Paul Mawdsley

The nature of intuition?

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I might have started out with clunky words and equations, but that is not how I ended up. My first action is to visualize and analogize. If that is insufficient then I do it the hard way, with mathematical symbolism. For proofs, I always use the verbal method for two reasons:

1. To communicate with others. Visualization is a private thing.

2. To make sure I have not overlooked something or assumed something not in the hypothesis.

I find another very important reason for using the verbal method: if I am trying to understand or model some phenomenon-- whether it is mathematical, physical, psychological or metaphysical, I find it works best to come at the problem from more than one direction at a time. Distinct but complimentary models of the same phenomenon can produce new insights when held parallel in the mind. Verbal models can help guide intuitive thinking, intuitive thinking can help guide the development of verbal models, or one intuitive model can work reciprocally with another intuitive model. It doesn't have to feel like one needs to choose between modes of modeling if there is disagreement between models.

Disagreement between modes of modeling usually means an error has been made within one of the models rather than one of the modes of modeling is wrong. Ultimately, I think too often people feel the need to choose one mode over another--such as choosing verbal or mathematical modeling over intuitive modeling or the reverse-- in order to overcome an impasse in the flow of awareness. They own one and disown another. Interpersonally, people become entrenched and attack not just the models of others but the modes of modeling they have disowned in themselves and see in others (not to mention the characters of those who would use such modes). A better solution is to seek the error in the model and find resolution and integration within oneself. All too often discussions fall into the battle of adversarial modes of modeling. If the models fight it out, the error might be found. If the modes of modeling fight it out, the battlefield will just end up divided into two camps (or more).

Einstein and Bohr are prime examples of the latter. I think there is a error in Einstein's intuitive causal model rather than, as been assumed by many in the world of physics, Einstein's intuitive mode of modeling doesn't work.

On the other hand, some things cannot be visualized. Try visualizing a six dimensional Calabri-Yao manifold (this is used in String Theory). Good luck!

I'll hold off on this. I'm still working on raising my intuitive models to a level where I can visualize the causal dynamics that gives rise to the four dimensional space/time of general relativity and the quirks of quantum reality.

PS. Here is a visualization exercise for you, Cut a cube with a plane so that the intersection is a hexagon. Fun, fun, fun!

Thanks Bob. I enjoyed this. It was a fun mental exercise.

Edited by Paul Mawdsley

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I think Bob's two visualization exercises can shed a lot of light on visualization/intuitive processes. Question: what is it we are actually doing when we visualize cylindrical and cubic sections? How does this work? What parts of the brain are involved? By what principles do we create and manipulate these imagined objects? Are there principles of this dynamic that can be applied to the more general case of dreaming, imagining, modeling, creating metaphysical realms, creating verbal and mathematical objects (languages), etc.?

As Ellen suggests, thinking in images goes way beyond geometric and mathematical thought. It's how we solve everyday problems like what to wear. Bob points to the importance of kinesthetic learning/imaging. I think we are only scratching the surface of this phenomenon that is so central to our daily choices. Self-image and social dynamics is profoundly influenced by the images we create (and that are created in us), how reality based these images are, and the way these images act as a lens through which we interpret ourselves and our social world. Experiencing/acting/thinking in images lies at the core of our psyche, gives rise to the phenomenon of self-esteem, and is central to understanding psychological and social dynamics in general.

At the core of our "image generator" is our intuitive notion of identity and causality. This is why these concepts are so important. Our intuitive concepts of identity and causality are the maps that determine the shape of the images we generate. They determine what things can and cannot be and how they can and cannot behave. Given one setting, you are a theist. Given another, you must be atheist. Given another setting, you set the axioms for Euclidean geometry. Given another, you set the parameters for human language.

My theory is that given one setting of our image generator, the intuitive images it generates of the physical world will not be able to make sense of general relativity or quantum reality, but another setting can. The seeds of another setting can be found in Rand and Branden's work with their discussions of entity-to-action causation. The metaphysical and psychological images that have shaped their work has been generated from this concept of causation. This is the root of their powerful insights. I'm not saying they have the answer to an intuitive solution for modern physics. I think their concepts of identity and causality need refinement. But I do think they are pointing in the right direction.

Paul

PS: Just another thought before I crash. Another setting of the image generator's principles of identity and causality would produce the metaphorical symbols discussed by Freud and Jung. It's a powerful machine at the core of our cultures.

Edited by Paul Mawdsley

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Thank you, all, for your posts about thinking in images. I see your point, and that I was thinking of thinking in too narrow a sense. I'll be looking up and thinking (in words and images) about many of the sources listed, and I'm grateful for the information.

Barbara

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I think Bob's two visualization exercises can shed a lot of light on visualization/intuitive processes. Question: what is it we are actually doing when we visualize cylindrical and cubic sections? How does this work? What parts of the brain are involved? By what principles do we create and manipulate these imagined objects? Are there principles of this dynamic that can be applied to the more general case of dreaming, imagining, modeling, creating metaphysical realms, creating verbal and mathematical objects (languages), etc.?

As Ellen suggests, thinking in images goes way beyond geometric and mathematical thought. It's how we solve everyday problems like what to wear. Bob points to the importance of kinesthetic learning/imaging. I think we are only scratching the surface of this phenomenon that is so central to our daily choices. Self-image and social dynamics is profoundly influenced by the images we create (and that are created in us), how reality based these images are, and the way these images act as a lens through which we interpret ourselves and our social world. Experiencing/acting/thinking in images lies at the core of our psyche, gives rise to the phenomenon of self-esteem, and is central to understanding psychological and social dynamics in general.

At the core of our "image generator" is our intuitive notion of identity and causality. This is why these concepts are so important. Our intuitive concepts of identity and causality are the maps that determine the shape of the images we generate. They determine what things can and cannot be and how they can and cannot behave. Given one setting, you are a theist. Given another, you must be atheist. Given another setting, you set the axioms for Euclidean geometry. Given another, you set the parameters for human language.

My theory is that given one setting of our image generator, the intuitive images it generates of the physical world will not be able to make sense of general relativity or quantum reality, but another setting can. The seeds of another setting can be found in Rand and Branden's work with their discussions of entity-to-action causation. The metaphysical and psychological images that have shaped their work has been generated from this concept of causation. This is the root of their powerful insights. I'm not saying they have the answer to an intuitive solution for modern physics. I think their concepts of identity and causality need refinement. But I do think they are pointing in the right direction.

Paul

PS: Just another thought before I crash. Another setting of the image generator's principles of identity and causality would produce the metaphorical symbols discussed by Freud and Jung. It's a powerful machine at the core of our cultures.

For our purpose, the most fundamental semantic application of what has been

said above is in the vast field embraced by the old structural notions of ‘cause’ and

‘effect’. These terms are of great antiquity, of a distinctly pre-scientific one-, two-

valued semantic epoch. They originated in the rough experience of our race, and are

firmly rooted in the habits of ‘thought’ and the structure of our old two-valued

‘logic’ and language, and because of that are even now unduly baffling. These

terms, in the two-valued sense, were and are the structural assumptions of our

‘private’ and ‘official’ ‘philosophies’. The unenlightened use of these terms has

done much to prevent the formulation of a science of man and to build up vicious

anti-scientific metaphysics of various sorts involving pathological s.r. (semantic reactions) With the new

quantum mechanics, a better understanding of these notions, based on the ∞-valued

semantics of probability, becomes a paramount issue for all science. In daily life, the

indiscriminate use of two-valued ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ leads structurally to a great

deal of absolutism, dogmatism, and other harmful semantic disturbances, which I

call confusion of orders of abstraction.

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general semanticist,

Are there some glasses Korzybski or his followers sell to help see in this thicket of fog? This reader has eyes like a falcon. :D

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Suppose you say that event A causes event B. What happens when event C, previously unheard of, occurs in between A and B and B no longer occurs. The point is that, just because one event has always followed another event in the past, does not mean it always will in the future. This does not mean there is no relation between the events but that the relation is subject to certain conditions. It is not scientific to say "A causes B" but rather "A is related to B".

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For our purpose, the most fundamental semantic application of what has been

said above is in the vast field embraced by the old structural notions of 'cause' and

'effect'. These terms are of great antiquity, of a distinctly pre-scientific one-, two-

valued semantic epoch. They originated in the rough experience of our race, and are

firmly rooted in the habits of 'thought' and the structure of our old two-valued

'logic' and language, and because of that are even now unduly baffling. These

terms, in the two-valued sense, were and are the structural assumptions of our

'private' and 'official' 'philosophies'. The unenlightened use of these terms has

done much to prevent the formulation of a science of man and to build up vicious

anti-scientific metaphysics of various sorts involving pathological s.r. (semantic reactions) With the new

quantum mechanics, a better understanding of these notions, based on the ∞-valued

semantics of probability, becomes a paramount issue for all science. In daily life, the

indiscriminate use of two-valued 'cause' and 'effect' leads structurally to a great

deal of absolutism, dogmatism, and other harmful semantic disturbances, which I

call confusion of orders of abstraction.

It's good to step inside someone else's models of the same phenomenon I am exploring. It seems quite parallel to my own perspective.

I agree that the unquestioned habit of using the principle of "cause and effect" to generate the images that shape our worldview "leads to a great deal of absolutism, dogmatism." (I'm not quite sure what is meant by "other harmful semantic disturbances" or "confusion of orders of abstraction.")

The principle of cause and effect frames our intuitive, and our more consciously systematic, understanding of how actions are initiated in terms that view all actions of things to be the result of other things acting upon them. The energy for action comes from outside the thing that acts. When constructing intuitive models of our world using cause and effect as the guiding principle for image generation, all our models and theories about the world will implicitly contain this principle of action. It is an implicit part of both our intuitive models of the world and our scientific/philosophical models of the world.

The intuitive principle of cause and effect was made explicit by Newton with his three laws of motion and the concept of inertia. It is the principle that guides the creative image generation (the creative aspects of "discovery and justification") of classical physics. Action at a distance caused some trouble for intuitive physical models of observed forces in nature. Ether theory was proposed to maintain the continuity of cause and effect. But the nature of light broke the chain for good. Light does not behave according to the subtleties of the principle of cause and effect. The action for light (in particular, moving in straight lines at a constant velocity) is not determined completely by the action of other things. At a fundamental level, light's energy for action comes from within. It is part of it's nature. It behaves contrary to the concept of inertia. It was also established that four of the five forces of nature are related to this quirk in the nature of light (gravity does not yet fit). Once it is assumed that the nature of light breaks the concept of inertia and the intuitive principle of cause and effect (especially that the energy for action comes from outside the thing that acts), the ether theory no longer had any merit.

Einstein's relativity broke with the intuitive principle of cause and effect in a very important way. The energy for action no longer comes from outside the thing that acts. This created a disconnect between our intuitive models of the world and the way the world actually behaves.

The case with quantum reality is even worse. Quantum physics demonstrates that not only can actions operate across large distances, they can operate across large distances instantaneously. Information is passed between objects at a speed faster than light can transfer the information (see Bell's Theorem and the Aspect experiments). Again, the intuitive principle of cause and effect is broken.

Another aspect of our intuitive principle of cause and effect is that entities cannot behave as though they are in two places at once. In quantum reality all particles have a wave characteristic. They behave as though they are influenced by objects that do not occur along a single path, as though they traverse more than one path at a time, with each possible traversed path affecting the measured location of the particle.

Add to this the fact that quantum mechanics does a extremely precise job of predicting the behaviour of quantum objects on a foundation of probabilities, without the assumption of causation, and we see the death of our faith in the intuitive principle of cause and effect to explain our world. Again, action is shown to occur without reference to the energy for action coming from outside the thing that acts. At the quantum level things just act, without any observable transfer of energy from other things, in a way that can be predicted probabilistically based on an understanding of the whole system in which they act.

Our intuitive principle of cause and effect has been shown to be mistaken. Our habit of building models of the world and interpreting the world through the lens of this principle goes very deep. It shapes the paradigms of our thoughts. It creates the intuitive assumption of determinism which conflicts with our experience of free will. It shapes our intuitive models of the physical universe which conflict with the evidence. Should we not question whether the principle of cause and effect is an accurate description of reality if it has been shown to have such failings?

This principle is at the base of just about every theory we have (outside of certain exclusions in modern physics), from evolution theory, to theories of the nature and dynamics of the psyche, to theories of the nature and dynamics of brain functioning, to theories of the nature and dynamics of the cosmos. It is the framework on which all these theories have been based. If our faith in the intuitive principle of cause and effect to explain our world is dead, should we not now be looking for a new principle of causation on which to base our models and interpretations?

Korzybski suggests thinking "based on the ∞-valued semantics of probability" is a more enlightened approach. I'm more with Einstein on this one. I don't think the probabilities of quantum mechanics is the final description of reality.

AR and NB talk about entity-to-action causation. I first read their ideas on entity-to-action causation over 20 years ago. I couldn't put it out of my mind. It represented something intuitively important to me. It is a different principle for constructing intuitive models from the principle of cause and effect. I have spent a lot of time developing this concept further and using it as the foundation of my own intuitive models and interpretations. It is why I find myself at odds with so many theories, both those that have displaced (but not replaced) the intuitive principle of cause and effect and those that are built from this principle. I hope to get people interested in exploring of their intuitive views and the principles of causation at their roots. I think this is where Einstein's dream of a causal model of the universe that is consistent with the evidence will be found. I don't think reality is beyond our intuitive grasp.

Paul

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A Rational Intuition

One non-mystical, rational sense of intuition is: an immediate cognition that is an implicitly rational hypothesis, one whose rational bases are not yet explicitly known. Intuition in this sense is not a mystical one. It is plainly not a “special sixth sense [that] consists of contradicting the whole of knowledge of your five” (AS 1034). It is not a dictaphonic faculty receiving beliefs on authority of a foreign intelligence (AS 1026–27, 1044–45).

This concept of intuition fits naturally into Rand’s epistemology. In this sense, intuition is not a case of knowledge without means, and its means are a portion of the rational means of knowledge (FF 62–63, IBOA 89, ITOE 79–80). Moreover, it does not mistake results of conceptual processing for results of perceptual processing; it keeps them distinct, and it is itself placed squarely within the former. If it were contended that there is intuition that is not simply perception, but is an immediate cognition that could not be resolved into explicit concepts, then Rand should call this concept intuition an invalid, otiose concept (ITOE 49, 70–72). (See also Russell’s 1914 “Mysticism and Logic,” Section I “Reason and Intuition,” penultimate paragraph less one.) The concept intuition posed in this note is decidedly not defective in that way.

Here are a couple of examples of intuition, in the present sense, at work in the inventive process of mathematical discovery. In 2001 a deep result known as the Modularity Theorem was proven: “All rational elliptic curves arise from modular forms.” Modular forms are functions on the complex upper half plane satisfying certain transformation and holomorphic conditions. A complex elliptic curve is a quotient of the complex plane by a lattice. Rational elliptic curves are isomorphic to the complex elliptic curves having rational invariants.

In 1986 Ken Ribet had proven that if the conjecture later proven in the Modularity Theorem were proven true for a subclass of elliptic curves called semistable, then Fermat’s Last Theorem would be proven true in the same stroke. In 1994 Andrew Wiles succeeded in proving that restricted form of the Modularity Theorem. After three and a half centuries of failed attempts, Fermat’s Last Theorem was certifiably proven.

The conjecture contained in the Modularity Theorem was formulated in the early 60s by Goro Shimura. He reached it by precising and expanding a more nebulous form of the conjecture reached by Yutaka Taniyama in the mid-50s. (Taniyama took his life in 1958 at age 31.) In his account of the discovery of the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, Amir Aczel describes the conjecture of Taniyama: “It was an intuition, a gut feeling that the automorphic functions with their many symmetries on the complex plane were somehow connected with the equations of Diophantus” (99).

Andrew Wiles described his years of pursuing the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem in the following way: “Perhaps I could best describe my experience of doing mathematics in terms of entering a dark mansion. You go into the first room and it’s dark, completely dark. You stumble around, bumping into the furniture. Gradually, you learn where each piece of furniture is. And finally, after six months or so, you find the light switch and turn it on. Suddenly, it’s all illuminated and you can see exactly where you were. Then you enter the next dark room . . .” (xi) (Fermat’s Last Theorem by Amir Aczel). (Michael Marotta has drawn attention to another account, Fermat's Enigma by Simon Singh.)

Edited by Stephen Boydstun

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Andrew Wiles described his years of pursuing the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem in the following way: “Perhaps I could best describe my experience of doing mathematics in terms of entering a dark mansion. You go into the first room and it’s dark, completely dark. You stumble around, bumping into the furniture. Gradually, you learn where each piece of furniture is. And finally, after six months or so, you find the light switch and turn it on. Suddenly, it’s all illuminated and you can see exactly where you were. Then you enter the next dark room . . .” (xi) (Fermat’s Last Theorem by Amir Aczel). (Michael Marotta has drawn attention to another account, Fermat's Enigma by Simon Singh.)

A nifty metaphore.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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What is the nature of intuition or common sense or our implicit philosophy? These may be considered by some to be different things but I think each is a label for the same underlying psychological dynamic seen from slightly different points of view. It could be said that intuition is using one's implicit philosophy as an interpretive lens. This subject takes us into an area of the human psyche that could bare some deconstructing and insight.

There is more going on in our brains than we are immediately aware of. It is this out-of-sight working that give us the notion of intuition.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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On the subject of intuition, the topic of this thread.

Kasparov devoted a chapter to intuition in his book "How Life Imitates Chess". Kasparov was world chess champion from 1985 to 2000, 15 years, and had the highest Elo rating for 20 years. He perhaps passed Fischer as history's greatest human chess player. (Houdini and Rybka play stronger than any human.)

Probably every professional chess player believes in intuition. Petrosian (world champion 1963-1969) said that he knows he is not in form when the first move he sees is not the best move. Some, perhaps all, world class chess players have the ability to play at grandmaster level with little or no thinking. Recently in an interview Magnus Carlsen, the super talented young phenom from Norway, said that he knows what move he is going to play and he doesn't need much time to think about it. So what is he doing spending time thinking? He is checking his intuition. And it is usually useless because he arrives at the same conclusion.

Here are some insights about intuition from Kasparov, perhaps history's greatest chess mind.

Kasparov says in his opinion it is not possible for a novice in chess to have intuition in chess. He can have luck but not intuition. This is because intuition is based on experience.

But you must understand what he means by experience. Experience is not merely what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. That means work. And to develop yourself as a chess player or as anything else, you are supposed to seek opportunities to gain experience.

Kasparov says intuition is like a muscle; it can be developed by using it.

Kasparov says the things we think of as advantages such as more information and more time to think can easily short circuit what is even more important, intuition.

Of course intuition applies to more than just chess. A businessman with some decades of active experience, might have an intuition about a business opportunity. Judge Judy, the TV judge, might have an intuition about whether someone is telling the truth, based on huge active experience. A doctor with wisdom from decades of active experience might have a intuition about a patient's health problem. A scientist with lots of active experience in his specialty might have an intuition about a phenomenon he is investigating.

Intuition does not work well where we don't have experience, such as subatomic physics and physics at near light speeds. These things are outside of the everyday experience of most people.

From Ayn Rand Lexicon:

What is mysticism? Mysticism is the acceptance of allegations without evidence or proof, either apart from or against the evidence of one’s senses and one’s reason. Mysticism is the claim to some non-sensory, non-rational, non-definable, non-identifiable means of knowledge, such as “instinct,” “intuition,” “revelation,” or any form of “just knowing.”

Here Ayn Rand seems to think intuition is just another word for mysticism. Then maybe mysticism works in chess, at least for world class players, and maybe we should re-evaluate Ayn Rand's opinion about mysticism. But Kasparov's idea that intuition is based on experience in the hard work active sense doesn't sound like "non-sensory" or "non-rational".

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Here Ayn Rand seems to think intuition is just another word for mysticism. Then maybe mysticism works in chess, at least for world class players, and maybe we should re-evaluate Ayn Rand's opinion about mysticism. But Kasparov's idea that intuition is based on experience in the hard work active sense doesn't sound like "non-sensory" or "non-rational".

Excellent post Jerry.

My intuition is that Ayn was flat out wrong about where she classified "intuition."

I began to learn chess at about five (5), or, six (6) and I love the game.

No luck, no wind conditions, just pure mind versus mind on a sixty-four (64) square battlefield. I have played on competitive chess teams and in open tournaments and agree with Kasparov and the other player you referred to.

I was fortunate to have a good friend who invited me to the last great chess battle in NY City. The tension, wrapped in silence in the theater in Manhattan during the game was tactile. You could "touch" it in the air.

It is like luck in certain respect which many folks have made statements about:

“Luck favors the prepared” as Louis Pasteur said. He knew something about accidental discoveries. You make them more likely by being exposed to the maximum amount.

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."

Thomas Jefferson

"It's a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get."

Arnold Palmer

"I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it."

Denzel Washington

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Seneca

"Diligence is the mother of good luck."

Benjamin Franklin

"The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck."

Anthony Robbins

Adam

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Here Ayn Rand seems to think intuition is just another word for mysticism. Then maybe mysticism works in chess, at least for world class players, and maybe we should re-evaluate Ayn Rand's opinion about mysticism. But Kasparov's idea that intuition is based on experience in the hard work active sense doesn't sound like "non-sensory" or "non-rational".

Excellent post Jerry.

My intuition is that Ayn was flat out wrong about where she classified "intuition."

I began to learn chess at about five (5), or, six (6) and I love the game.

No luck, no wind conditions, just pure mind versus mind on a sixty-four (64) square battlefield. I have played on competitive chess teams and in open tournaments and agree with Kasparov and the other player you referred to.

I was fortunate to have a good friend who invited me to the last great chess battle in NY City. The tension, wrapped in silence in the theater in Manhattan during the game was tactile. You could "touch" it in the air.

It is like luck in certain respect which many folks have made statements about:

“Luck favors the prepared” as Louis Pasteur said. He knew something about accidental discoveries. You make them more likely by being exposed to the maximum amount.

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."

Thomas Jefferson

"It's a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get."

Arnold Palmer

"I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it."

Denzel Washington

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Seneca

"Diligence is the mother of good luck."

Benjamin Franklin

"The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck."

Anthony Robbins

Adam

Two excellent posts. Thanks to both of you.

I have no doubt whatsoever that intuition can provide valid information, especially in a courtroom. Not always, mind you.

Those who disregard intuition are unilaterally disarming, so to speak.

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Scientific research strongly links what we call "intuition" to the activity of mirror neurons:

http://www.scientifi...-neuron-revolut

What do we do when we interact? We use our body to communicate our intentions and our feelings. The gestures, facial expressions, body postures we make are social signals, ways of communicating with one another. Mirror neurons are the only brain cells we know of that seem specialized to code the actions of other people and also our own actions. They are obviously essential brain cells for social interactions. Without them, we would likely be blind to the actions, intentions and emotions of other people. The way mirror neurons likely let us understand others is by providing some kind of inner imitation of the actions of other people, which in turn leads us to “simulate” the intentions and emotions associated with those actions. When I see you smiling, my mirror neurons for smiling fire up, too, initiating a cascade of neural activity that evokes the feeling we typically associate with a smile. I don’t need to make any inference on what you are feeling, I experience immediately and effortlessly (in a milder form, of course) what you are experiencing.

Autism is linked to a mirror neuron dysfunction:

http://www.scientifi...-neuron-revolut

Patients with autism have hard time understanding the mental states of other people; this is why social interactions are not easy for these patients. Reduced mirror neuron activity obviously weakens the ability of these patients to experience immediately and effortlessly what other people are experiencing, thus making social interactions particularly difficult for these patients.

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Scientific research links what we call "intuition" strongly to the activity of mirror neurons:

http://www.scientifi...-neuron-revolut

Angela:

From what I have read, the "mirror neuron" function is subject to active dispute. I think there are some aspects of the "primate" imitation of successful behavior match up well with intuition.

However, intuition as I understand it is a harmonious unification that occurs internally and incorporates induction, deduction and analogical thinking at a very subconscious level.

Adam

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I don't think Rand equivocated intuition with mysticism in that quote. Would you make a move in chess based on intuition that could not be backed up with reason if you had the time to think it all out? The claim to some "just knowing" means rejecting reason, not simply resorting to a more available substitute in the heat of the moment.

How are you defending intuition if not with reason? Anyway, it would probably be useful to exercise or develop one's intuition if that's possible.

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I don't think Rand equivocated intuition with mysticism in that quote. Would you make a move in chess based on intuition that could not be backed up with reason if you had the time to think it all out? The claim to some "just knowing" means rejecting reason, not simply resorting to a more available substitute in the heat of the moment.

How are you defending intuition if not with reason? Anyway, it would probably be useful to exercise or develop one's intuition if that's possible.

Calvin:

Do you play chess?

There are times in a tournament game which has a clock for each side where you may not have time. You make a move because it "feels" right. Is there reasoning going on at a deep subconscious level? Probably...possibly, but you make the move that intuitively makes sense, or feels right.

Do you play any competitive sports?

Adam

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I was arguing that Rand's quote does not contradict your evaluation of the uses of intuition. I'm not disagreeing with you aside from you thinking that Rand would have.

Besides, the last thing I said was about harnessing that sort of subconscious helper we have.

Not into chess, though I may start. I love golf.

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At the risk of changing the subject from intuition to chess, here is a color commentary on a game between 2 grandmasters. Probably most people don't think of chess as being as exciting as hockey or football or boxing or wrestling, but maybe it depends on the quality of the commentating.

Morozevich Vs. Anand - "A fantastic sacrificial '19th century' performance" Pt.1

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At the risk of changing the subject from intuition to chess, here is a color commentary on a game between 2 grandmasters. Probably most people don't think of chess as being as exciting as hockey or football or boxing or wrestling, but maybe it depends on the quality of the commentating.

Morozevich Vs. Anand - "A fantastic sacrificial '19th century' performance" Pt.1

Jerry:

Kings Gambit is one of my favorite openings.

Adam

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I was arguing that Rand's quote does not contradict your evaluation of the uses of intuition. I'm not disagreeing with you aside from you thinking that Rand would have.

Besides, the last thing I said was about harnessing that sort of subconscious helper we have.

Not into chess, though I may start. I love golf.

Calvin:

I believe the essence of intuition is that you cannot harness it because it is deeply entrenched in parts of the brain that are eternally running, categorizing, comparing and contrasting, seeking a balance of stimuli into understandable and recognizable patterns that formulate into an inspired "hunch."

Kind of like sinking a forty foot put because you, somehow, read the greens break, incorporated it into the proper speed and distance and stayed focused enough under the pressure to execute the action.

Payoff when you see the ball do exactly what you pictured in your mind and that almost erotic plunk when it drops in the cup!

Toughest physical game in the world golf.

Adam

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Forgot all about this discussion. It's a fun read, even if I can't remember writing what I wrote here. I find the comment on mirror neurons quite interesting because I use something I have come to call "radical empathy" as an important lens of perception to inform my intuition, both social and physical. Everyone has an idea what empathy is. What makes it radical is when we can break it free from internal reactive chains that trigger programmed actions and turn it, instead, into information about the insides of people and things for generating a more complex and detailed intuitive sense of one's context when making choices in any given moment. It has vastly expanded my insight into people and into social dynamics.

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