One of the most interesting and challenging talks I attended at Reboot 9 was that by Oleg Koefoed on Intuition.
Someone who says to be working for a center for ‘action philisophy’ can count on my curious attention.
It was a highly theoretical presentation, and I am sure I did not understand half of it. So I am eagerly awaiting the release of the videocaptures of the Reboot presentations, so I can go over it once more.
But I did listen to the podcast interview that Nicole Simon did with Oleg Koefoed and browsed through his weblog in the past days.
First, I like the general take that Oleg Koefoed has on philosophy. As he says in the interview: ‘Philosophy is about being sensitive. When philosophy stops to be sensitive it becomes an exercise in logic and analysis. That is not philosophy to me.’ Philosophy as a deeply human reflective activity.
Central in his presentation stood the concept of an Event. An event is an encounter between a subject and an object, or two subjects, where a certain tension is produced. Opportunity lies in that tension. Switching between who is speaking in a conversation is such an event. The tension lies in the process of this hand over. Where the speaker is winding down, and the listener is gearing up to become the speaker, by going through different levels of decreasing silence. I loved that term, decreasing silence.
Oleg Koefoed places intuition right at the center of an event, at the synapsis. Right in the center of that tension.
In an earlier blogposting he says about intuition and events:
Intuition is the crossing point coming alive. It is the meeting of tracks and trajectories crossing each other, speaking to one another as they pass by.
Voices are at play, but not voices of subjects. Voices that move within the infinite complexes of matter and movement in intersection at any point in time, any point in space.

And the event is the only space in which the voice of intuition will cross from the virtual into something that produces an actuality. Intuition has no power of its own, only virtuality coming out of itself and into the event.
Even though, like I said, I think I did not understand half of the talk (also because I was a few minutes late), this approach of intuition positioned at the center of an event intrigues me.
It understands intuition to be not something within me, something I own, but something that is some sort of a conduit between us. Personally this shift in perception of intuition I take as an opportunity to give it a more active role, as well as a more constructive one, in my interaction with others. There has been a time in my life where my intuition served as a primary line of defense to keep others at a distance by seeing ‘through’ them and stay hidden myself. When I no longer had need for those defenses I also did away with intuition as a ‘tool’. Koefoed’s approach to intuition seems a route to give it back its rightful constructive and empathic place again.

Oleg Koefoed ended his talk by asking how web 2.0 tools can help to make more intuition possible. I suggested that some of that may be found in the way different on-line traces of our lives (photo’s, blogs, comments, plazes, jaiku entries etc.) connect into a pattern. That pattern lets us read between the lines of the actual pieces of information, and that way a story unfolds. Is that where intuition lives?

3 reactions on “Reboot9: Intuition

  1. In that way a story unfolds. Is that where intuition lives?
    NOT to my mind!
    From a notion of complexity I prefer to think in terms of emergent phenomena. The KEY of evolution shows that it is not the unfolding of things which are characteristic but the qualitative transformation of one form into another: the turning points, of revolutionary changes in development. This is the story already told by Lev Vygotsky, in the twenties of the 20th century (see his book “Mind in Society”, p. 73). That is what makes him a genius. But a genius neglected as so often i our history of science.

  2. Hi Ton,
    yes emergence, I tend to agree. I think I meant to say that to me it feels that I intuit emergent patterns more than actually observe them. And once intuited I go and try to digg out the pattern more consistently. Of course sometimes emergent patterns are plainly visible, but they can be very elusive as well. Like having a hunch.

  3. Ton, thank you for your kind words. I am publishing various things the next months, I will let you know. To Ton J�rg’s comment I will briefly note: the concept of the event in my version of it comes in exactly between the two versions of what happens in evolution (or revolution, as you write): to make it short, the event is a key that connects what looks to one eye to be discontinuous change, revolution, with what to another eye looks like the unfolding of one matter or substance. What characterises the event is that it constitutes a switch, a kind of evolutionary wormhole in which different forms of existence join in encounter: actuality, potentiality, virtuality, all of them are real, but on different levels. The difference between the event and the incident is that the event does not simply express an unfolding of matter or substance, but implies a tensionary field in which a new form emerges – the new form being realised only as a future case, yet somehow this future case builds the development in the present. This is where (collective) intuition or autopo�etic knowledge comes in, as a form that expresses these future realities, and as the core of the event – not as a story, but as a wordless, insistant reality that emerges in gravitation towards the tension zone of the event.
    Well, that is the very short version, will be glad to continue the discussion on Vygotsky, I blankly admit that my knowledge of his writings is very limited, I will look into it. And, as mentioned, there will be some 4-5 articles on this and hopefully, a book as well, in the next months or so. Hope this arouses more curiousity than chaos..

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