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Re: Problems with paleontological portrayal
Marty Martin wrote:
> What difference does it make to the world if only a few can understand
> it? Scientists from all fields, not just paleontology, fly off the
> handle as soon as someone not from their field mis-interprets or
> incorrectly portrays their beloved work. I don't think this is the fault
> of the layperson as much as it is of those responsible for doing the
As a writer and a former teacher of writers, I like to explain the process of
writing/teaching/communicating in this fashion.
Learning and educating is a process.
Learning is but half of a full circle.
Educating is the other half.
If you see the process as a clock face, everyone begins the learning process at
o'clock. If an individual applies himself/herself and succeeds, he/she achieves
high level of professional (perhaps also professorial) background that allows
(and I use this pronoun generically) to reach a level of knowledge where he is
able to communicate on a highly technical level with his peers. That level is 12
But aahh, that is only half the story. For if he is really to educate
(communicate, teach or even truly accomplish), then he must proceed back around
6 o'clock, back to the level where he once was, to reach those who are just
beginning the process. And this means returning home to his own roots and lack
knowledge, remembering his own limitations even if he has no empathy.
This is a matter of not pulling up (you cannot pull from the right side of the
clock face) but of reaching down to that original level before beginning the
upward movement with someone else in hand.
Not to make that transition (back to 6 o'clock) is, in some measure, to fail.
half a clock is not a clock at all.
Of course, even those individuals who achieve 12 o'clock in some areas (but who
are curious about other areas) are always at 6 o'clock on some circle of life.
Knowing that, how can we avoid at least some measure of humility and willingness
to complete the circle?
Ellen Sue Blakey
Is this zen enough for you, zen lizard?
Mickey, isn't an understanding of the process applicable to the line as well as
the technical information?