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09 January 2018


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I suppose this is a re-statement of your basic belief tat soldiers are rather limited people. pl

quite the opposite, Pat. But they surely have to deal with a lot more extreme situations then the average citizen. ... If they want to survive that is.

I am not aware Ì ever suggested that soldiers are 'limited people'.

Seriously, would I have wasted that much time here? I am a bit envious of the experience, that I have to admit. ... But then?


I'm not saying that visual information is not important, but compared with reading it is more difficult or even impossible to communicate abstract ideas. When you look at European history you see an explosion of ideas, (geopolitical) changes after the discovery (or modifying the Chinese) of printing. Before that time duplication of explicit knowledge (books) was very expensive and had to be done by specialized, educated people in dresses, called monks. This in combination with the increased literacy of common people (because of protestantism and growth of cities)

Vision is very important for humans but is not very suited for information transfer. Look at this list of biases:

How do you avoid these in a visual representation? With text you are able to do this using structuring, footnotes or other tools. Visual information is great as a means to access or categorize (loads of) information.

Television (or youtube) is essentially a one-way communication with a sender and a receiver. Interaction is not possible. When using webcam or skype it is oral communication.

Knowledge gathering is a cyclical process which always involves 4 steps, which are always necessary.
1. Internalization (eg reading or viewing)
2. Socializing (eg talking, communicating with other people. Like we do on SST)
3. Combining. Integrating 1+2 to actively do something with this.
4. Externalizing (eg writing down, creating something, talking about etc) This also helps with pushing information through the straw between short-term memory in long-term memory (remember that almost 99% of everything we see,do, sensory information etc is filtered away with our brain)

Skipping steps (usually 4) with people, but especially in organizations has a dramatic influence on knowledge creation. Especially when you take into account that both humans and organizations have a tendency to become more rigid (in thinking processes) when they age.

In our society the trend is that people are not getting smarter but getting dumber unfortunately. This applies to all society, from the elite to the working classes. If you only socialize with people with a similar background you never get new insights and keep making the same (sort of) mistakes.

IMO this is caused by the visualization of information transfer which creates a 'lazyness in the brain' of people.


Too bad there is no edit button (for half an hour)

The essence of what I'm trying to say is that reading is an active form and viewing of moving visual information is usually passive.

When reading something you can create the pace. Stop, reread, think about something.
With visual information the pace is created by the creator.

Also visual information (such as blinking text or ads on internet) force us to watch. Evolutionary this makes sense, as movement may be caused by something dangerous. The same applies to having a bit of paranoia (is that dark spot just shade or a leopard?)

Its just not very suited as primary medium for information transfer or knowledge creation.


yes, Adrestia, if there was, I might have corrected good-bye-present. Don't worry.

Here goes anyway, I cut a longer feedback ... But, thanks for the response, Adrestia.

If you ever watch me stepping into one of the listed cognitive bias traps feel free to let me know. I'd be pleased. Although quite old, I am always willing to learn. ;)

Full discovery, in this specific context I only babbled since I admittedly felt some type of basic sympathy* for james/James no doubt impolite Pavlovian response.

Attentional bias? No doubt, I am human, I am female, and I am a German outsider in a largely American context around here. I also have a niece.


* ... full discovery, I didn't go back and reread Richard's article. Check what left me with the feeling there was a (unintended?) secondary theme apart from the given one? Small talk. Not that James responded to mine. He seemed to respond to a different unintended one? Many though seemed pleased with the one that caught my attention.

And I can assure that conversations about make-up or politics tended to bore me to tears from a quite early age on.

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