Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The "feeling of knowing"

Occasionally, I come across a book which is truly stunning in relevance and presentation of a perhaps esoteric subject. I have been enjoying the basic findings of one of them, On Being Certain (pictured left). As a consultant, we often have to see the pattern in potentially unrelated items. We are asked for answers and often have to express it with confidence and certainty. How do we achieve certitude? What does the "feeling of knowing" feel like? Below is an excerpt. I would ask that you read the following and determine if you have a strong understanding of the passage:

A newspaper is better than a magazine. A seashore is a better place than the street. At first it is better to run than to walk. You may have to try several times. It takes some skill, but it is easy to learn. Even young children can enjoy it. Once successful, complications are minimal. Birds seldom get too close. Rain, however, soaks in very fast. Too many people doing the same thing can also cause problems. One needs lots of room. If there are no complications, it can be very peaceful. A rock will serve well as an anchor. If things break loose from it, however, you will not get a second chance.

Is it meaningful? Meaningless? A simple stream of consciousness? Is it possible that a single trigger will make it compressible? What does the "feeling of knowing" feel like?

If you want the answer - post a reply.