Skip to main content

Where does intuition come from?

Intuition is the complex, as of yet unexplained phenomenon which enables people to gain knowledge without any direct or obvious pathway from raw, disconnected components, to a unified, coherent idea. The source of intuition is unknown, and therefore knowledge gathered through it is often questioned for its usefulness, validity and accuracy.

The source and process of intuition can be viewed in a mathematical way. I propose a viewpoint, not my own or original, that takes into account our human perspective and its relationship with the physical reality truths.

This can be boiled down to our own nature, and its necessary obedience of any natural principles or laws. In essence, this means that we are part of the universe, on the deepest and loosest level of connection, through the fabrics that span the farthest regions of the world, by the most fundamental principles such as time or gravity; and more intimately in our environment, through the fabrics that span closer regions of the world, by more specific principles such as biochemical processes and brain interpretation of sensory signals.

We can therefore access these laws within ourselves, by ourselves, as a function of our position in the immediate and broader universe we are found in. Not only are we observers of the environment and all its phenomena, but we are first and foremost, part of it. From the most basic levels through to the highest, we are a prime sample, test subject or specimen of the universe itself.

Much of the universe can be considered not to be accessible to our perception in an obvious way, such as light in our eyes and matter against the Pacinian corpuscles in our skin. Yes the spectrum of sensation that is available, the synergy between different senses, as well as our considerable processing power of all of them through the brain, amounts to a respectable amount of information.

By a process of reverse engineering, we can therefore work out the fundamental truths from the superficial expressions of these truths in ourselves and our lives. Higher, more virtual interpretations of these signals may occur mostly or solely within the brain, with minimal novel sensory input, such as in the case of intuition in matters of social interaction. Lower, physical interpretations of signals occurring in a more physical sense, may provide starting points and clues to fundamental laws, such as gravity, movement, diffusion, etc.

In a first instance, these ideas are purely experienced, and therefore not laid out systematically in an academic sense. Whilst the latter process greatly enables the dissemination and progress of those ideas, it is important to not dismiss the process of gathering these experiences in itself; for they are the basis of any further knowledge.

"There is no true interpretation of anything; interpretation is avehicle in the service of human comprehension. The value ofinterpretation is in enabling others to fruitfully think about anidea."
- Andreas Buja, Professor of Statistics

This can be achieved to varying degrees, depending on people's different abilities to reverse engineer these occurrences back to the fundamental truths. It is therefore expected that any given knowledge resulting from it may be more or less usable or accurate, since the processors of intuitive knowledge are people. Like a furniture factory, each person may well have equally valid raw materials (wood) and aspirations for the end-point knowledge (furniture), but different ability to accomplish this determines whether the end product really is of high quality or not.

Intuition is therefore a variable. This is important in appreciating that its knowledge products cannot be treated in black and white. They may be ill-intentioned conclusions or useless concepts, as well as enlightening nuggets of truth and direction that ultimately guide us through our exploration of the universe.


Popular posts from this blog

By-products of Evolution - why not everything has a purpose

Last time we looked at how certain major adaptations such as hair loss have enabled humans to survive over the millennia in different conditions, and when faced with competition from other species. Not everything about the human body has a specific purpose, though, in the sense that we expect it to. One example of such thing is the philtrum - that little channel leading from the base of your nose to the upper lip. Recent research suggests that this development dates back millions of years, and has been inherited from fish. Apparently, when human embryos develop their face in the womb, all parts of the forehead, mouth, etc come together and fuse where the philtrum is located.

Some adaptations, on the other hand, are no longer relevant not because of their nature, but because the environmental selection pressure for which they evolved has disappeared. For example, an East Asian's typical eyelid shape evolved as a result of higher light intensities in that area of the world, yet the …

The evolution of the human body

In order to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and be able to answer the question "Why do I look like this?", we must look back to our ancestry and their lifestyle, over a very long period of time. For the purpose of this analysis, let's look at the human versus the neanderthal. Recently there have been found neanderthal genes within the human gene pool, but the two species are different enough to compare, yet not too different (human versus fly would be too different).

As you can see, the construction of the human pelvis and toes is different, and the human has less hair. This results in humans being able to run easily for long distances, in the detriment of short-distance running which we are worse at. We sweat better, so we can do more long-term effort. This feat is essential to better settlements, as we can discover a larger area with potentially better resources. It might seem counterproductive to not be able to run quickly for a short period, when it comes …

4 Reasons Google's Calico Won't "Solve Death"

The on-line world has been taken ablaze by Calico's bid to end ageing, and thus death itself, but is this what they will actually focus on, and will they achieve it?

The fact is ageing will be reversed, and death by "natural causes" will go with it. The questions are "When?" and "By whom?".

Until recently, not a lot was known about the approach Calico would take in this venture dubbed "moonshot thinking" - a term touted by Google as the source of all considerable human progress throughout history. This we don't doubt, but is this what Calico is all about?

CNN's Dan Primack has revealed details about Calico's plan, which hint at a less-than-moonshot thinking approach, and cast a serious question mark on its ability to deliver the punchy TIME headline. Here is why:

1. The man with the idea, Bill Maris, arrived at the conclusion that the root of all death-causing disease is simply ageing itself. Not only is this widely known in the ant…