Knowledge as Design

Knowledge as Design

Knowledge as Design

Knowledge as Design

Excerpt

We wish for what comes hard. You can see that in our literature and religion, our myths and folktales. For instance, how many novels have you read or movies have you viewed about the joys of eating? Not many, in part because this joy comes fairly easily for most of us. On the other hand, sex, money, and power remain staples of novelists, directors, and their audiences. Sex, money, and power do not come as easily, so people find the fantasy endlessly engaging.

This book concerns a rarer field for fantasy -- the giving and getting of knowledge. We wish for knowledge too. I construe knowledge broadly, including facts, concepts, principles, skills, and their intelligent, insightful, and sensitive use. I have in mind active knowledge that one thinks critically and creatively about and with, not just passive knowledge that does little but await the final exam. Knowledge -- especially active knowledge -- counts among those things that do not come easily. So, although we may not cherish it quite as much as sex, money, and power, we have some literature and religion, myths and folktales about this hunger also.

There was Moses, for example. Moses went up into the mountain, faced God, and brought back His word. The particular wisdom of the ten commandments was a gift from God to Moses, and from Moses to us all. What a fine idea about something that does not come easily -- knowledge as a gift. Jumping forward a few thousand years, there is Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space . . .

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