The Soapbox Papers

The Soapbox Papers is my two-cents worth.

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Location: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States

I am a cross between Tinkerbell and Calamity Jane.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Contaminated Intuition?

Jeopardy is a long running television game show in the US. Success in this game requires the contestants answer selected questions in the form of a question (What is... or Who said... or some such) and the questions are often obscure or quite specialized.

For years I have watched this program, often with friends. We call out our answers as we watch, and often we wonder how we (or how our friends) could have possibly known the right answer. When we ask one another, the usual answer is, "I don't know how I knew that -- I just knew."

What do you call that? Years ago in a poem I cannot lay my hands on at the moment, I wrote about intuition. I said it was the quick synapse that brought together all we knew from anywhere together to create a knowledge, give us answers, render judgements. It cannot be traced back, yet it can be astoundingly accurate. In that work I raised the question of contamination. Can daydreams or fervent longings and such change that summation of past experiences, of the things we 'know' without knowing? I am halfway through reading Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, and I am hoping the second half will provide me with an answer to that.

I'll get back to that here when I have finished the book and let you know. Meanwhile roll it around in your head a moment, taste the ambivalence. Is it possible to contaminate our intuition with daydreams?



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