Making knowledge

1. In his great article from last week about Making Knowledge, D. Grey said many deep details holding true for everybody (regardless of individual cognitive styles), much more than I considered possible, probably everything that can possibly be said about this topic, the ultimate general description.

What especially resonated for me is what he said about communities “where proto-theories are examined”, about “Crafting distinctions” and shared context. All this fits nicely on the axis of M. Böttger’s picture (see also my #73).

Also, it made now sense to me what he said about creative abrasion and how “Exposure to alternative assumptions … help[s] to unsettle, and resettle meaning.”, and now I better understood his comment about the energy levels of forum/blog conversations where “there is a fine balance to be maintained”.

2. Of course, the relative emphasis on different aspects may differ according to personal preferences and cognitive styles. I, for one, was slightly put off by some words that seem to suggest a somewhat permanent, closed, self-contained group.

While I admit that such permanence and the related trust might be useful for the “shared awareness” part of his article (group as filter), I doubt that I would value it so much in regard to the “creative abrasion” and “share context” parts. The group that is sharing the context and the preliminary wording (which is understandible only during the preliminary stage of thinking, before it is settled and published to a wider audience), could just as well be ad-hoc and temporary.

In return, the “exposure to alternative assumptions” would then be increased and the danger of echo chamber effects would be decreased. If, by contrast, the group is supposed to be more stable, there needs to be “a good chemistry”, and this could lead to an inadvertent preselection (breed selection) of similar cognitive styles, and thus hinder cross-pollination.

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