Posted by richard on May 9th, 2012
to understand the nature or meaning of; grasp with the mind; perceive: He did not comprehend the significance of the ambassador’s remark.
to take in or embrace; include; comprise: The course will comprehend all facets of Japanese culture.
to take into custody; arrest by legal warrant or authority: The police apprehended the burglars.
to grasp the meaning of; understand, especially intuitively; perceive.
to expect with anxiety, suspicion, or fear; anticipate: apprehending violence.
there is a difference between the connotation of the two words used in this way.
comprehend tends towards the conscious, the intellectual while apprehend tends to express the unconscious understanding, the perceptive grasping. i was trying to see understanding as something like polanyi’s distal and proximal, intuitive vs verbalizable. i don’t think the first step is comprehending the truth but rather apprehending it, grasping it on a level beneath our conscious word-driven intellectual scientifically and historically minded selves.
this brings up a good point.
say person X starts a thread. now people a,b,c invest time and energy in thinking about and responding to this thread. (they should as a matter of good practice blog their ideas somewhere else under their control) the problem is b doesn’t really “own” a’s words so it is awkward to blog the pair a-b’s responses on b’s blog. so a preserves his words and b hers on their own blogs.
no x may simply have asked a simple question. a,b spent lots of time looking up the answers and interacting with each other.
now c says something x intensely dislikes and deletes the thread as he considers his right as “owner” of this thread, in response to c.
a and b lose their investment of time and those lurkers lose the ability to understand the flow of ideas even if they discover a & b’s blogs wit their side of the discussion.
the rational thing to do is not invest any time into a thread that will disappear due to ownership and deletion issues, thus destroying the ongoing dialogue.
And the solution Ken Ham and Dr. Purdom make? Double down. That’s pretty much it. Teach the same things, just more. Oh, and isolate yourself and your children from other points of view – oh the dangers of the state college or “compromised” Christian college! Interestingly, I see the same thing happening with all too many homeschool families. They say their goal is to “teach god’s truth” and “shelter” their children from bad influences, but what they really mean is indoctrinate and isolate. And that, quite simply, is what Ken Ham and Dr. Purdom are advocating.
The funny thing is, I don’t plan to do any such thing with my daughter. I’m not afraid of her hearing other perspectives or arguments or evidence. I’m not afraid of her hearing and digesting different viewpoints. My goal is not to teach her to believe one specific thing, but to open her mind and teach her to think critically and come to her own conclusions. Ken Ham and Dr. Purdom, though, refuse to do that. Because, apparently, exposing children to a variety of viewpoints and teaching them to think critically and make their own decisions is dangerous.
I wonder if Ken Ham remembers the little girl in braids who stood in awe in his presence and eagerly asked him for his autograph all those years ago. Probably not. But that little girl, that little girl fascinated by science and ever eager to find truth, she’s still here. She’s just sitting on the other side of the fence now.
this is the way to raise your kids. do not be afraid. learn study think.
it is a question of perceived ownership.
i remember signing into the WELL where the greeting as something like “you are the owner of your words”
admin’s essentially declare ownership over the space the site and software provide.
thread originators, due partly to the way the software works here and partly to how our minds and culture work by extending past precedents to cover newly evolving situations, exercise a property right of wholesale deletion. not just their own words but the entire threads.
there are other ways, many discussion software only allow thread deletion until the point where someone responses, others are on timers, others don’t only originator deletions.
i think it a bug that is being exploited as a feature.
an interesting set of circumstances then. X takes down his threads to make the space here more irenic and therefore more conductive to conversation. yet logically for person c, the thing to do is be mean and nasty on threads started by x since x only has the ability to delete entire thread, only admins have ability to delete individual postings, so c’s nastiness is rewarded with the thread being deleted. thus c achieves his end, he steers the conversation away from those things he strongly disagrees with. leaving no trace of his activity….
isn’t this the purpose of pinpoint moderation rather than the blunt tool of wholesale thread deletion.