Re: Emergent Learning LO2112
Sat, 15 Jul 95 01:04:17

Replying to LO1921 --

[...The link to LO1921 is somewhat arbitrary and was made by your host...]

Subject: Tacit Knowledge
Subject: Knowledge Databases
Subject: Fondling Fleece

I think the fleece inspector story has led to some wonderful speculations
here, but I'm surprised that we keep speaking of the fleece inspector's
expertise as tacit knowledge, rather than tactile knowledge. As Michael
has pointed out, there is a feedback loop from a series of experiences
which help the learner build this knowledge - in this case, it is mostly
tactile, and the learning is tactile and kinesthetic. Will it go into a
database? Well, supposing we worked on a computer output of tactile
"display" where the many textures we encounter in life could be replicated
from some kind of digital storage. Has anyone tried this? A
"Feelblaster" program would "project" a variety of leathers, silks,
jellies, woods, etc., including of course fleece.

Some things that come to mind: 1) A video-disc based training for welders,
in which a welding torch simulator is measured for line of travel and
"heat" as the learner practices welding and provides feedback to help the
learner "feel" what a straight weld with the torch at the right distance
and temp *feels* like (ca. 1985); 2) My brother-in-law's ability to gauge
the amount of gold in a piece of jewelry by heft and the "feel" of the
surface. He makes money every weekend buying "junk" at garage sales and
re-selling for melt. 3) Learning any activity which requires maintaining
precarious balance (from the relatively uncommon tight rope to the
everyday bicycle).

This applies of course to all nonverbal knowledge. You can "know" when
you are singing true pitch, but can you make your knowledge explicit in
any way other than belting out the tones?

Jack Hirschfeld                   Don't you know, you fool, you never can win?