From [ Marc Abrams ( 2003.05.01.1659) ]
was Re: Best-Laid Plans
[From Bruce Nevin (2003.05.01 15:12 EDT)]
Phew!, Glad we were able to avoid any unintended conflict.
I agree that everything that is said and done is ambiguous. This is
Marken's Maxim: you can't tell what someone is doing by observing what
Bruce, I believe it's a great deal more important then this statement
"appears" to make it. Btw, I will use quotes in their normal context, that
is, words or phrases that _probably are_ "ambiguous" ( i.e. not that they
necessarily have different meanings in the dictionary, but have different
"working understandings" for different people ). These are words and
phrases that conflicts and disagreements will usually center around because
of their multiple understandings.
Argyris and Schon have perfected what they call a *double loop* "learning"
theory. It basically involves asking clarifying questions and going up
levels based on those answers. Argyris calls going up a level, going up the
*ladder of inference*. It is not a one to one transformation from HPCT, but
basically each level (rung of the ladder ) adds additional "meaning" to
original ideas and concepts beginning at the bottom rung. The concept being
that our "meanings" for "ideas", "thoughts", etc. are "built" from our
perceptions ( my use, they would say view of the world ). From this notion
flows some _very_ interesting empirical data collected over 30 years and
thousands of people. They have not, in 30 years been able to _disprove_
their theory. They also have never been able to explain why it works the
way it does. They simply describe what they find.
When we "observe", in this case either listening or reading, we
"understand" what we are hearing or reading based on _our_ perceptions, not
the talkers or writers intent. Unfortunately this simple fact is often
overlooked. Most of us ( me being a big culprit ) come charging out of the
box without _clarifying_ the _intent_ of the sender of the information.
When in face to face conversation this becomes a wee bit easier because we
can see facial expressions, see body movements and utilize all of our
senses to better interpret our "perceptions" Over the net we can't utilize
any of our senses. Only our imagination.
Reading is a unique experience in many ways. We are asked to perceive and
understand things that must _totally_ reside in memory. _All_ of our
sensing receptors are useless except for our eyesight, which we use _only_
to perceive words. Intent and understanding must come from
memory/imagination. Control persists throughout.
Trying to have a conversation, i.e. interact with others, can become very
tedious if done correctly. When you ask questions it takes at least 4 posts
to move forward on a concept. 1) I recognize I need a clarification on a
word or phrase, so I ask the question, 2) The recipient then tries to
clarify and responds. 3) I get the response and agree that the point has
been clarified. I then, 4) respond and hopefully the "conversation" moves
on. What if you don't "get it" the first time? It can become _real_
tedious, real quick. So we usually side step this very important part of
"understanding" ( i.e. asking questions for clarification )`to get _our_
points across. We generally wind up talking past each other. Isn't there a
better way? I think HPCT shows us there is. Make your "goals" ( intent
) of the post explicit and _honest_, an abstract if you will. This will
eliminate the need to decipher intent and set the "tone" of the post, (
i.e. light, technical, very serious, obnoxious, :-), etc. ) 2nd, Lets try
to clarify with questions, even if we have to go off-line for some of it so
we don't clog up the mailbox's with exchanges between two people trying to
clarify one or two points. 3rd) Lets try to respect each of our
perspectives. ( collections of perceptions ) we may not agree with any one
person but we are not only entitled, but "forced" by nature ( i.e. HPCT )
to be that way. Sorry, I will _NEVER_ "understand" the world the way you
do, but I might find some of your "understanding" _very_ interesting,
useful and important, thus possibly changing the way I perceive something.
It happened with me and Bills work as well as others, why can't it happen
to others and with any other person?
Paraphrase is the best test of understanding. "In other words, blah blah
blah, right?" A few cycles back and forth in that manner and you can get
pretty close. But as you have demonstrated if you want to show that
misunderstanding is easy, well, that's very easy.
I agree completely. ( whatever that means. LOL )
At 03:12 PM 5/1/2003 -0400, you wrote: