Tech Writers and the Elites (was Creativity)

Subject: Tech Writers and the Elites (was Creativity)
From: Valerie Archambeau <varchamb -at- MIDWAY -dot- UCHICAGO -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 1994 12:35:20 -0600

David (The Man) Blyth says:

>Doug says...

>>The article suggests that the knowlege elite, feeling that they have
>>succeeded by virtue of "merit," believe they don't owe anything to anybody
>>except themselves, and will therefore be a social disaster. Any suggestions
>>on how tech writers can mediate *that*?

>If Tech Writing is learning how to learn, then it is also teaching how
>to teach. Or perhaps it is easier to just say that Tech Writing
>involves bi-directional communication. We have a responsibility to
>ourselves to learn, and a responsibility to everyone else to show them
>how to learn for themselves.

>We cannot communicate between Technology Developers (the elite) and
>Technology Users (everybody) unless we pay our debts to both sides of
>the bridge.

>David (The Man) Blyth

Just a note for clarification.

I believe that Christopher Lasch, the author of the article "Revolt of the
Elites" implies that technical writers are writing for other elites, or
more specifically, "symbolic analysts" or members of the "Meritocracy."
Technology users are not "everbody" in our society at this point in time,
according to Lasch, but merely a select group of individuals, distinguished
from "face-to-face service providers" or "repetitive task workers"--terms
Lasch takes from Robert Reich in the article.

I'm *not* saying here that all tech writers write for the "elite." I'm not
even saying that I support Lasch's argument. But writers (in addition to
bankers and university professors) are part of the "elite" group defined by

Valerie Archambeau
varchamb -at- midway -dot- uchicago -dot- edu

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