Sorry Ken, sorry Christine, but that is soft-headed hippie nonsense. Do you seriously expect folk to stand by, mute, while other folk utter statements of dubious epistemological value. Christine, you want people to "respectfully share .. their personal understanding and perceptions, and together ... reach a new understanding that each alone could not have reached [and not be vigorously challenged in the process]". Pass me the bucket. You are effectively saying that the epistemological value of an utterance is not a consideration. Thus folk who say the earth is flat, Neil Armstrong didn't walk on the moon, there were dinosaurs on the ark, carbon dioxide is not affecting the planet's climate, Jews were not killed in gas chambers during the second world war, scientology is a religion, and so on and so on should be invited to "respectfully share .. their personal understanding and perceptions [so that] together [we can] reach a new understanding that each alone could not have reached". Soft-headed nonsense. Why should I waste a nanosecond of my time sharing "personal understanding and perceptions" with a flat-earther? Or a creationist? Or a market-worshipping economist who thinks everyone knows everything about every market. Why should I give them an atom of oxygen to spruik their nonsense. This is John Howard's demented approach to ensuring balance on the ABC: give every nut their 15 minutes of fame. One person's declarative utterance is not, ipso facto, equal to another's. In amongst the truth there are the howlers, the idiocies and the spin. Just imagine if we followed Christine's ethic and gave each person's view equal respect and never verbally challenged what was clearly arrant nonsense. We'd still be in the cave wondering whether to give more allegiance to the wind god or the fire god or the sun god. We have progressed as a civilisation because the superficial, the lazy and the vested interest has been challenged, and challenged vigorously. Why waste hours of respectfully sharing someone's view that there is a finite number of prime numbers when a two-minute knock-down argument has been around since the time of Euclid. I'm sorry Christine, but amongst the gems you do offer this list, occasionally you put forward some claim or other that is arrant nonsense. Your claim that everything that is to be learnt can be learnt from YouTube is your most recent example (and your response to Howard Silcock's neutral, uncritical question is an example of you refusing to follow the very ethic you want us to follow). Those who challenged you have as much right to challenge your claims as the claims of flat-earthers and scientologists. (You did, I notice, have the grace to republish your posting with the claim that caused the fuss struck out, a move that deserves respect.) You say we are trashing your reputation, Christine, by vehemently arguing with you. On the contrary, you are trashing your reputation yourself with claims that are outrageous and fall at the first analysis (which thankfully, for you and this list, is only occasionally). Fellow subscribers, this is not a self-help list. The list doesn't exist to make you feel good, appreciated and valued. (Go to your shrink for that.) Statements made on the list deserve the same sort of scrutiny as statements made in Economic Review, Physical Papers or the British Medical Journal. Don't shy away from robust challenges on the basis that some on this list want to be protected from criticism by wrapping themselves in some self-spun cocoon. Robust argument is the way to knowledge, not post-modernist relativism of the sort that gives every view an equal standing, to be shared in the hope of reaching a new understanding through some Hegelian synthesis. Sorry, but I've given up joints (along with self-contradictory epistemologies). Geoffrey Marnell Principal Consultant Abelard Consulting Pty Ltd T: +61 3 9596 3456 F: +61 3 9596 3625 W: <http://www.abelard.com.au/> www.abelard.com.au _____ From: austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ken Fredric Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 9:53 AM To: 'austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx' Subject: atw: Re: The New World Order, take 2 Hear, hear! Ken Fredric Senior Technical Writer _____ From: austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Christine Kent Sent: Wednesday, 18 November 2009 8:49 AM To: austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: atw: The New World Order, take 2 This is a re-send of my original post, with the offending words changed. Curious how no-one addressed the perfectly obvious true intent of the mail. Too challenging? Too philosophical? Too deep? There is a process whereby everyone respectfully shares their personal understanding and perceptions, and together they reach a new understanding that each, alone could not have reached. It is essentially different from verbal combat where each person tries to destroy the argument (and reputation) of the other by any means available. Let's see if we can avoid combat and increase understanding, shall we? Christine (the NF in an SJ world) From: Christine Kent [mailto:cmkentau@xxxxxxxxx] Sent: Monday, 16 November 2009 7:29 PM To: 'austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx' Subject: RE: Re: Preferred font for corporate staff manuals Guys I know I am one of the few people on this group that has waded gung ho into the new Web 2.0 world. I have a number of blogs, a facebook account, a you tube channel, a twitter account that I rarely use, and dozens of other logins that I set up but never used to all sorts of weird and wonderful things. I belong to a number of social forums and conduct nearly all my business on or through the web. There is a reality "out there" that may be difficult to address because no-one is researching it and in fact, no-one can research it. Whether we like it or not, the non-business IT world has leapt a long way ahead of (or to the side of) the business IT world, and it is all moving at such a speed that research cannot possibly keep up. I have conjectured that youngsters are being trained how to think, how to learn and even how to read by the internet, which may even be exercising and training totally different neural pathways to mainstream academic education. There are no "experts" involved in designing this process. Web 2.0 junkies will get what they choose to get through blogs, facebook, social forums and the like. If someone sets the websites up in Arial (as per normal) they will learn to feel comfortable reading Arial. As high level reading is not a terribly necessary skill any more in their world (reading age 8 will probably about do it), and writing even less so, they don't need to be all that proficient - just good enough. My observation is that they read very little and what they do read, they skim read, meaning they miss detail. They get most of their education from one another and from YouTube. (There is nothing you cannot learn now on YouTube.) There is little they want to learn that they cannot learn from YouTube, high academic learning aside. If I need any instruction on common computer programs, I go to YouTube where some nice person will have videoed the process for me. If I want any news, I get it from the web. I set up feeds on particular topics to my Google account, so that it all comes to me. Even the news process and distribution has changed its form courtesy of the web. Font is one really trivial aspect of this change. I am well aware that this is all scattered and anecdotal, but how do we get it from the anecdotal to the researched? Who even knows this needs research, let alone has the dollars to research it. It is still mostly out of the gambit of educational and even corporate organisations, who still have the internet locked down to workers and students, and so are still are hugely unaware of what is happening. It's like the "real world" has closed the shutters against the tornado going on outside. There is a new world and new race of people living outside, but those shuttered inside are oblivious to their existence. All this means there CAN only be anecdotal evidence and observations from intelligent people (of whom I am one, Peter) to watch what is happening in stunned amazement and conjecture where it is taking us. Is there a point at which the exponential rate of change implodes? I don't know. It still seems to be accelerating at a seriously challenging rate. Dismiss it as nonsense at your peril. Christine -------------------------------Safe Stamp----------------------------------- Your Anti-virus Service scanned this email. It is safe from known viruses. For more information regarding this service, please contact your service provider.