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Re: Question about "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Technical Writing"
Subject:Re: Question about "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Technical Writing" From:Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com Date:Sat, 25 Jun 2011 02:03:41 -0700
On 06/24/2011 12:04 PM, Tim J. Slager wrote:
> Yes, you are right: it is a common phrase in English, not particular to any one group (although there may be English-speaking groups for whom it is not common). Cliché might be a better term, though I suppose then one might have to demonstrate that the phrase is trite.
> By Socratic I was referring to Socrates' perspective of himself:
> "I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance" (Diogenes).
> "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing" (Plato).
> The oracle declared him the wisest man in Athens because he understood he was a complete idiot. :)
This is all so convoluted. Plato said that Socrates disavowed having any
knowledge because he had such a bad memory. They decided that Knowledge
based on recall is not real knowledge. Complete idiots?
But I agree that a dose of cynicism is necessary for proper orientation
to work as tech writer. This would not be the extreme cynicism of
Diogenes the Cynic (the physical world is a distraction, so ignore it)!
And I would probably agree that the tech writer's need to be actively
curious and investigative could be served by a philosophical approach.
But someone is going to notice if you spend your SME interview time
seeking Platonic true knowledge through divine inspiration, as Plato
advocated. God knows Plato was a broad and deep thinker with lots of
ideas, but he didn't work with engineers, as far as I know, and probably
would not have been an enthusiastic tech writer.
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
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