Marvin Minsky: People don’t have the slightest idea about how they do reasoning, and intuition is a polite word for guessing. And some people think that there’s some special kind of intuition which gives you the right answer in a magical way. And you just follow one of those people around, and you’ll see — a friend of mine followed a squirrel around for a whole day, which is very hard, and — because he was interested, how does the squirrel do these wonderful things of leaping from branch to branch? Well, it turns out they fall off a lot.
He watched this graceful squirrel and how it missed a branch and it just barely managed to catch a lower one, and it didn’t bother him much because it’s very light, and then later in the afternoon it fell all the way off and dropped 30 feet. It didn’t bother it much. And so when — if you’re looking for a miracle, you’ll never get anywhere. But if you’re looking for intuition, which is a name for hundreds of ways of guessing, and you’re realistic and say there isn’t any real intuition, then you’ll find the 50 pretty good ones.