Information vs. Intuition

I like having connections — people who can give me the gossip and dish out the dramas, tell me all of the secrets roiling beneath staid social strati. I love news. I like getting the inside scoop. (This is probably why I like being a journalist.)

But the problem with being the kind of person who develops quick and extensive connections is that sometimes information drowns out intuition. Information conflicts, at times, and then paralyzes when you are trying to sort things through. I wonder if first impressions — the two-second blink-of-an-eye judgments we make — are truer than the judgments we make when we collect and analyze and reanalyze all of the data.

In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell says perhaps we should rely more on our intuition:

We live in a society dedicated to the idea that we’re always better off gathering as much information and spending as much time as possible in deliberation. … But I don’t think this is true. There are lots of situations–particularly at times of high pressure and stress–when haste does not make waste, when our snap judgments and first impressions offer a much better means of making sense of the world.

So now that I’ve analyzed all of my overanalysis, informed myself on my intuition and dissected all my emotions, I feel I am ready to act on my impulses (without giving up all my gossip).

And this, to me, is spontaneity!



~ by stultiloquence on November 23, 2007.

5 Responses to “Information vs. Intuition”

  1. It’s a good thing Jewel has that song “Intuition” to help us find our way…

  2. I think I probably disagree with Malcolm in principle but my actions probably agree.

  3. Speaking of collecting information, I learn something new about my friends every day. For instance — Mark, you are impulsive? I never would have guessed! And Jacob, you listen to Jewel? Do you love her?

  4. Eh… I’m inconsistent; I’m more impulsive than not, but sometimes I am overly cautious, maybe as a balancer. I find that my impulsive decisions tend to be like 40-60, bad v good.

  5. Now you’ve got me thinking. Sometimes my impulsive decisions are good because they rule cowardice out of the picture. Sometimes what I like to call prudence or proper caution is really just lack of courage. When I’m impulsive I ignore that side of me. But I also fail to properly consider the matter, so I end up overlooking consequences.

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