DRMacIver's Notebook

Communicating Knowledge

Communicating Knowledge

Copied over from Twitter so I don’t lose this.

My brain is currently trying to synthesise some stuff together that I’m not sure I can articulate in less than a Chidi-thesis worth of content and it’s very annoying.

The following combine in a way that I have not yet been able to tease out a small t thesis from:

  • “The Shock of the Old” - David Edgerton
  • “Shop Class as Soulcraft” - Matthew Crawford
  • “The Two Cultures of Mathematics” - Tim Gowers
  • “Telling is Listening” - Ursula Le Guin

Roughly the area I am attempting to sound out is the idea of knowledge which is embodied in a person or a group, and cannot be separated from that without essentially rebuilding it from scratch (possibly with some gentle editing from a teacher who already understands it).

Physical skills are very much like this (you can’t just read a book to learn a martial art), but I think we treat cognitive skills as if they’re not like this, when they absolutely are, and we privilege knowledge based on how close it is to the ideal of transmissibility.