Re: Math & Writing (A Freudian Analysis)

Subject: Re: Math & Writing (A Freudian Analysis)
From: Erik Harris <ewh -at- PLAZA -dot- DS -dot- ADP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 1994 11:03:44 -0800

Matthew Wong says:
>That so much has been said about Math vs. Writing suggests (and I may be
>self projecting here) our deep rooted insecurity toward our chosen profession
> To counter this unconscious insecurity, our superego constructs a defense
>based on the cultural (and, if I may add, mythical--in the Roland Barthes
>sense) dichotomy of arts and science: that one has a natural proclivity (or
>talent) for the arts OR sciences, rarely can one do both well.
>Communication is an art (despite the work of linguists and
>deconstructionists), and most scientist do not have a flair for this.

Let me offer a minor dissent.

Technical writing, like other forms of organizational writing and business
communications, is a craft rather than an art, making us tech writers
artisans rather than artists. We design rather than create. We are also
more like engineers/developers than we are like administrators; we explain
more than we 'document', or, at least, I think we should.

The Barthes reference is useful. It *is* a kludge to think that the
communications and scientific disciplines are distinct and unmeshable. This
is our work: to use communications to make scientific and technological
issues accessible to the Reader.

Quod erat demonstrandum
Erik Harris
ewh -at- plaza -dot- ds -dot- adp -dot- com (weekdays)
TrinityPlc -at- aol -dot- com (home)

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