Re: virus: Is there room for mysticism?

Duane Hewitt (
Fri, 12 Jan 1996 12:24:23 -0700 (MST)

On Thu, 11 Jan 1996, David McFadzean wrote:

> At 02:29 AM 08/01/96 -0500, John E.Mayer wrote:
> Actually I don't think intuition is a non-logical process, rather
> it is a non-consciously-rational process. No-one doubts there is
> plenty of cognitive processing going on below consciousness,
> from pattern matching (recognition) down to physiological process
> regulation.

I heartily agree with David's proposal and would like to add an example that
occurred over the Holidays.

I was watching a television program that showed the new "Unauthorized
X-files" Companion. I was struck by the realization that this specific
book was my X-mas gift from my sister. I asked my wife if that was the
case and she was so caught off guard that she gave it away.

Now this was an intutuition in that I was not consciously trying to
determine what the present was though I am notorious for snooping at X-mas.

If I examine the underlying process it is actually suprisingly amenable
to logical analysis. I have significant amount of information about my
sister and my interactions with her. And even though I can not
reconstruct the whole process it does not seem that I was doing anything
but interpolating and extrapolating from known factors albiet unconsciously.

> Engineers may be in a better position than you might think.

Again, I would have to agree. I do not place MD's as a class in high
regard. They vary tremendously in their depth and breadth of knowledge.

WRT mysticism;

To me mysticism seems like a cop out. It does not take any justification
to be a mystic because mysticisim defies "mere logic".

As to finding beauty and fun in reason, I think Chess is a much more
beautiful and elegant game than Snakes and Ladders. Chess is based upon
strategy, logic and reason. Snakes and Ladders is based upon luck.

It seems to me that mysticism is a game of philosophical Snakes and
Ladders in which the player would rather depend upon some intangible
factor than develop skill. This is probably why many people when faced
with a logical
argument they do not wish to acknowledge retreat to mysticism and denigrate
the usefulness of reason.

Duane Hewitt