Overcoming user Inertia to a change through education. There are 16 different forms of inertia and many can be overcome directly with education. Don't underestimate this. wardleypedia This is different from simply explaining the benefits of your product through marketing. You want to change their view of the world (or at least this small part of the world) so that they will change their behavior, and therefore become (or remain) a customer for your category of product. Marketers may call this “Category Building”.


Education is usually understood as the changing of persons through specialized communication. One can limit this conception – for example, by restricting it to children as the object of education, i.e., by presupposing an age difference between educator and pupil. It is also common (at least in pedagogical circles) to consider, for example under the name of freedom, the self-determination of the pupil – either as a goal or as a difficulty for education.

All these modifications of the everyday understanding of education, however, do not change the fact that the term is meant to designate psychological effects of communication; namely, in contrast to socialization, intentionally brought about changes of psychological systems meant as improvement.

The term, in other words, denotes a causal nexus linking social systems (Communication) and mental systems (consciousness) in a planned, controllable, though not always successful, manner.

If one accepts this premise, there can be no symbolically generalized medium for education. Therefore, one does not find in the educational system an exact counterpart to what money means for the modern economy or truth for modern science. Communication media can always make only intrinsically improbable communication possible nevertheless. They cannot ensure external effects of communication. There is a binary schematism only for selection, but not for education. There is no technology in the educational system that could make it possible to differentiate communication against the structures of the interaction system and to let it run largely independent of them. Every social theory must keep in mind such weighty differences between the educational system and other functional systems; and if not already sociology, even more so pedagogy would insist on it.

Nevertheless, this first impression should be checked. It could be that, if one abstracts the problem sufficiently, parallels can be discovered, because, after all, education also has to do – for the time being, let us say: somehow – with improbable communication. At least the need for a symbolically generalized medium of communication or for functional equivalents cannot be denied.

But: where is the Problem? This question must first be clarified.


LUHMANN, NIKLAS, 1991. Das Kind als Medium der Erziehung. Online. 1991. [Accessed 21 November 2022]. DOI 10.25656/01:11806. pdf