Expressing the tacit of reality LO23052

AM de Lange (
Thu, 28 Oct 1999 14:09:40 +0200

Replying to LO23000 --

Dear Organlearners

Fred Nickols <> writes:

>My point about tacit knowledge wasn't so much about it not
>being in the head as it was that treating tacit knowledge as
>though it were simply unarticulated knowledge is a mistake
>and betrays a lack of understanding of just what tacit knowledge
>is and, more important, how to deal with it.

Greetings Fred,

Perhaps I am responsible for the linear thinking of so many fellow
learners on tacit knowledge because I have used the term "tacit knowledge"
more on this list than anybody else. So allow me to paint a richer
picture than merely what may appears to be a straight line. I am going to
paint only a few strokes. It us up to fellow learners to make the picture
richer and thus clearer for them.

Reality has a tacit realm.

Andrew Campona < > wrote in LO22965
Reason about love and you will lose your reason.
To say the same thing while using the word tacit is to say
Reason is tacit to love
In fact, we can generate a whole family of such patterns:
Faith is tacit to love
Reason is tacit to faith
Creativity is tacit to reason.

Sometimes on this very list we have discussed the phenomenon of "lurkers".
It is people who receive all the message of a list, but who self never
respond with a message. Some of them study every message closely while
others delete every message dilligently without ever reading one. These
"lurkers" form the tacit realm of our list.

Newtons famous law of gravitation is formulated as
F = GxMxm/rxr
where F = gravitational force, M = mass of one body, m = mass
of second body, r = distance between (centre of gravity) bodies,
G = universal gravitation constant (one and the same value at
any place in the universe).

The law of gravitation says that the gravitational force F depends only on
mass of the two bodies and the distance between them. It is as if all
other bodies in the rest of the universe play no role. But they do play a
role and they do it through the constant G. Since we cannot explain why G
is a constant nor why it has its unique value, the G plays the role of
"tacit coefficient". It tells us that we have to recognise at least that
all other bodies in the universe are tacit partcipants (lurkers) through
the constant G.

Many people believe like Nietsche that God is dead because God does not
express Himself to them even though other people have claimed that God has
revealed Himself to them. Perhaps they are not aware that God interacts on
a tacit level with many who believe in Him. One way to think of Jesus
(suggested by the apostel John) is that Jesus came to articulate openly
the tacit interactions between God and humans.

The nuclear forces acting between the protons and neutrons in the nucleus
of an atom have such a short range that they never reach the electrons
meandering in the rest of the atom. The electrons cannot move freely away
from the atom because the protons in the nucleus ineract in a non-tacit
manner with the electrons. The protons use electromagnetic forces with a
much longer range than nuclear forces to do so.

The art of some artists is to let part of the tacit realm emerge in
his/her artifact (painting, sculptor, score, book). Such artists work at
the frontiers of human consciousness. Sometimes it takes ages for the rest
of humanity to catch up with them. Thus it is not surprising that these
artists often live in poverty because people are not conscious of what
they are offering for free.

Some people manage to conceptualise the entropy S in the expression
"change of entropy" or symbolically /_\S. Many of them say that for them
S measures chaos -- perhaps they have been trained to say so. But the
expression consists of two parts, the other part being the "change". The
concept "change" is tacit to them when they cannot say anything more about
change than "change is change".

The authentic learning of any one member of any organisation is primarily
tacit to all other members of that organisation. The organisation becomes
a Learning Organisation when all its members and not only some of them
begin to share in the tacit knowledge of each other. In that case they
call the authentic learning of a member his/her Personal Mastery.

In my mother tongue Afrikaans "stomkennis" is the word for "tacit
knowledge". We have the saying "geld wat stom is maak reg wat krom is". In
English it means literally "tacit money things linear". We also have the
saying "in stom verbasing" of which its English equivalent is "in
speachless amazement". Do we not use it to express the tacit nature of
our spritual emergences?

Best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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