I am currently in Perth and I’ve taken the opportunity to finish a couple of pieces of writing that were (over)due. Both are on the topic of ‘know how’. One lays out the mostly philosophial dimensions and the other is a shorter and more accessible application of the concept engaging with early examples of Make magazine. This is the second paragraph of the longer piece, and it basically outlines what the article is about:
In this article I shall endeavour to explore the relation between experience and ‘know how’ as a ‘tacit’ form of knowledge, the role of enthusiasm in the production of ‘know how’, and engage with the problem of the transmission of ‘know how’. Why is the transmission of ‘know how’ a problem? If ‘know how’ is a tacit form of knowledge, then there are difficulties imagining how it is transmitted through the media without becoming an ‘explicit’ form of knowledge. I shall turn my attention to the humble ‘how to’ article, as its primary purpose is the transmission of ‘know how’. My solution to this problem is to tease out the way ‘know how’ is developed through experience and then to suggest that instead of transmitting ‘know how’ itself, the ‘how to’ article presents the conditions of experience through which a reader or viewer can develop ‘know how’. I shall draw on relatively complicated conceptions of experience derived primarily from Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of transcendental empiricism (Deleuze, 1991; 1994: 180; Deleuze & Guattari, 1994: 48). There is an affinity between Deleuze’s conceptualisation of the ‘disjunctive synthesis’ in the dramatization of thought and the situational art of ‘know how’ (Seigworth, 2006; Widder, 2012: 35-52; Williams, 2005: 15-24). This ‘high theory’ will be somewhat alienating for those unfamiliar with Deleuze’s philosophy, but I hope by drawing on relatively familiar examples such stylistic complexity will be less sharp.