Monday, September 18, 2006

Time to pitch a little blend, vis-a-vis electronic communication.

Alright, I already wasted my 'in too grim of a mood to post' post, and I didn't even get chewed out about it, so I figure I should make a real effort today. Maybe, maybe it's time to pitchblende.

Silence. I mean, silence in a conversation. It comes in two distinct flavors, much like licorice. There's the sweet, pleasant, and generally red licoricesque Comfortable Silence, and then there's the Awkward silence, which makes you wish that it were possible to die from sheer willpower so that you need not endure another moment of it, like black licorice. The latter is the more common, it seems, but the former is not all that rare. You need to develop a certain rapport with a dude or she-dude before you reach the point where you may silently groove off of each other's existence in harmony, but that point is reachable.

At least, it's reachable in PERSON. And if you interact with everyone you know exclusively in person, then you have no problems. But such is Not The Case. Often as not, I speak through the damnable AIM or my pocket-telephone, and neither allows the comfortable silence. Perhaps it's different for you lot (and indeed, it undoubtedly is, as I'm a screwed-up person and you are probably normal) but when there is silence on the phone, it is NOT comfortable. It is filled with thoughts like "Oh shit, did I say something to make the other party in this conversation angry?" or "Dammit, did my reception spazz out again?" or "hey, this service costs money, it should be used to transmit information!". Silence leads to fear, which leads to attempts to fill the silence when nothing actually needs to be said, which makes conversation less pleasant than it deserves to be by a mighty meaty margin. Ain't nobody who likes forcing out words. It causes mental hemorrhoids.

And the AIM, the damnable AIM is even worse. Oh, it has it's place, and it's place is to be the vehicle through which people ask me if I'd like to go to the diner with them, and also upon which I can leave witty away messages. These are two functions at which it excels. Everywhere else, it's a piece of ass crap that I only keep around because there are people who I literally have no other way of communicating with. It distorts language by removing the sort of vocal context and inflection that makes "Fuck you" mean "I am in love with you, lets get married". The recipient will merely think themselves insulted, and there will be no marriage! Meanwhile, the typing downtime means it fails to hold one's attention. The silences are not spent grooving on silence, but rather spent with one party typing words, and the other party playing minesweeper. Serious discussions are cheapened, comical discussions are possible only when people are on the exact same wavelength, and the youth's grammar has been the subject of too many cheap jokes to even justify bothering with. Telephones have their place as useful and even occationally entertaining information relaying-devices, at least. All AIM has going for it is the low, low cost (free), which I will confess is pretty significantly low.

So what is the solution here? I mean, there are people I simply can't see in person with any frequency, so how can we appreciate each other's existence in a comfortably non-verbal, red licorice way? Answer: VIDEO PHONES.

Straight-up sci-fi VIDEO PHONES.

It's about damn time.

I suspect flying cars would also help. GET WITH THE PROGRAM, SCIENCE.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dnon said...

open a channel. on screen. videophones are pretty cool but only if used for good and not evil.

9/18/2006 10:47 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

are you boys causing trouble down there?

no

Are you boys building an interositer?

NO!

9/19/2006 12:07 AM  

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