Intuitively Excellent

By cjohnson | March 28, 2006 8:22 pm

So I told several people that I would probably blog about the most recent Categorically Not! event that took place on Sunday night as soon as I got home. It did not happen because somehow I ended up late night dancing at a salsa club in Culver City, and did not get home until well after midnight. (You’ll be pleased to know that I will not show you any pictures of that event.) I had to then get up in time to give a coherent 9:00am class on advanced and retarded potentials in electromagnetism.

So sorry about the delay. Here’s my report on the proceedings. Please come in and comment, adding bits that I did not mention, telling us whether you liked the event, and discussing the ideas, if you like.

The topic was “Intuition”. We had one of the most well-attended events in terms of audience numbers, and three really great presenters! Everybody was really engaged in the material and there were so many wonderful questions (and answers).

We kicked off with Joe Polchinski (KITP-UCSB) talking about the creative process in science, particulalry theoretical physics.

intuition photos

It was done as a sort of Question and Answer session with our host KC Cole setting the stage first with some introductory remarks about that area of research, and then asking Joe some questions to which he gave answers in general terms and specific terms. The specific terms involved him talking about thought experiments (he mentioned for example Einstein’s reasoning about the Equivalence Principle by imaginig freely falling in a elevator….). He explained why thought experiments are useful guides to new insights. (He talked about his own thought experiment that led to his discovery of D-branes. He imagined what happened when you start with a higher dimensional string theory and curl up one of those dimensions and shrink it. He referred to this process as putting open and closed strings into a box and then shrinking the box away…… I won’t go into the details here. – For the string theorist readers: It is his famous T-duality argument I like to use in my lectures on the topic. Several of you will know it.) Here’s Joe and KC in conversation:

intuition photosintuition photosintuition photos

For those of you who are not aware of the Awesome power of the String Theory Masters, for it is seldom on display, check out Joe demonstrating -with careful concentration- the existence of extra dimensions. He’s reaching with both arms into the dimension we call “the M-direction” while KC and the audience look on, astonished, as the arms disappear temporarily. Here’s a closeup:

intuition photos

On the issue of intuition, I was pleased to hear Joe (and the other two speakers later) appropriately demystify aspects of the term by emphasising the importance of good ol’ plain hard work which is needed to develop a huge library of “things you’ve seen before” which help form a bedrock from which intuition can spring. This is true in any field. The most important asset is experience to draw on. So much familiarity with a set of practices or techniques that you internalise them completely. That comes with hard work. There’s no getting away from it, folks!

Here’s a shot of some intense listening from a physicist (Jeff, a CV reader) and some of his (very pleasant to talk to) architect friends (we all sat together at dinner afterwards and got on like a nice dry petrol-soaked house on fire.)

intuition photos

Antonio Damasio (USC) was up next. He spoke a great deal about the neurological and psychological aspects of Intuition. His was the best single sentence summing up the concept, as we were to use it that evening: “Intuition is the process of getting to a destination without knowing the route.” He also added: “Sometimes you did not even know you wanted to get there.” I’ve modified the words a bit, but that’s the essence of what he said. It was a definition that was
so appreciated, you could hear several audible “hhhhmmmmms” of recognition from the audience.

He discussed a number of attempts in his field to model and characterise various aspects of the decision-making process. A key aspect is one’s emotional response to the expected payoff or punishment associated to an outcome (again, from experience). This affects the “Intuitive” aspects of reasoning to a great extent, and in fact works best when done somewhat unconsciously. There are a number of nice experiments which suggest this. One such involves giving groups of people a bunch of important decisions to make (requiring the evaluation of a lot of data about, say purchasing an item), adn then letting them make the decision either while fully focusing on it or while distrated by other tasks. For decisions for which the perception of huge payoff or disaster was greatest (say, buying a house….compare to buying a toaster), it turned out that the unconcious decision-making was better! (He was sure to say that further research is needed before recommending that to home-buyers!) The “emotional” aspect of the reasoning was just quicker and more useful. He also mentioned the known correlation between people who’s emotional centers of the brain was damaged (so that they cannot empathise, etc) and people who seem unable to do what we call intuitive reasoning.

I could go on, but perhaps others might come in with more recollections of other things said.

intuition photos

Jed Dennenbaun, the USC film-maker told us a lot about the use of intuition in film-making. Two aspects…. the intuition exercised on the part of the filmmaker about what would work and what would not. In other words, how intuition fits into the practice of the craft, analoguos to what Joe discussed for the scientist’s craft. This is important to emphasize again and again, since it is so important to blow away that stupid myth people have about scientists being automatons and people in the arts being intuitive. (It annoys me so much.)

intuition photos

As an example he talked about the moment in the (wonderful) film “Bleu” where Juliette Binoche’s character, in a moment of intense emotional significance, dips a cube of sugar into her coffee and holds it for a moment to let it fill up with coffee (symbolizing her own filling up….), before letting it drop into the cup. Apparently the director (Krzysztof Kieslowski) wanted the duration of the filling up to be five seconds. It could not be three, nor eight. Five seconds intuitively was right for him and so he had an assistant spend an entire day researching all sorts of cugar cube types to find the one that would do it just right. He showed us lots of clips by the way, including that scene.

He then described several aspects of how the observer’s intuition about the visual meaning of various things (colours, spatial relations, facial expressions, etc) are deliberately manipulated by filmmakers in a way that is mostly invisible to your conscious mind, but are absolutely vital to the emotional impact of a film nonetheless. The sounds and music score in a film are obvious examples, and so he chose not to focus on that, but instead showed us several things more subtle. The blue colouring of the forest scenes in “The Piano” for example, and how they “set up” (filmmaker’s technical term by the way) the later climatic underwater scene…..

Here’s everybody at the end in a question and answer session:

intuition photos

Jeff’s corner finally gets called on to ask their question:
intuition photos

Then we all went to Typhoon for dinner. Here’s the main table, with KC and former Cat Not! presenter, Antropologist Amy Parish, in front (left photo), and on the other end (right photo) there’s for example Joe Polchinski and on his right is his wife Dorothy (they’re on the left of photo). A couple of seats away in the bottom left corner of the shot is the performer (and former Cat Not! presenter) Julia Sweeney (oh, yes, I guess she’s also famous for her tenure at Saturday Night Live and her excellent theatre shows):
intuition photos intuition photos
I heard that the discussions there spilled over nicely from the main event of the evening (all the presenters were on that table) and a good time was had by all.

This was our table (with two architects, a voice actor, a lawyer, a biotech engineer and two physicists):
intuition photos
….where there was a lot of excellent and animated discussion of science, the arts, and several other things. I found myself not eating enough since I was explaining a lot about duality, extra dimensions, and string theory, but it was fine.

intuition dinnerintuition dinner

Oh, and, as it was 11:00pm when we were done and too late to get over to Pasadena to hang out with Perimeter Institute’s Lee Smolin at a party I was invited to (sorry Lee!), I went off with a friend to shake my booty at aforementioned salsa club.


CATEGORIZED UNDER: Academia, Arts, Science
  • Sakura-chan

    You sure have a very active and engaging social lifestyle Cliffy. Who would have ever thought that physicists would dance at salsa clubs? =D

  • Clifford

    “You sure have a very active and engaging social lifestyle”

    Well, thanks…but it only seems that way ‘cos you’rem reading about it over the web. I’m a bit of a hermit, really.


  • Sam Gralla

    Thanks for the executive summary, clifford! This is a really interesting topic. Any of your own insights to offer in to intuition and the creative process? Perhaps from your own career? Or your time on the salsa floor?

  • Clifford

    Well….. nothing terribly interesting to say beyond emphasizing the importance of hard work in order to create those stepping stones that allow the “intuitive leaps” to happen. I think that’s so important. Allied to that is the value of reaching out into other fields from your own, since there may be structures there that you learn about that one day become part of the lattice of unconscious stepping stones.

    As for the salsa floor. Man, I’m stiff and rusty like a….. stiff rusty thing. Haven’t salsa danced since that excellent party over in Pacific Palisades in September (Joy? Cathy? where are you guys? when’s the next get together?), and was not so great then either. Gotta fix that. Practice. And I was probably over-thinking it, which as we learned from Damasio, can totally kill the intuitive.


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  • Jennifer

    As a filmmaker, salsa dancer and aspiring physicist, I actually think the amount of intuition needed for all 3 depends on the person. Start with films. Mine are abstract shorts, and for me a precise 5 second sugar cube soak wouldn’t be intuition. Unless – unless he was watching that scene as he was filming, and when the sugar cube was almost soaked through his stomach did a little flip, and then he went back and saw that it took 5 seconds for that to happen. But if he already knew he wanted 5 seconds then that isn’t intuitive to me. It’s like my favorite number being 8. That’s not intuition, it’s just my own particular personality.

    In filmmaking I think intuition is best described by Anthony Minghella’s editor, Walter Murch. His editor does not edit conventionally – i.e. 10 seconds on this shot and then a cut away to this exterior. He runs the film, without sound, and when he feels like it he pushes the stop button. After he’s pushed the stop button 3 times in the same place that is where he cuts the film. I love that.

    When I make my films it’s intuitive start to finish (almost). Whenever I’m somewhere and I feel like I must go get my camera then I know there is a film there. At the north shore in Massachusetts there are thousands of tiny black snails which move in all kinds of wonderful formations, military drills, great parallel lines making pilgrimages, families, chain gangs. I’ve made many many snail movies, all with gorgeous music amplifying whichever formation they are in.

    For setting the music, it is the same, done on guts. I have a big music library, mostly classical (of course the red white and blue soundtracks are there – the composer for his films is wonderful, he gave me permission to use one of his songs in a short I wanted to submit to Berlin!!), and I spend many hours watching footage with many different songs playing in the background. When it feels good, usually this involves my stomach feeling a little funny, then that is the score. I have my favorite Bach organ piece to a black and white movie of Krispy Kreme donuts passing under a frosting waterfall and I’m waiting now to hear from a short film festival in Italy to see if it got in (cross fingers!!).

    Anyway, lots of intuition in filmmaking, lots in salsa dancing. I learned salsa from one of my fellow graduate students who never took a class in his life but was amazing, a natural, from Mexico….put the music on and go, make up your own moves.

    I think science is the same but it is not as easy to see it working at times. With the data that I work with, big data files from a telescope, the intuition is…I guess it is knowing which way to turn when you are stuck. I am looking at the profile of the outer edges of some supernova remnants and the error bars are quite big – we didn’t catch enough photons. Is it ok to add up symmetric pieces around the remnant or am I averaging over some important physics? I think the answer is yes, I shouldn’t do it, my collaborators think I should, so I went and found another observation of the same supernova and will reduce it and add that to my data. So I’ll get more counts, making both of us happy, and won’t have to worry about how spherically symmetric the damn thing is (not very).

    That’s one reason I like thinking of string theory/quantum gravity better – in fact talking with one of the USC professors in string theory, Itzhak Bars, was so nice and illuminating for this very reason – your guts have more freedom.

    He’s thinking about great stuff – instead of strings living in multiple space dimensions and 1 time dimension, he lets them live in 2 time dimensions, solves the equations and sees where that takes him in the real world of experiment. He finds some very interesting dualities between very different physical systems, very interesting, and is pursuing his 2-time physics as we speak. I remember reading a review paper of Joe’s, I think from last year, when he talks about a space-space uncertainty principle giving the string length, or the lower bound on the smoothness length (not sure which), anyway it is the Planck length. That is intuition to me, seeing that strings living in non-commuting space can be thought of as another kind of uncertainty principle. And then you keep on thinking from there, what did the space-momentum uncertainty principle imply and can we do the same for space-space, and furthermore is there any evidence for this non-locality, experimental evidence in need of explaining?

    Yes, you have to do a lot of calculating and figuring, but if you want to go somewhere new and interesting you better have good guts, and that is intuition to me. My apologies to anyone who works in x-ray astronomy data analysis because there surely must be more intuition involved but (maybe because I don’t love it) there isn’t enough there for me.

    Thanks for the lovely post, 3 cheers for art and science and salsa dancing!!!

  • Plato

    It is nice to know that one can recognize this process called intuition and I like the way Joe is waving his arms. That is funny Clifford. :)

    Hard work and how you got there? Very important. I agree:)

    Thank you for reporting this and others who had been there, thanks as well.

    Is there anythng else of importance that one can recall from this event? Historical individual pointers?

  • Jeff

    I had a great time there as well. Clifford summarized it excellently — and even got good pics of me, for which I am thankful. Couple of thoughts — for me the great insights and most interesting conversations probably occurred over dinner, where it was a more intimate setting for debate and conversation. I think, to be honest, that the filmmaker spoke more about “unconscious” realizations than what Antonio Damasio defined as “intuition”. Joe I think also got somewhat sidetracked by describing more about string theory and branes than about the moments of insight and intuition that led him to the actual theoretical advances he made. That said, intuition is a tough beast to define and explain and the fact that everyone was there talking about the subject, even if we could only work on the periphery of what it really is, was great and enjoyable.

    By the way, Clifford’s imposed-diet-via-consuming-conversation was truly gracious; he handled machine-gun fire questions with ease and patience. Thanks.


  • Clifford


    Thanks for your remarks. To be fair, Joe spoke in equal parts about the rough subject matter and the process by which work is often done (though experiments and the like) and, on the other hand, the mechanics of intuition (phrases like working hard to “populate oases” in the desert for later navigation……i.e. practice, practice, practice….etc), and I thought that those were just as valuable insights into the working modus operandi as the more clean, abstract, definition that came later from the biologist.
    I think it would have been frustrating to the audience to have heard too mcuh theoretical stuff without several illustrations (from the physicists and from the film maker) of the subjects in which it was put to good use.

    So it was a good mix, I would say.

    Thanks for the nice comments about my performance of dining duties.



  • Cynthia

    I find it quite amusing that many comments on the topic of “Intuitively Excellent” focus on the irrelevant information regarding Clifford’s salsa dancing. Consequently, this primary focus on Clifford’s salsa dancing has ironically relegated this supposed relevant information(the role intution plays upon Joe’s creative process) to the realm of background noise. Needless to say, this sociological phenomena aptly reflected in this specific “blogland of comments” leads me to postulate the following: in the midst of creativity – on many occasions – irrelevant data holds more significance than relevant data. Therefore, I will heretically close with the following conjecture: Clifford’s salsa dancing carries more substance than Joe’s creative intuition.

  • Clifford

    Thanks Cynthia. Interesting observation that you make, given that until your comment, there were 130 words or so in paragraphs that referred to my salsa dancing, versus 1246 words or so in paragraphs that were discussing the rest of the evenings events and discussions.

    So I would conclude (in the same spirit of amusement as yours) that:

    (1) You’re seeing what you want to see, which seems unconnected to what is actually there. My dancing is not in fact a primary focus. It had devoted to it about a tenth of the words that were written.

    (2) Your conjecture needs modification. It is based on flawed data.

    Thanks again,


    P.S. Have you any comments on intuition?

  • Cynthia

    I can only respond that my comment was not intended to be interpreted with complete literalness. I deeply apologize for misleading you into thinking that my highly imprecise observation on this topic regarding creative intuition is to be taken with the utmost sincerity. My underlying motivation was to loosely point out that the process of artistic dance parallels the process of scientific thought. I did not mean to come across as satirizing the creative approach to scientific thought. Furthermore, I will remain impartial as to which intellectual process requires more creative intuition: performing dance movements or performing string calculations. Once again, I am sorry to have offended you. Please forgive me for posting my sorry comment. Regardless, I appreciate you sharing your outstanding website for all to enjoy. With Honesty,

  • Clifford

    Hi Cynthia……

    Your comment (and others) are welcome! It was not a “sorry comment”…..

    So carry on sharing…..


  • spyder

    So the Cafe Wall piece (projected or hanging) in the background was or was not used by someone to discuss limits of intuitive processes??? I immediately noticed it because it, the visual illusion graphic, is one of my most favorite pieces of art, that captures all too well the training of our eyes and mind to obey certain constructs, though intuitively we should realize that it is not as it appears.

    I have dedicated a good portion of my philosophical researches into the problem of how we know what we do not know, yet proceed in good order to achieve all sorts of tasks and verifiable theories anyway. The CafeWall illusion provides some immediate feedback along these lines. One other brilliant example of this is the researches done at UC Berkeley on the capacity of the human being to safely drive a car on a crowded freeway. We are incapable of properly processing all of the relevant data to make our own driving “safe” in the sense of how we would (in surveys) describe what is safe for ourselves. Indeed, the human physiology and brain structure are not sufficient to perform the task with even relative actuarial safety, yet millions upon millions of driver/miles are quite successfully achieved each and every day in CA alone, nearly all from the (as researched) intuitive awareness that proceeding along in the manner one deems right is successful.

  • Plato

    Could it be like developing a “toposense?” :) More on name.

    Maybe, intuitively, a balance must be struck? Hard work, and a lovely stream, away from it all. INformation then, might have found the easiest route being free of the constraints?

    I wonder?

  • Jeff

    No one addressed that piece of artwork — though I did spend some time staring at it!

  • ASLI

    I was one of the listeners last Sunday, as well as one of the question producers to keep Clifford busy on the dinner table..I must say I enjoyed the whole thing very much and seeing that the conversation is still going on is great. I found the last post very interesting (by Spyder) ,would like to read more on the referred Berkley reserach. As to the art work that provided the background for this highly debatable subject, I found it quite humorous that the smaller piece above the Cafe wall piece was a very bright orange/green painting that said ” NEVER MIND” ! (Only later I realized it was a homage to the album cover : Never mind the Bullocks,Here’s the Sex Pistols )

    By the way for those who are interested in visual illusions there is a an exhibit of a great artist (Jesus Soto) at the Latin American Art Museum in Long Beach.

  • Clifford

    I saw that sign too…. it is just above Joe’s head in the pictures above, but I cropped it out to keep focus on the subject…..

    Maybe I’ll pop an update up with a shot of that…..


  • alisa

    the other piece of artwork above the guest speakers heads was the art from a record cover by the sex pistols called “never mind the bulllocks”

    perhaps an ironic and subliminal message- to listen to your guts?
    okay, maybe it was not so subliminal back in the 70’s. but last sunday i thought it was perfect!

    which leads me to wonder- if perhaps something closer to “feelings” may be the source of the intuitive thought?
    that would certainly explain- the sometimes irrationality, and usual ability, of intuitive thoughts to appear out of the blue.

    it would also explain the reason why sometimes its easier to make the bigger decisions intuitively-as antonio described-
    we buy the house we love.
    we buy the car we love.
    and maybe we need those feelings, to give us the courage, to make those decisions.

    i realize i may be presenting a problem- that we now have emotions helping us get to where we want to go. instead of road maps based on mathematics.

    but maybe they are both valid as navigators?!

    thank you kc and clifford for providing that interesting evening and so also this blogging atmosphere-

  • Plato

    Maybe if perfecting our emotive states “is realized,” we can indeed progress to finer thoughts outside of the domains of “matter orientated states?”

    As was said many a time the perception of Einstein’s analogy of a pretty girl and the hot stove might of gone deeper for introspective views about the gravity in all situations?Heart and “truth” in a weighting proportion, including emotive ones, are as light as a feather, in a “clear mind?” :)

    While it is philosophically embued, buddhist thoughts possibly about responsibility of mind, atheistic adventures, and even just watching “experience emotive memory induced,” we take hold of life in a more profound way?

  • Clifford

    Hi Alisa,

    The role of emotion in the intuitive played a big role in Damasio’s discussion. He talked a lot about “emotional reasoning”, which I think can translate a bit to “feelings” in the way you might ahve in mind. So you’re probably right on track.



  • Plato

    When you transfer the “heart wisdom weighted in perspective circumstance” to thought, you become much more kinder, considerate and respectful of others?

  • alisa

    hmm-i woke up this morning wondering if all i’d done, was over-stated the obvious…….

    i’m glad to see there is more to consider-
    re antonio-(i admit i got turned off when he started to describe intuitive thoughts as good or bad-so i may have been steaming instead of listening for a bit)
    but here’s the thing-if intuitive thought is something that is spontanaeous-there is no reasoning to get there…it just is.

    the reasoning is described or confirmed in afterthought……

    i always think of the unconscious mind as being conflicted-partially random-as in dreams, or preprogrammed as in instinct.
    if the unconscious mind is unconcerned with rational and controlled thought-are our dreams our brains rebellion?
    reminding us that we are not in control of it?
    is intuition where they merge? the conscious and unconscious?
    and how about the reasoning of the unconscious mind?
    is that possible? is that what antonio is trying to find out?
    (a cry for help here!)

    and plato-usually i think that the budhists describe that the way to kindness is understanding…..and understanding is what science is about-right?!

    usually they are reffering to social/emotional conditions etc….
    but what if science is going to prove the existence of a higher state of being?

    which may become your-“heart wisdom weighted in perspective circumstance”

    i want to hear more about the stove and the hot girl……

    and the clear mind is often called emptiness….oh my…….

    you are reminding me i have a book on budhism called “stumbling towards enlightenment”…i better go reread….

  • alisa

    okay okay, i can hear clifford now…its not “higher’ state of being, rather “another” state of being…..

  • Plato

    Of course they may be philosophical difference with the way I am saying it, and sure, any corrections would be appreciated.

    If general relativity as a model created an elevated state of mind in regards to what that model could produce(gravity), then would we have a change in perception? Having found something to be fundamentlaly true? Having something, that indeed had us look at “time” very differently?

    Intuitively it took work to get there by Einstein, yet the flash of insight is still significant as time passes?:)Without the geometry behind it, this could not be done? Thanks Grossman.

    On the Effects of External Sensory Input on Time Dilation.” A. Einstein, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J.

    Abstract: When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.

    As the observer’s reference frame is crucial to the observer’s perception of the flow of time, the state of mind of the observer may be an additional factor in that perception. I therefore endeavored to study the apparent flow of time under two distinct sets of mental states.

    Methods: I sought to acquire a hot stove and a pretty girl. Unfortunately, getting a hot stove was prohibitive, as the woman who cooks for me has forbidden me from getting anywhere near the kitchen. However, I did manage to surreptitiously obtain a 1924 Manning-Bowman and Co. chrome waffle iron, which is a reasonable equivalent of a hot stove for this experiment, as it can attain a temperature of a very high degree. Finding the pretty girl presented more of a problem, as I now live in New Jersey. I know Charlie Chaplin, having attended the opening of his 1931 film City Lights in his company, and so I requested that he set up a meeting with his wife, movie star Paulette Goddard, the possessor of a shayna punim, or pretty face, of a very high degree.

    Discussion: I took the train to New York City to meet with Miss Goddard at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal. She was radiant and delightful. When it felt to me as if a minute had passed, I checked my watch to discover that a full 57 minutes had actually transpired, which I rounded up to one hour. Upon returning to my home, I plugged in the waffle iron and allowed it to heat up. I then sat on it, wearing trousers and a long white shirt, untucked. When it seemed that over an hour had gone by, I stood up and checked my watch to discover that less than one second had in fact passed. To maintain unit consistency for the descriptions of the two circumstances, I rounded up to one minute, after which I called a physician.

    Conclusion: The state of mind of the observer plays a crucial role in the perception of time.

    Einstein scholars disagree, but the pretty girl/hot stove experiment also may have led to another of his pithy remarks, namely: “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” Then again, Einstein was a bit of a wag. Consider his explanation of wireless communication: “The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat.” This quote reportedly kept Schrödinger awake well past his bedtime.

    Happy/sad, and the duration of time in either case, can best represent itself in the nature of our constitutional and experiential making? Oui! NOn?

  • alisa

    thank you for the story!

    his research remark reminds me of my dad-he goes fishing-and he always says that if he actually caught something it couldn’t be called “fishing” anymore.

    yes i assume the only truly consistent thing about time is that it is moving forward…….everything else about time is relative……….how its spent-where it goes, etc….

    i don’t know how to reach that other state of mind-i would assume very few people do-and i would assume it is the opposite; of the effect of gravity.

    please feel free to find any pun that may be construed-

  • Plato

    his research remark reminds me of my dad-he goes fishing-and he always says that if he actually caught something it couldn’t be called “fishing” anymore.

    Okay how about this one.

    He enacts fishing, and really is thinking about the problems he had encountered. The lure is sent deep into the water, and from it, hopefully a solution to the problem.

    The probabilties of ever solving was greatly increased from throwing the line in, yet, out of it, a fish may have solve the problem in a moment?

    don’t know how to reach that other state of mind-i would assume very few people do-and i would assume it is the opposite; of the effect of gravity.

    you might have never been freer to accept the conditions of fishing, had you realized that the events in this enactment, would have never allowed such solutions?

    But if gravity was the increased effect of emotive solution induced anger/unhappiness, then what chance had we about “happiness”

    It’s an intriguing bend to what was without recourse and thought, chance related, having gotten there without ever knowing how.

    Induction/deduction takes on new meaning then?

    This sets up the conditions for what “creativity” might have meantby creating the conditions for more information to flow. The conditions had to be “conducive” in the first place.

    Had his troubles overtaken him(weighted him), do you think the solution ever feasible? Waiting is part of the fun, enjoying a beautiful day, on “calm waters”?

  • alisa

    i thought we had agreed that intuit was an unconscious realization of some sort-that how we get there is the question…….

    since we all agree there is a thing called intuition-yes?

    and if he is weighted by his problems(or distracted by earthly concerns) so much so that then, reasoning becomes more involved-further away from intuit.

    maybe to the point -where all he can do, is throw in the line-and see if anything grabs on.

    and if he catches anything- he is intuitive.
    and if not- he had a nice time fishing.

  • Plato

    that how we get there is the question

    I think you are right on all those points…just that, we now know I think, how we got there?

    I think that’s my point. Perplexed, as to what it is if away from it and reasoned sure….

    that the lure(foci) if sent/naturally goes too, the unconscious(water)is a symbol…. we are never really away from the process….because you know there is part of us we access for the solution?

    so do we agree on how we got there, or is this still undefined?

  • Michael

    I don’t think that intuition is an unexplanable phenomenon except for the fact that those who experience it are unable to recognize how they pieced their thoughts together to get the feeling and so they settle for calling it intuition. I am a film maker and the theories I have come from when I explore one aspect of film, such as editing, on my own using reason as a guide not intuition. Creativity is more about understanding the medium you are working in and going beyond that to make something new. It involves knowledge and independent thought not some feeling that appears magically.

    Besides intuition is a feeling and feelings themselves are a reaction to something else. Intuition can not stand alone, there is always something that causes it. Just because some people are unable to explain intuition doesn’t mean it just happens on its own.

    Maybe thats why its so hard to grasp because the people that use intuition just accept it for what it is and don’t question it enough to come to a reasonable solution as to what has caused them to feel that way.

  • Plato

    Creativity is more about understanding the medium you are working in and going beyond that to make something new. It involves knowledge and independent thought not some feeling that appears magically.

    I think everyone might agree on this point already?

    Intuition can not stand alone

    Working from a inductive/deductive curve, in whatever medium…..

    Maybe thats why its so hard to grasp because the people that use intuition just accept it for what it is and don’t question it

    KNowing that it might arise from the unconscious(where is that) would not relegate it to something not feasible? We might know when these conditions are best, would not have allowed this process, to work/not work?

    Art Mirrors Physics Mirrors Artby Stephen G. Brush

    The French mathematician Henri Poincaré provided inspiration for both Einstein and Picasso. Einstein read Poincaré’s Science and Hypothesis (French edition 1902, German translation 1904) and discussed it with his friends in Bern. He might also have read Poincaré’s 1898 article on the measurement of time, in which the synchronization of clocks was discussed–a topic of professional interest to Einstein as a patent examiner. Picasso learned about Science and Hypothesis indirectly through Maurice Princet, an insurance actuary who explained the new geometry to Picasso and his friends in Paris. At that time there was considerable popular fascination with the idea of a fourth spatial dimension, thought by some to be the home of spirits, conceived by others as an “astral plane” where one can see all sides of an object at once. The British novelist H. G. Wells caused a sensation with his book The Time Machine (1895, French translation in a popular magazine 1898-99), where the fourth dimension was time, not space.

  • Michael

    When I said that intuition is hard to grasp I didn’t mean it is hard for me to grasp, I was generally speaking. When i have a “stroke of genious” i never call it intuition because i understand how and why the idea came to me.

    Although when i was a kid i would have called it intuition when i had an idea because i was not old enough to figure out where it came from, looking back now with a broader mind i can easily see how the intuitive ideas, i had as a kid, came to me.

  • alisa

    i would hate to be responsible for describing everyone’s creative processes-

    but i am glad that some are able to describe their own-

    and i can’t remember if i said this before- here. but i am quite glad that feelings/intuition are not “just” feelings/intuition anymore.

    i would say, how great it is, that we can accept these things as valid means of exploration/expression.
    and scientific exploration at that-(ie not “just” artistic)
    historically, women have been put down for acknowledging their intuition and living by their feelings. and men, it seems, have caused plenty of trouble by “proving” their powerful feelings in more “authentic” ways.
    acceptance becomes a huge step to be able to make-

    and i also was thinking- re plato- what if living a more “conscious” life meant listening more to the unconscious mind? not only paying attention to our exterior surroundings but the inner workings of the mind-which, of course, is how we come to have these brilliant people describing new and complicated theories for us-they have listened to their inner voices and were able to bring them forth!

    so we have valid need to respect and trust both the intuitive and the reasoning minds-thats the hard part-i think-to give both an even hand(so to speak)-even if one works oriented in one way or the other.

    do you know where and when, you are more likely to have intuitive thoughts?
    does anyone really feel that they truly trust them?

  • Plato

    Click on name as each entry is different. I had to catch up today, so two links with thoughts.

    True creativity often starts where language endsArthur Koestler

    This is as applicable to our search for wordings, as it is for science/math?

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