Thursday, December 15, 2011
On Tuesday, we ended our Honors 201 class with a salon-style discussion about the different types of knowledge we’ve examined over the course of the semester: folk, oral, written, and printed knowledge. I left the discussion with one overwhelming impression: you just can’t look at them that way. I understand that while none of these types of knowledge stands alone, they were separated this way by our professors in order to examine them as manageable units—it’s an artificial separation, but we needed to separate them somehow, and this works. However, what really struck me during our class discussions this week was that the artificiality of these separations makes it nearly impossibly to compare the effects or relative power and significance of one type of knowledge over another.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Technology inherently replaces the obsolete to a varying degree. One should view different knowledge mediums pseudo technology in of themselves. Each medium can be thought of as an invention or revolution in the way humans think. While no knowledge medium is ever completely eradicated, history shows that each newly invented medium replaces the previous medium as the dominate way to communicate knowledge.
|According to one of my old professors, diagrams with|
triangles and circles are a key part to any presentation.
So here is a triangle diagram that illustrates exclusivity
with respect to knowledge institutions across time.
As we have studied various types of knowledge institutions during the semester, we have come across various different patterns that transcended each of the different types of knowledge. In our “salon” activity yesterday and while studying the different blog posts in preparation for the activity, I realized that one of the important trends in the knowledge systems was exclusivity and complexity of knowledge. From folk knowledge to written knowledge, exclusivity increased, but then it came back full circle and is once again widespread with digital media. After the move from folk and oral knowledge to written knowledge, the increased exclusivity and problems that accompanied it were the cause for a drive to increasingly widespread forms of knowledge systems.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
This morning we gathered in small groups to discuss each unit covered in the course (folk knowledge, oral knowledge, written knowledge, print knowledge). I enjoyed getting some new perspectives on my thoughts on the connection between the mode of communication and the type of community formed. The last rotation, focused on print knowledge with Brianne and Montana, was particularly helpful. In my notes for the final, I mentioned my impression that studying different mechanisms of communicating knowledge affected how our group interacted; discussing with my classmates helped my expand that idea to the cultures that we studied in the course. The broader the reach of the a type of knowledge, the larger but less intimate community it forms.
Oral Knowledge: Spirituality and Religious Practice
Within history, oral knowledge has had a more powerful effect upon spirituality and religious practice than other types of knowledge. Word of mouth has been more influential upon religion, because it is considered a more sacred means of communicating and relaying knowledge, it is personable to religious followers, and it is a means of communication that has paved the way for other areas of knowledge.
Ignoring the argument that really only PERFECT practice makes perfect, I would like to apply this title phrase to our civilization class. While striving to teach a class about four different knowledge institutions, our professors have put into practice these variant types of knowledge and created a perfect class. But maybe only in the Greek sense of the word, how Christ used it in Matthew, meaning to be complete, finished and fully developed. We received a complete class, combining all the types of knowledge together to create the ideal environment. By bringing in guest speakers and lecturers, sending us off on field trips, putting us in familial groups to learn together, and giving atypical assignments we experienced the different types of knowledge, instead of just learning about them.