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Sokrates: You remember how I used to say that only active dialogue–questions-and-answers, objections-and-replies–could convey true knowledge? That a flat wax tablet covered by written words could only convey an inadequate and pale simulacrum of education?

Aristoteles: Yes. And you remember how I showed you that you were wrong? That conversation is ephemeral, and very quickly becomes too confused to be a proper educational tool? That only something like an organized and coherent lecture can teach? And only something like the textbooks compiled by my lecture notes can make that teaching durable?

Aristokles: But, my Aristoteles, you never mastered my “dialogue” form. My “dialogue” form has all the advantages of permanence and organization of your textbooks, and all the advantages of real dialectic of Sokrates’s conversation.

Sokrates: How very true, wise Aristokles!

Aristokles How am I to take that?

Xanthippe: You now very well: as snark, pure snark. That’s his specialty.

Hypatia: This is all complicated by the fact that in the age of the internet real, written, permanent dialogues can spring up at a moment’s notice:

Sokrates: And with that, let’s roll the tape:


Other things linked to that are highly relevant and worth reading:


Things I did not find and place outbound links to, but should have:

  • Polya
  • Dennis Robertson
  • Donald Patinkin

Looking at the whole thing, I wince at how lazy people–especially me–have been with their weblog post titles. I should find time to go back and retitle everything, perhaps adding an explanatory sentence to each link…