atw: Re: The New World Order, take 2

  • From: "Geoffrey Marnell" <geoffrey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2009 20:00:14 +1100

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
Geoffrey Marnell
Principal Consultant
Abelard Consulting Pty Ltd
T: +61 3 9596 3456
F: +61 3 9596 3625
W:  <>


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




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.




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