When James approaches other balloonists with his desire to use a hot air balloon to chart weather conditions, they accuse him of being a “theorist with no practical knowledge of the air.” Amelia is the only one willing to take him. All his focus lies on his belief that if they can break all the records and explore the skies, James can learn how to map weather patterns for productive reasons. He believes in “furthering knowledge,” and changing the world through mastering weather patterns. He intends a direct practical application for his scientific knowledge: if people can chart and predict weather patterns, they can use that to benefit their lives, prepare for floods, and keep themselves safe. James relies on his instruments to give him data and never deviates from them, sometimes being over-reliant on them (the instrument says we are fine, so that means we must be fine, whereas Amelia’s instincts tell her otherwise). James can be over-practical at times; aware of their need to not carry much weight, he left his oilskins behind in London – those very garments that would have kept him warm in freezing temperatures! James does think in practical terms under pressure, however. He knows they can lose the basket, then turn the balloon into a parachute by cutting the right cords. Though his Fe-using father is worried about what people say about his “madcap” desire to fly in the newspapers, James answers merely that he “wishes it didn’t bother you so much.” He could care less what anyone says about him. He also fails to understand from a feeler standpoint why it’s important to get the crowd with them, and the benefits of showmanship – James is simply pursuing an interest of his own, which he cares about, and wants to use it to impact the world. At first, James show typical low Se behaviors – he is wrapped up in his work, oblivious to the world around him, and interested in the skies from a ground-level perspective. But as their adventure starts to escalate, he shows adaptability under intense situations (figuring out they need to rid themselves of the basket, doing risky things like swinging around on ropes and cutting them loose of the ropes) but also recklessness, due to the lack of oxygen affecting his brain – he becomes so much lost in the moment, he’s willing to “give up my life” to “go higher.”

Enneagram: 5w4 so/sp

James has built his life around his obsession with weather patterns, and mostly learned from a distance up until this point. Then, he chooses a woman capable of handling the balloon to handle anything unexpected, so he can focus on his data collection. As is somewhat typical of 5s, he is a bit unrealistic about the outside world and the dangers involved in what they are doing, because he’s a dreamer with big ideas. His hands-off methods are impractical in the air, where he disintegrates into 7 methods – becoming more impractical, excitement-seeking, and getting a “high” from being so… well, high in the air. But when he’s able to focus, James is highly rational, logically detached (to a fault, given he leaves his warm clothes behind to keep the balloon lighter), and able to problem-solve. His 4 wing feels a sense of purpose and depth, misunderstood in the academic world, and cares little what others think of him.