Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Intuition

Have you ever known something without knowing how you know? (Read it again if it doesn't make sense. I'll wait...)

Wikipedia says:
Intuition is the apparent ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. Intuition provides us with beliefs that we cannot necessarily justify. Some scientists have contended that intuition is associated with innovation in scientific discovery.
What we're talking about is instinctive knowledge. The sub-conscious combination of data from last week's internet video, 2nd grade history class and that college chemistry class suddenly grants you an intuitive answer.  Intuition is the Easter egg knowledge that bubbles up from all the various sources we've acquired over time to provide us with an immediate answer.

Considering that we all learn different things, it is reasonable that we all intuit (not the software company!) differently. Meaning, everyone's intuition works differently.

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Doesn't it make sense to capture these intuitions? Record them for later application, study and review? You never know, you might have a real-life Cassandra toiling in obscurity. I'm not saying psychics are real -- I'm saying that intuition depends on past experience and access to new data.

Doesn't it make sense to track these? Record them in the hopes of identifying trends, new ideas, innovations.  All it takes is Firm Wisdom.

Incidentally, everything you need to know about intuition has already been written by Malcolm Gladwell in Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. If you only read one book on how the human mind works, that is the book you should read.

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Full Disclosure: the book link to Blink is an Amazon affiliate link.