Tacit knowledge and cortical algorithms

Tacit knowledge and cortical algorithms.

When I had dinner recently with InfoWorld Contributing Editor Phil
Windley, he put his finger on something I've been trying to nail down
for years. Like me, Phil works mainly in a home office, is married to a
nongeek, and is often called on to deliver spousal tech support.

From his wife's perspective, Phil said, it looks like he knows
how to do everything. But his own, subjective experience is very
different. He doesn't really have detailed procedural knowledge of most
tasks. He's just very good at discovering that knowledge.

“What I'm actually doing is figuring things out on the fly,”
Phil said. That's what all IT adepts do, all the time. We do it in such
a rapid, fluid, and automatic way that we don't seem to be constantly
learning or relearning. [Full story at InfoWorld.com]

The title of this column, The Tacit Dimension of Tech Support, refers to The Tacit Dimension, a 1967 book by the scientist/philosopher Michael Polanyi. One of his touchstone phrases was: “We know more than we can tell.”
[Jon's Radio]

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