The Distortion of Ideas LO23003
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 07:46:18 EDT

Replying to LO22983 --

In a message dated 99-10-25 22:38:07 EDT, you write:

> This suggests that until a person has a mental and spiritual apparatus
> that is capable of appreciating Deming or Senge or A A Milne he or she
> will not be able to understand them.
> Does this mean that instead of writing one book or article we should
> write
> three? There would be one for people with no knowledge of the subject,
> one
> with moderate knowledge and one for experts. The language and style
> would
> have to be different, perhaps?
> Nick Heap

There are two major points I want to extract from Nick's contribution and
then form a relationship between them to help further what Nick wrote.

The first is the concept of appreciation. An assumption about appreciation
is the ability to have some recognition of what one is experiencing. There
needs to be some level of the ability of the person to discriminate,
compare and contrast, a "situation". When consulting individuals about
psychological issues around "feeling understood" I often will use a
thought experiment of "the wine tasting expert and novice".

The story is about attempting to understand that in order for one to
appreciate they have to be able to "know the difference". A novice wine
person might only know a few things about wine...there are reds, whites,
blushes, dessert wines etc... where the expert could further categorize
each of those groups in too many subgroups and then also classify those
subgroups even further. That terminology, variables of differences and
similiarities are highly refined and his/her senses can detect even the
slighest of differences in taste, smell, texture, and color. In order for
any person to appreciate one wine from another there has to be some level
of discrimination...even if it is at the base level of just being aware
they are experiencing something from water. In feeling
understood, one is desiring to be recognized for what makes them feel
unique. For that to happen the other must have the skill of recognizing

What I am talking about is a skill in perception.

My second point is about the difference in applied knowledge and
informational knowledge. Nick mentioned the concept of writing materials
for different levels of understanding. I think it is an important point.
What I find also important is the application of that knowledge, the
testing of it, is what is important to appreciation.

One could read all the books on wines that exist. They could attend
seminars and speak with the greatest of sommeliers and still not be able
to "appreciate" the difference in wines. They have to apply the knowledge
through experience, testing, in order to begin the process of moving from
understanding informational knowledge and enjoyment to applied knowledge
and appreciation. A continuum of appreciation begins to form. The more
applied knowledge one gains the greater ability to appreciate.

The "mental or spiritual apparatus" that Nick mentioned is on a continuum.
Without the applied aspect of information a threshold of understanding and
appreciation is hit.

Just some thoughts on the matter,


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