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Pictures of epistemic fluency

This post was capitulated by reading about how the Zoom installer let a researcher hack his way to root access on macOS. It was inspired by a cartoon, which conveys the different perspectives of different knowledge domains.

The cartoon is related to the Zoom fiasco in that one wonders whether such fiascos would perpetuate if people shared the perspective of security domain knowledge experts. Here is the cartoon that inspired me:

In my version, I am thinking about the epistemic fluency that was argued for in 1838 in American education, and that C. P. Snow was echoing in his famous talk about the emergence of two cultures no longer sharing fluency. To cite the 1838 Yale Report that I am referencing:

The man of science is often disposed to assume an air of superiority, when he looks upon the narrow and partial views of the mere artisan. The latter in return laughs at the practical blunders of the former. The defects in the education of both classes would be remedied, by giving them a knowledge of scientific principles, preparatory to practice.

The significance of this importance is heightened when so much of technological development is being trained for prediction. The image in the last, mouseoever sequence in the cartoon below is supposed to be a fortune cookie. If you think it’s worth drawing better, please send me an improved version!

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