By Adam Kotsko
Argues that the awkwardness of our age is a key to knowing human adventure.
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Additional resources for Awkwardness: An Essay
This claim is given enormously strong empirical support by research into speech recognition by computers. 18. Gerth and Mills (1948). 19. What right do sociologists of science have to provide such a simplistic picture of science making? Even with nice ordered arm movements, the science might not develop because observation is not exact, because mistakes will be made, and because the scientists will argue; data must still be separated from noise. What is more, even if Saturnian arm movements were not systematically related to the weather, it is possible that the science would develop, so long as the scientists Methods and Principles 27 The game of “Chinese whispers” gives a good indication of the differences discussed here.
Between the wars, all this changed dramatically. Rightly or wrongly, top professionals decided that it is far more difªcult to be consistent when you have to vary your swing pace, and alter your clubface position at impact by manipulating it with the hands. They felt it was far easier to repeat a standard swing. Some of them began to carry, not 14 clubs, but quantities soaring into the 20’s. (Hobbs 1991, p. 9 Special Disjunctive Mimeomorphic Actions: Expert Golf Club Swinging As golfers become more expert, they learn to reduce the variations in bodily movement as far as possible but, once they have mastered this, they may learn certain speciªc variations of the swing.
Playing golf includes actions such as negotiating with the caddie, estimating distances, judging wind conditions, considering one’s opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, “gamesmanship,” and so forth. All of these are polimorphic actions (though they may each contain components that are mimeomorphic actions). If the sequence of realizations is followed high enough, all actions are embedded in polimorphic actions, because all actions are embedded within societies. 13. Some of the arguments about the Turing test are about the distinguishability or otherwise of these two kinds of actions as they reveal themselves in conversation.