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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by getbent, Nov 7, 2012.
There's people with a strong academic sense, those with strong intuition and feel, and those with both.
Those with both we call "great."
It was almost all empirical. An airbus (and any plane that size) is one you fly by the numbers. He knew exactly what speed to fly and what attitude he had to be in to touch down safely. If I recall correctly, there's about a 2 degree margin of error in the attitude when ditching. Sully knew those numbers and he nailed them.
I've worked with a guy on and off for years who has great design sense and a strong engineering back ground, yet he often relies on " feel" or "putting it out there"
The thing that makes working with him difficult is he invariably chooses the wrong time to bring a talent into play. When we are on tight deadline and just need something to work, he will choose that time to get creative and feel it.
When we need something new and exciting, he will double down on old school by the book techniques and become insular and dismissive if you question his judgement.
He is reasonably sucessful in his field but has a reputation as difficult to work with, and has burned a lot of bridges.
I say it is everything.
I'm intuiting that you mean feel not in an emotional sense but as in the use of imagination to create new ideas.
I'd argue that every forward moving idea in human evolution has come from 'instinctual intellects'.
My father was Sully's regular check pilot at US Air (he was everyone's regular check pilot at US Air until he retired). Like my dad, Sully was a totally by-the-book numbers guy when flying. It's the seat of the pants "feelings" guys who would always get into trouble that they couldn't get out of. My father grounded a few of them over his career, you don't do that lightly, but guys who fly by the seat of their pants tend to kill themselves and hundreds of passengers.
Flying by the seat of your pants as a practice was pretty much done for after Vietnam. It got the fighter guys some impressive kills, but got a lot more of them shot down and killed, or doing a stay at the Hanoi Hilton.
Works in engineering.
Case in point, somewhat related. I was helping my 6th grade son with estimation in his math homework and used an example that I would use everyday at work. Say you have 23.221 x 3.71121. I estimate (I gave him a 3 second count to give me an answer) to be 25 x 4 = 100. Why? I don't care about the number. I care that when I fat finger the calculator and end up with 861.7800741, I know that I'm not close.
I felt up my wife a lot in college. Does that count?
Was she an intellect?
There's a lot work done in the field of music and emotion. Some authors are Leonard Meyer, Laird Addis, and Peter Kivey. Suzanne Langer wrote a landmark book about emotion in art, "Philosophy in a New Key."
Working on my PhD in composition, I wrote a theory paper on math and music. I was using a lot of group theory, which is a completely abstract kind of math, with no numbers to calculate, just symbols. I was extremely fortunate to have one the best group theorists in history as my second reader. He was tough, very, very tough. Everything had to be expressed exactly right, otherwise the whole structure I was working with would collapse. I wasn't a good mathematician at all. At one point, he said that I was relying too much on intuition. He said that intuition sharpened my insights, but could also lead to errors. He said that intuition often turned out to be wrong.
However, math allows for it, in a limited way, with the concept of a conjecture. My take on that is that when you are working deeply on a problem, say, for years, you develop a sense that something might be true. But it may not be provable anytime soon. At that point, you could write up what lead you to this point and call it a conjecture. If it seems reasonable to others, then it gets labelled as "Larry's Conjecture," or whatever, and it is left to future mathematicians to prove or disprove it. Because I was a complete amateur at math, but very enthused about it, I was constantly coming up with my own little (actually some grand) conjectures. Of course, I would never mention these in print or to a mathematician, because I so often disproved my conjecture of the day a day later. But it kept me on track and it kept me thinking about the right questions.
As a composer, I often give talks on my use of mathematics. One thing I always say, is that I will drop the math at any point if my ear projects what I should compose. When that happens, it's like, see ya later, math. However, I don't always admit this to people, in my heart of hearts, I wonder if when my ear takes over, I am engaging in an even deeper form of math, the kind that I cannot express in words or equations.
I was a co-founder of the Journal of Mathematics and Music (you can google it). The cool thing about the journal was that it brought together maybe 20-30 people from around the world who were working in music and math, many of us unknown to others. So it was like a meeting of like-minded people that was incredibly exhilarating to hang out together at conferences. I was a little surprised that so many of us believed that all the great music in history could be produced by math. Believe me, this was just beer talk among friends, and no one would ever say this in an article. But most of us thought it true.
Now, the other thing about feel, as it pops up in this forum, is that people mistake the words and language that I use to describe some aspect of music as a substitute for what I feel when I play and create music. When I feel music, I don't hear the words that I write in this forum or anywhere else. But words are the only means I have to describe what I am feeling or hearing. Music theorists have learned early in their education not to get caught up in the words that are used in a theory article, but to listen to the effects that those words/ideas have on music. On the flip side, people can use the concept of feel to stop dead in its tracks any discussion of music. I recently asked why people thought that Levon Helm modified a phrase from the Weight. Way too many people said that it was because that was how he felt it. Well, of course he felt it. But that does not mean that there weren't reasons why he felt it that way, reasons having to do with the rhythm of the melody being at odds with the prosodic rhythm of the words. Or maybe it was because in some styles of music there is a tradition of adding curlicues to the melody in live performance. To simply say it is because he felt it does not invite other interpretations of why he actually did that thing.
Enough on my ideas about feel? I'm just getting started, but I really should go upstairs and work. I will try to resist the sounds of voices calling out to me from others posting in this thread. I am now plugging my ears and going nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah,...
Empires are only built on belief
Almost everything I do is based upon "feel."
But I think back in the dim, dark, primordial part of my brain, there is data being processed that guides that "feel."
Exactly. The starting point is sense
I believe that feel is very important in nurturing thought, creativity and productivity.
The best HR people create a sense of trust and an environment where people listen and appreciate ideas. They make people feel good. People contribute when they feel right.
All of the empirical stuff that managers (like me) measure improve when people feel positive.
Respect the feel.
All in all, are we merely data processors?
or do we take data and manipulate it?
we need data, and we use it, but what makes us human is when we ignore it
we can choose to be empirically wrong
and yet feel right
a dog may bite the hand that feeds it
in other words, bloody good question
When searching for the answer to a problem often it takes empirical evidence and a feeling for what that evidence might imply to pin down what the answer actual is. Sometimes the answer is hiding somewhere in a broad swath of data and it takes a good feeling to pick it out, without that you are just taking a shot in the dark that often isn't right the first time, or even the second and third time for that matter.