Re: Difficult Explanations

From: Francois-Rene Rideau (
Date: Mon May 14 2001 - 04:00:39 MDT

On Sun, May 13, 2001 at 10:31:54PM -0700, Lee Corbin wrote:
> But some things really are hard to explain!
Well, it depends on how much you master the subject, but also
on whom you're explaining it to and his own mastery of the subject.

> Isn't it true, for example, that some things are a lot harder to explain
> over the phone?
Well, a geometry problem might be difficult to explain, if you don't
resort to a protocol that will help the other person draw the correct figure.
It's first a matter of having an expressive enough common protocol;
afterwards, it's a bandwidth problem that will determine communication speed.
Oh, and of course there's a prior information problem to determine if there
is enough information to transmit, and/or enough distributed information
for the new information to emerge out of the communication.

> Well, some things are hard to explain, period.
Reminds me of that Bastiat quote:

What a lot of trouble to prove in political economy that two and two make four;
and if you succeed in doing so, people cry, 'It is so clear that it is boring.'
Then they vote as if you had never proved anything at all.
        -- Frederic Bastiat, "What Is Seen and What is Not Seen", 1850

In that case, the problem lies in the rational ignorance of voters,
whence stems their ignorance of political economy.

[ François-René ÐVB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics | ]
[ TUNES project for a Free Reflective Computing System | ] debunking economic sophisms since 1845.

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