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franklin-bifocals-60 Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Composer François Couperin François Couperin record album cover
[1826 - François Couperin, composer, dies at age 66]

Racer Sir Malcolm Campbell
Sir Malcolm Campbell's car
[1885 - Sir Malcolm Campbell, auto racer, born in Chiselhurst, Kent, England]

Computer Pioneer Vannevar Bush Vannevar Bush with analogue computer
[1890 - Vannevar Bush, computer & hypertext pioneer, born in Chelsea, Massachusetts]

German troops marching into Austria
[1938 - German troops enter Austria]

Writer Douglas Adams (42)
[1952 - Douglas Adams, author, born in Cambridge, England]

USS Lofberg (DD-759) underway in coastal waters
[1965 - Market Time patrols begin off South Vietnam coast]

Intuition vs. Instinct

Today's question is: What is the difference between instinct and intuition? William suggests that the difference is captured in the precious photo sequence below.

art museum - baby in mother's arms

In the first frame, the baby reacts instinctively to the breast before him, even though he is in his mother's arms and is aware that her breast is not the one he is looking at. In this instinctive behavior he is no different than any other mammal, which exhibits breast-seeking behavior from birth, even without yet having eyes open to see with.

In the second frame, the baby, aware that the breast is not the one that nurtures him, and seeing that it is but a lifeless representation of a human breast, nevertheless makes a beeline for the nipple and begins to suckle. In this behavior one surmises that the child is acting on intuition. He knows without conscious reasoning that this is not the breast that gives him sustenance, yet there is an association with the milk that may be in it that makes it worth a try. Or not.

William's Whimsical Words:

It matters not that the intuition in this case was unrewarded.

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