TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:RE: craft vs. science vs. art From:"walden miller" <wmiller -at- vidiom -dot- com> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Fri, 21 Jun 2002 16:07:14 -0600
The best a process can do is formalize the state of one person's (or a
committee's, perhaps) experience, judgment, and intuition at one point in
time. Perhaps a process can include a mechanism for improvement based on
experience, but it can never be proactively innovative. If you want
innovation, you want craft.
<< end of snip>>
I find it interesting that the discussion is between science and craft. My
wife is a potter (she has a degree in Fine Arts (ceramics) from CM). She
likes pottery being classified as a craft. Her process includes chemistry
(definitely a science), design, and playfulness. Her reasons have to do with
the concept of women's art or women's crafts... All in all, I would classify
her work as art, regardless of her preference.
Technical writing is the art of applying communication rhetoric to a
specific problem. Not a science; not a craft. We persuade readers to agree
with us or at least with what we write. We persuade readers to actually
read. Our art changes from year to year (remember when lines and shading in
tables were "in"). We pander to taste and we often lead readers toward
better taste (hopefully). What is successful in one document fails
miserably in another.
As Dick pointed out (quite elequantly), "Judgment and intuition come into
play. Judgment and intuition are bought through experience, broad exposure
to the ideas of others and the traditional practices of the craft, and
I would just substitute art for craft.
Check out RoboDemo for tutorials! It makes creating full-motion software
demonstrations and other onscreen support materials easy and intuitive.
Need RoboHelp? Save $100 on RoboHelp Office in May with our mail-in rebate.
Go to http://www.ehelp.com/techwr-l
Your monthly sponsorship message here reaches more than
5000 technical writers, providing 2,500,000+ monthly impressions.
Contact Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com) for details and availability.
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.