Thursday, February 16, 2012

Data versus intuition

Dean Newlund, www.missionfacilitators, says too much reliance on numbers and data can squelch innovation and the leaps that intuition can provide.

He cites the two space shuttle accidents—and asserts that NASA disregarded engineers’ intuitions and hunches, possibly leading to the second accident.

Some things don’t show on a spreadsheet.

Newlund says we are entering the Conceptual Age—the logical and linear are being replaced by the inventive and big picture type of thinking.

Data makes us feel secure. Intuition is scary.

Data may tell us where we have been. But it does not tell us where to go.

This is why I am skeptical of returning to rail travel or leaping completely into windmills or solar. Even if those could be done economically.

But--Just because something is counterintuitive does not mean it’s a good move. Our intuition may be saying no.

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