Skip to comments.The Captain Kirk Principle
Posted on 11/26/2002 7:25:35 PM PST by AndrewC
Image: BRAD HINES
Captain James T. Kirk has just beamed up from planet Alpha 177, where magnetic anomalies have caused the transporter to malfunction, splitting Kirk into two beings. One is cool and rational. The other is impulsive and irrational. Rational Kirk must make a command decision to save the crew, but he is paralyzed with indecision, bemoaning to Dr. McCoy: "I can't survive without him. I don't want to take him back. He's like an animal-- a thoughtless, brutal animal. And yet it's me!"
This psychological battle between intellect and intuition was played out in almost every episode of Star Trek in the characters of the ultrarational Mr. Spock and the hyperemotional Dr. McCoy, with Captain Kirk as the near perfect synthesis of both. Thus, I call this balance the Captain Kirk Principle: intellect is driven by intuition, intuition is directed by intellect.
For most scientists, intuition is the bête noire of a rational life, the enemy within to beam away faster than a phaser on overload. Yet the Captain Kirk Principle is now finding support from a rich emerging field of scientific inquiry brilliantly summarized by Hope College psychologist David G. Myers in his book Intuition: Its Powers and Perils (Yale University Press, 2002). I confess to having been skeptical when I first picked up the book, but as Myers demonstrates through numerous well-replicated experiments, intuition-- "our capacity for direct knowledge, for immediate insight without observation or reason"-- is as much a component of our thinking as analytical logic.
Nalini Ambady and Robert Rosenthal of Harvard University, for example, discovered that evaluations of teachers by students who saw a mere 30-second video of the teacher were remarkably akin to those of students who had taken the course. Even three two-second video clips of the instructor yielded a striking 0.72 correlation with the course students' evaluations.Research consistently shows how so-called unattended stimuli can subtly affect us. At the University of Southern California, Moshe Bar and Irving Biederman flashed emotionally positive images (kitten, romantic couple) or negative scenes (werewolf, corpse) for 47 milliseconds immediately before subjects viewed slides of people. Although subjects reported seeing only a flash of light for the initial emotionally charged pictures, they gave more positive ratings to people whose photographs had been associated with the positive ones-- so something registered.
Intuition is not subliminal perception; it is subtle perception and learning-- knowing without knowing that you know. Chess masters often "know" the right move to make even if they cannot articulate how they know it. People who are highly skilled in identifying "micromomentary" facial expressions are also more accurate in judging lying. In testing college students, psychiatrists, polygraphists, court judges, police officers and Secret Service agents on their ability to detect lies, only the agents, trained to look for subtle cues, scored above chance.
Most of us are not good at lie detection, because we rely too heavily on what people say rather than on what they do. Subjects with damage to the brain that renders them less attentive to speech are more accurate at detecting lies, such as aphasic stroke victims, who were able to identify liars 73 percent of the time when focusing on facial expressions. (Nonaphasic subjects did no better than chance.) We may even be hardwired for intuitive thinking: damage to parts of the frontal lobe and amygdala (the fear center) will prevent someone from understanding relationships or detecting cheating, particularly in social contracts, even if he or she is otherwise cognitively normal.
CONTINUED --- Click Here
(Excerpt) Read more at sciam.com ...
I also add, "Design, I know it when I see it."
Don't you usually have a nice bovine logo?
It isn't "real" to many people until you can measure it and it is published a some orthodox scientific publication.
Are you asking my rational or intuitive mind? If it is the rational side -- I hesitate to answer but no. If it is the intuitive side -- I definitely feel that it is not.
If you can't make the numbers what you want, change how you count the numbers.
Scientific American has been corrupted by liberals.
They'd probably try to link it to trouble with tribbles, thus proving that Spock was a poofter.
I don't think I could stomach that revelation.
Kirk: Oh look, a culture that promotes suicide bombers with no sense of honor; they remind me of Romulans.
Set phasers to deep fry
Okay. You are not required to accept a skeptics opinion nor accept the nebulous numbers, but there are others that disagree with you.
Intuition and Military Leadership
Columnist DAVID M KEITHLY writes about these important aspects.
What is the role of intuition in military leadership? Does it have one?
As described by specialists in the field, intuition is the practice of reaching decisions or conclusions without deliberate thought processes.1 That is, intuition compels the recognition of reality on the instant. Intuitive knowledge is to be distinguished from acquired knowledge through sequential procedures in deductive reasoning.
The value of intuition to the military commander has, in fact, long been acknowledged. Bernard Brodie, one of Americas most respected scholars, analyzed navies prior to theorizing about nuclear weapons and strategies for their use. In his classic A Guide to Naval Strategy, Brodie writes:
...the great commander must of course have a profound insight into all the ramifications of strategic principle...he must above all be able to see intuitively through the ever-prevalent fog of war...2
Similarly, intuition in philosophy often refers to the capacity of the mind to discern or see particular self-evident truths. The word, in fact, derives from the Latin verb intueor, meaning to see. Over time, philosophers have identified several distinct meanings of intuition.3 It can entail a hunch, a supposition not ushered in by inference. It can involve immediate perception devoid of the ability to define the respective concept. Or it can be non-propositional knowledge of something, that is, a comprehension not following from a series of deductive propositions.
To what extent, though, is intuition a facet of the female gender, as in the commonplace, but vague expression feminine intuition? Is it to be associated largely with psychics? To be sure, many in the military think so. It is ironic that military professionals whose responsibilities require a great deal of intuition, pilots of high-performance aircraft, say, are those most inclined to discount the significance of intuition and reject any serious examination of it.
To put some at ease, one can employ different terms to describe the same concept, coup doeil, for example, or the Teutonic, even Wodonic, Fingerspitzengefuhl or Blick.4 Coup doeil, for its part, is a Napoleonic term that has now been embraced by the US Marine Corps. The German, and before that, Prussian military used the terms Fingerspitzengefuhl and Blick to describe a sort of innate on-the-spot grasp of a situation. Prussian Field Marshal Helmuth Graf von Moltke referred to the phenomenon of coup doeil as Blick, literally a glance. German military literature has often used this term to denote the ability swiftly to assess circumstances. Regardless of what intuition is called, its deliberation by militaries has endured. A fair assumption is that coup doeil in combat leaders contributes substantially to military effectiveness. If it were otherwise, militaries would not have accorded this capability in their personnel the attention they have.
The following example illustrates military forces plying their trade in accordance with intuitive purposes. With the development of the Mitsubishi Zero prior to World War II and the adoption of attendant flying formations, highly skilled naval aviators of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) achieved remarkable results. Lack of good radio equipment induced fighter pilots to develop non-verbal and non-mechanical ishin denshin by which they claimed they could communicate, or at least understand others intent, during combat manoeuvres. This sixth sense surfaced after months of intense practice and training. The IJN experimented with expanding ishin denshin communication to larger nine-man divisions and eighteen-man squadrons.5 Such cognizance differs little from that fostered through the training of the US Marine Corps silent drill team. Indeed, ishin denshin is another name for intuition. The IJN developed ishin denshin in its fighter pilots and effectively utilized this faculty when sending men into battle.
Through the ages, distinguished commanders who have mastered intuition, or coup doeil/Blick, have included Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Frederick the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, the Duke of Wellington, Ulysses S. Grant, Winston Churchill, Erwin Rommel, and Douglas MacArthur. Some of these have also been regarded as charismatic leaders. An almost uncanny power of intuition enhanced the professional reputation of Rommel, for example, and reinforced his standing as a charismatic figure. It was not for nothing that Rommel, largely because of his intuitive faculties on the battlefield, was known to friend and foe alike as The Desert Fox. Esteem for his abilities was reputed to be nearly as great in the British Eighth Army as it was among his own troops.
Germans have seemed perennially to grasp the value of coup doeil.6 In part, such appreciation stems from the healthy respect gained for the man who allegedly coined the term late in the eighteenth century. The military forces of another nation that suffered grievously at Napoleons hands also realized the benefits of command intuition. Accordingly, Russian/Soviet doctrine underscores that coup doeil is the product of training and experience.
Soviet doctrine suggested that as individuals gain familiarity with their capabilities and their environment, they are inclined to develop the intuitive ability to respond properly in battle (coup doeil/Blick).
Many US military successes in the Pacific theatre during the Second World War were attributable to naval commanders knowing intuitively what to do, as for instance, acknowledging that the role of smaller ships was to protect bigger ships, and that all were, in turn, tasked with protecting the landing forces. Even without written doctrine or operations orders, commanding officers as a rule understood such matters, much as the IJN fighter pilots needed no communications equipment to fight successfully as a unit. In its opening chapter on The Human Element in Naval Strength, the U.S. Navys 1944 War Instructions addressed such intuitive or instinctive actions. According to this combat doctrine:
Later, the value of intuition would be officially accepted by the US Army, as evidenced by doctrine contained in FM 100-5 and other training and education booklets.9 The US Marine Corps has of late investigated an intuitive approach to command and control.10 Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper, USMC (Ret), former Assistant Chief of Staff for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) at Headquarters Marine Corps, described a new concept for developing field commanders that would enhance coup doeil through continued exposure to combat situations in war games, simulations, exercises, and studies of past battles. An article by British Army Brigadier General G. L. Kerr11 advises that the development of intuitive skills for operational level commanders initially entails coming to know oneself by use of one of the various self-assessment instruments, such as the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) which expressly measures intuitive behaviour. The impediments to the intuitive process then need to be removed, Kerr argues. He prescribes a series of practice exercises, encouraging the creation of an intuitive milieu where the regular practice of coup doeil is feasible. Military doctrine, he says, should reflect the need for more intuitive decision making. Among the widely acknowledged benefits of coup doeil are speed in decision making; the ability to visualize the battlefield in a spatial manner; initiative and originality; and the ability to gain surprise. Intuitive decision making should, however, complement, not replace, the more traditional analytic approach.
Can intuition then be taught or is it a mental endowment that is largely inborn? The short answer is that it can at least be cultivated. What is judgment other than the exercise of intuition? Experience shows that good judgment can be developed in persons. Plato, for his part, maintained that moral virtue depends upon an intuitive concept of the good. At the same time, he contended that proper education makes all the difference in the development of the moral person with good judgment. In athletics, intuition is a skill that has been fostered as long as team sports have existed, the idea being that team members should anticipate the actions of others and instantly figure out what teammates are doing. Such intuition is the result of extensive training, familiarity, and a shared sense of approach.
Nor should one be oblivious to the potential advantages accruing from the blending of intuition with inferential reasoning, as many recent studies focusing on learning organizations have specified.12 Peter Senge maintains that individuals of most value to such organizations are those who have achieved a high level of personal mastery. Individuals with a profound understanding of themselves are at the same time those most likely to integrate their left and right brains. Senge reminds his readers that Albert Einstein never discovered anything with his rational mind.
Actually, they don't know it. Nobody in the ad business ever took Vance Packard and "The Hidden Persuaders" (subliminal perception) seriously.
On the other hand, the atavistic "Sixth Sense" and the visceral distrust we feel for some people -- almost immediately upon exposure -- is quite real. Bill Clinton comes to mind...
In other words, observation is the key. Heck...I knew Clinton was a cheap crook in 1993. I knew Jim Baker was a crook long before he was caught at it...and told my parents, who thought I was paranoid. Until he was shown for the fraud he is.
Well, sometimes it is some that is not observed that should be. It leaves that nagging feeling that something is not right. You don't know what it is, but it is just not ri......................arrrrgh.
ARTHUR: What? MAYNARD: '...The Castle of aaarrrrggh'. BEDEVERE: What is that? MAYNARD: He must have died while carving it. LAUNCELOT: Oh, come on! MAYNARD: Well, that's what it says. ARTHUR: Look, if he was dying, he wouldn't bother to carve 'aarrggh'. He'd just say it! MAYNARD: Well, that's what's carved in the rock! GALAHAD: Perhaps he was dictating. ARTHUR: Oh, shut up. Well, does it say anything else? MAYNARD: No. Just 'aaarrrrggh'. LAUNCELOT: Aaaauugggh. ARTHUR: Aarrrggh. BEDEVERE: Do you suppose he meant the Camaaaaaargue? GALAHAD: Where's that? BEDEVERE: France, I think.thing
I agree. The functioning of that ability is best demonstrated in speed chess.
If you were intuitive, you would just know.
Yes, logically speaking.
might will like this --- Capablanca and Nimzowitsch - a confrontation......
Can't say that I have.
I was involved in the advertising business from the early sixties until the early nineties. I worked on both the client and agency side and was involved with some large and sophisticated advertisers.
Nobody that I worked with ever gave an iota of credence to the concept of subliminal perception as an advertising device.
It was generally perceived as something for the Psychology Departments at the universities to play with...and use to get ink with the media.
Were we missing out on something?
I said, give me Saurian Brandy!
(I liked that episode).
Why aren't there any muslems on Star Trek?
Because it takes place in the future....
Sorry, but YOU are full of baloney. Anyone scientist who has ever had a "flash of creative insight" knows that intuition (whatever its source), is very real.
The REAL problem comes when intuition is allowed to over-rule rational analysis. Intuition = discovery, rational examination = proof are the two halves of scientific progress.
I prefer the Darth Vader principle:
"Asteroids do not concern me, Admiral. I want that ship, not excuses."
Meaning, "Results Are Our Business". ;)
No, I believe it's "The Man In Charge should always surround himself with Red Shirts."
Last words on Star Trek: "Touch that glowing orb? If you say so, sir...."
Intuition has nothing to do with "odds-making." I would call it rather, "subconscious intellectual processing", thinking and reasoning that takes place without us being aware that we are doing it.
A lot of human communication is non-verbal. We communicate with body language, emotion, facial expressions, gestures, and even odors. The brain has been trained since childhood to pick up on these cues, but we often tend to ignore them as we grow older. I believe that what we call "feminine intution" is actually this subconscious processing; women seem to be more atuned to non-verbal cues than men are, although either sex is capable of it. Men are, in part, socially trained to ignore this type of perception as "feelings." Highly successful and clever people use this processing to augment their cognitive skills.
There's nothing mythical about intutition. And it's much more than simple probability estimating.