Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Wissenshaft, kentniss and seen that.

In the German language, knowledge is described in two forms, Wissenshaft, and Kentniss. Wissenshaft refers to knowledge passed along, accumulated and expressed second hand and Kentniss refers to knowledge gained directly through experience. If you have any practical experience in the real world and have gained skill as a result, you may know the difference between the two, and the way in which one reinforces the other.

There's another form of knowledge held by the youtube learner that we can call "seen that." Unlike wissenshaft which most often requires reading skills, youtube learning allows you to jump from one thing to another in a passive manner. I'm trying to understand whether that's better or worse. If youtube learning leads to non-youtube doing, that could be a good thing.

I'm reminded of a student years ago who insisted as I tried to introduce a new technique, "I know that." His comment seemed dismissive, so I asked him to show me what he knew, for surely there's a difference between knowing something about something, and knowing how to actually do something. There's a difference between the virtual world and what we can call a virtuous world. In one, we pretend to do stuff. It's likely harmless. In the other we find ways to be of service to each other.

Yesterday I applied a second coat of Danish oil to about 25 boxes. They'll get one more coat and then at some point be distributed for sale. I also applied another coat of Danish oil to the bathroom bench.

Make, fix, create and assist others to learn lifewise.


  1. there are many steps to knowledge
    - hear / see;
    - listen / watch;
    - understand;
    - being able to explain the theory;
    - being able to apply/implement the knowledge;
    - knowing when/where to apply a technique and its limitations;
    - making links with other areas of knowledge;
    - acquiring experience;
    - mastering the knowledge;
    - and... the more we learn the more we realize we know nothing.

    Everything seems so easy when watching Paul Sellers. But being a manual work, woodwork needs practice. Then one look the videos again(and again...) and see/hear things which one didn't catch before. Then back to practice...
    And pine is not sapelli...


  2. Doug, I used this cartoon in my thesis...great minds!