Robert Skidelsky’s biography of Keynes notes the importance Keynes placed on socially-based “conventional expectations” (93, emphasis in original) in the face of pervasive uncertainty, and contrasts those “conventional expectations” to the perfect-information wishful thinking of the proponents of the rational expectations hypothesis. Keynes’s insight was that what makes economics work and fail is adherence to conventional expectations and expectations of the conventional, and this is as true of social-epistemic models of knowledge work in composition as it is of economics. Collaboration as a generative activity is sustained by and generative of conventional expectations in the face of uncertainty, not by the perfect-information utopia of rational expectations. Writing is social, and exists in uncertainty: both those circumstances are what make it work.
Keynes and Composition