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Yay intuition

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Jun. 28th, 2003 | 02:00 am
mood: chipperchipper
music: Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast

I've been thinking about the way I make choices and it always boils down to my intuition. Intuition is irrational. So I must deduct that I'm irrational (but at least I'm crazy).

I spent my childhood trying to be Mr. Spock. Eventually I realized that *everyone* makes their choices based on feelings, even if they rationalize them immediately afterward. Once you get happy with that, you find that your emotional choices get a lot more rational, maybe because of the reduced stress. So when you allow yourself to feel what you feel without reservations, you unexpectedly have more power over your life and choices.

I read about these experiments where they found at least one spot in the brain to apply a little electricity to that caused the person to pick a weird answer on a multiple choice test. I mean an answer that was meaningless or random as opposed to the obviously correct one. When asked *why* they made the choice they did, the people would unconsciously make something up that was pseudo-rational but made no sense. So apparently there's a part of the brain that makes sure we have a reason for everything, even if it has to make something up on the spot.

I'm movin' on up, to that deluxe Pink Pleasure Palace, soon; maybe I'll see you around if you stay longer.

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TroyToy

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from: troyworks
date: Jun. 28th, 2003 09:18 pm (UTC)
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Depends on how you define irrational. I too think that intuition is the process of which a complex set of mental operations produces an answer for which no specific word/label exists in conscious memory. Thus it gets lumped into the God concept/trashcan.

The mechanism where we rationalize decision made by 'gut' instincts (wrong or right) is the by product of needing to construct a viable explanation for when (and it is often) that our gut is right. The pathway for hihger thought is significantly slower than reactive thought, which played important roles when we were closer to food than prey. E.g. you see a particular movement in a person driving in front of you and you swerve instinctly to avoid them doing something really stupid. Afterwards you have to figure out what it was (which may be completely unfounded) that caused the issue. In situations like these it's important we not question and just react, else we would be dead.

The trick is that these bubbles can be (increasingly artificially )highly distorted by the physiological state (e.g. sleep, chemicals/hormones) and external triggers (loss of job/spouse, artificial drama/fiction, etc). So they may have no verifiable basis in reality but can be taken as such, often to the detriment. People who live mostly impulsively often fall prey to short term pleasure versus long term pain/misdirection, which I think is a valid definition of irrational.

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TroyToy

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from: troyworks
date: Jun. 28th, 2003 10:35 pm (UTC)
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I think a two aspects of being irrational:

a) being aware of 'the little voice' and making a concious decision to ignore what the intellect says to do. Irrational as in deliberately not reational.

b) never getting a chance for the intellect to evaluate the appropriateness of a reaction to an impulse, whether via habit, lack of cognitive ability, or stimulus. irrational meaning without rationalization.

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TroyToy

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from: troyworks
date: Jun. 28th, 2003 11:25 pm (UTC)
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If one chooses to do something that is counter to what logic, and reason would dictate, it's not a rational decision, and if there's nothing else but rational and irrational thought it's by default irrational thought.

E.g. I give a person trying to loose weight, after a full meal (meaning they aren't hungry) a list of facts, and their written golas (say to lose wieght) as to why they shouldn't do something (say eating a candy bar), they looking at the list agree with me . Then I present them with a candy bar and they eat it anyway, indicates it's not a rational decision, but due to other factors. Something like thoughts versus feelings.

This has two levels: the more insideous of the two: ignoring the little notification that one should mark whatever impulse and bring it into consciouss thought for chewing on, and the one just illustrated when presented a choice betwen thoughts/feelings when they are going in different directions they choose the latter.

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