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.

Cheers.

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
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References:
RE: Question about "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Technical Writing": From: Krista Van Laan
RE: Question about "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Technical Writing": From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: Question about "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Technical Writing": From: Tim J. Slager
RE: Question about "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Technical Writing": From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: Question about "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Technical Writing": From: Tony Chung
RE: Question about "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Technical Writing": From: Tim J. Slager
Re: Question about "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Technical Writing": From: Ned Bedinger
RE: Question about "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Technical Writing": From: Tim J. Slager

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