Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Time Management Tuesday: An Ultralearning Case Study, Principle 8 Intuition

This section of Scott Young's Ultralearning was incredibly difficult for me. For one thing, the chapter is an extended case study, and while I'm using my own project as a case study for dealing with this book, evidently I really dislike reading about them. More importantly, Young doesn't formally define intuition, assuming readers will know it, and this one didn't. It's a word I evidently had a connotative understanding of, but not denotative. For instance, I was a great one for saying something was counter-intuitive, seems wrong, without, it appears, really knowing what I was talking about. This comes from learning vocabulary from the context of your reading and not studying vocab. Don't let this happen to you.

Struggling to work out what was going on in this chapter may actually be an example of ultralearning. Another #@!! case study! This one with me.

Thank You Psychology Today

I skimmed big sections of this chapter because, as I said, I didn't like the case study. Then I went back and did a search of the eBook for "intuition." Then I started skimming again. Then I did an online search of "ultralearning" and "intuition." I found some sites where people had done elaborate reviews. Those people used "intuition" without defining it, also. Finally, I just googled "intuition" and found Intuition at good ol' Psych Today.

"Intuition is nonconscious thinking; essentially, the brain on autopilot. Scientists have repeatedly demonstrated how information can register on the brain without conscious awareness and positively influence decision-making."  "The automatic information processing that underlies intuition can be seen in something many people experience daily: the phenomenon known as "highway hypnosis." This occurs when a driver travels for miles without a conscious thought about the activity of driving the car."

So What Does It All Mean?

What I think Young is getting at here (using a long, long case study about Richard Feynman) is that after learners have acquired enough knowledge, they know it without having to think about it a great deal. Young says, "Whereas beginners tended to look at superficial features of the problem--such as whether the problem was about pulleys or inclined planes--experts focused on the deeper principles at work."

Is intuition related to what some of us used to think of as expertise, expert level skill/knowledge?

The amount of work I had to do to decipher this chapter illustrates a couple of things Young has talked about.
  1. You can't always stick to the easy learning
  2. Testing--I tested myself on intuition, couldn't answer the question, and worked on finding a solution. However, I cannot be sure the answer I came up with is correct.

Our Case Study: Intuition is probably something I want for my character. The question is: how much do I have to have in order to give him some?

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