This is interesting. I do wonder mind. My personal suspicion is that this is to do with the time delay of consciousness. Nobody could drive a car or play football of fly an F-16 (either a real one or a game one) if they had to think about it. It apparently takes 1/2s to consciously register something. But if it is vital you probably did something about it already and only knew about it afterwards.
I’ve had this. I call it the quickening. I used to be able to look at equations and integrate them without thinking. It’s not intuition, it’s experience. It’s like taking a free-kick. Does Beckham work the maths? No he boots it. I can’t do that and probably neither can you. It’s “folk physics”. That’s an area that interests me a lot. There are Masai warriors who don’t have my background in formal mechanics but who would you put the house-keeping on if it was a “chucking spears at impalas contest”. Or more prosaically (unless you are a Masai) how often have you forgotten a phone number and only been able to dial it by not thinking and using “muscle memory”. Or how can I type? An office mate (thanks A!) of mine once re-arranged my keyboard. Jemmied the keys up with a screwdriver and put ‘em back different. So I turn-up, log-in and check my email and it is only when I actually look at the keyboard I get confused and it is really disconcerting. And get out my screwdriver.
Or what about walking? The Japanese have spent untold billions on making robots that walk. The amount of CPU power needed is phenomenal. Do you think about walking? You just do it.
Or maybe this explains autistic savants. You know those folks who if you spill a pack of spag and they just knew how many strands were on the floor. Just by looking.
H/T John Galt