Hunches Need Other Hunches.

The Slow Hunch chapter. Recall that big, good ideas don’t typically come into focus quickly – they stew and fester and marinate and accumulate and slowly “fade into view.”

Another thing that hunches do is interact. Just like people and ideas in a network, hunches are improved if they are connected with other hunches. They can interfere like waves, building or shifting into new or different or better hunches.

Johnson backs this up with an analogy. He talks about 9/11 and the intelligence reports leading up to the attack. Apparently there were disparate “hunches” within the intelligence community describing elements of a threat: hijacking plans, suspicious flight school enrollment, and immigration visas. Had all of these hunches collided successfully before the attack, Johnson posits that hypothetically there is a higher likelihood that the plot may have been uncovered. I’m probably making the passages sound more political than they are, but you get the idea: hunches or ideas work better when they can be combined.

This is the same theory as what Johnson discussed in the Liquid Networks chapter. Ideas are better and more prevalent when they can interact with other ideas. Hunches need other hunches.