Sunday, November 23, 2008
M: Last night I talked about what it means to experience thinking. Did you want me to explain what I meant by that?
S: I guess so.
M: Well, I said, "I'm more interested in practical knowledge but theoretical knowledge has some practical value."
S: Right, and I really didn't see how that was relevant to what we were talking about.
M: What were we talking about initially?
S: I was talking about how I learn by doing.
M: Oh yeah, and I said, "I think everyone actually learns by doing but some people fool themselves into thinking they know things without the relevant practical experience."
That's really not a good statement by itself because there's a specific type of experiential knowledge gained through the process of thinking and that too has practical value. It still doesn't constitute practical knowledge but experiencing thinking related to a subject area has its benefits. To put it another way, thinking is something you're doing.
The problem is that people sometimes mistake having collected information about a subject with knowledge of the subject. It's not a good idea to diminish what can be gleaned solely through the subtleties of experience.
S: Who talks like this?
M: I'm insane.
S: You unnecessarily complicate matters.