Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Writing Knowledge

Bas de Bar has a great post about context.  Context has so much to do with meaning and the knowledge a reader gains.

Is the measure of quality writing the measure of transfering context?

If you think about the hierarchy of knowledge:

1. Data
2. Information
3. Knowledge
4. Wisdom

Data and information are supplied by the writer, but the reader has to do the interpretation.

As a creator, you create/write the information.  The better the writer, the easier it is for the reader to clearly interpret and gain knowledge.  You can't write context, but a good writer supplies it.

For example, Ernest Hemingway won a bet in the 20's about who could write the shortest story.  His complete story was six words:

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn"

Everything you need to know is conveyed in those six words, even though all he supplied was information.  He did it in such a way that the reader supplies everything else, yet everyone understands what happened.

Maybe the better one becomes as a writer, the better one can pass context along with the information.  And the better one can pass context, the better chance the reader has of gaining knowledge.

2 comments:

Dave Sawyer said...

Nice, I like this one a lot. Happy New Year Andy, hope to see you soon !

Andrew Meyer said...

Dave,

thanks. I'm lucky, I have friends who make me think.

Take care and I hope to see you soon too.