Saturday, July 26, 2003

One of Dave Snowden's much used quotes is "We can know more than we can tell" (taken from Polanyi). Intuitively, that feels right, but revisiting Being There by Andy Clark again today I had second thoughts. Clark argues strongly for writing being part of knowing - a thinking support tool. "By writing down our ideas... we can hold them steady so that we may judge them...We can store them in a ways that allow us to compare and combine them with other complexes of ideas in ways that would quickly defeat the unaugmented imagination".

To me the implication is that we can't know some things until we're able to tell them. Those who have had to go from expert to teacher will be aware of how the act of teaching deepens you own understanding.

Why this dichotomy? Well there are many things we call knowledge and different ways of 'knowing' (I know what an egg is vs. I know how to pickle eggs vs. I know what you did last summer) - see my earlier post on FASHEN.

Apologies for the gap in service - please do not adjust your sets. Thanks for all those who mailed me - it's gratifying that somebody noticed! I hope to resume regular postings from now on (one or two a week). Stay tuned...