a sort of enlightened world dictator. And, beyond the purely descriptive content of his theories, Langan also believes that they have implications for the correct spiritual direction of life, both individual and communal, which demonstrates valued T. Langan further demonstrates his ability and willingness to use force, both physical and mental, in countless ways, including his choice of highly physical occupations, as well as standing up to his abusive stepfather (also mentioned in the documentary). All of this adds up to a strong case that Langan is LSI.

To learn more about LSI, click here.

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


Errol Morris documentary: (part 1) (part 2) (part 3)

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