Analysis and Intuition

Good decision making in the American context means a healthy balance between objective analysis and intuition.

Intuition: The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning; a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning. Late Middle English denoting spiritual insight or immediate spiritual communication. Latin intueri, to consider.

Empiricism. Observation. For Americans, intuition is experience-based knowledge, called on immediately. Intuition is more than a spontaneous thought, a “gut reaction”, a hunch. Americans trust the judgement of the experienced, the wise, of those “who have been there”.

But not to the exclusion of objective analysis. Americans are constantly coming up with new ways to quantify what is deeply human, what in its essence cannot be quantified. It’s a question of balance. When to go with the objective analysis, when with intuition? Can they be combined?

Star Trek. A brilliant television series. Late 1960s. Deeply human, created with little frills, eye-candy, special effects. Instead it tapped into the human imagination, the greatest source of special effects. Kirk is intuition. Spock is reason. Tension between the two. But it worked.