Tacit Knowledge

Knowledge that can not be transferred through words alone. For example, it won’t help someone learning to ride a bike to make them read an instruction manual and expect they can flawlessly ride a bike afterward.

See also:

  • Tacit Knowledge is More Important Than Deliberate Practice essay which discusses tacit knowledge as it applies to knowledge workers. In one of their examples, they talk about a senior engineer that somehow anticipates future changes and architects an appropriate system consistently. They can explain the principles that lead to a decision, but can’t necessarily explain fully–it requires emulation and accumulation of experiences.
  • Chicken Sexer

    A chicken sexer is a job where, shortly after hatching, someone determines the sex of the chicken. There is no explicit knowledge on how to do that, accuracy is built up through calibrating an intuition in an apprenticeship model (you can only learn to be a chicken sexer by working repeatedly with a chicken sexer).

  • Reading Books Is a Cheat Code

    Books have the ability to condense and transfer information efficiently. While some things can’t be learned from reading, reading gives you the benefit of other peoples’ experience. Even if it’s lossy, building familiarity can turn something that felt opaque and scary into something you feel prepared to encounter.

  • Conventional Wisdom About Spotting a Liar Is Fundamentally Misguided

    Conventional ways people (and law enforcement) use to spot a liar is pseudoscience. Research studies have found that markers like fidgeting, looking away, and emotional response are not science-based and no better than guessing. This is problematic in the justice system and other law enforcement like the TSA because they are convicting people based on appearance of guilt that is baseless.