Thursday, September 4, 2008

c is for communication

in a manner of speaking every person who posts today is participating in theme thursday! isn't communication what blogging is all about! great choice coffee wow, talk about maximum participation in theme thursday!

humans communicate. we are animals and animals communicate. like other animals, the ability to communicate well and effectively is key to our survival. there are times we communicate without even trying (or wanting) to - our bodies or expressions give us away.

when we strive to communicate and succeed, communication is a truly wonderful thing. however, when we fail to communicate that is not such a wonderful thing; in fact, miscommunication (and its twin - misunderstanding) contribute to much human misery. cynical people might actually say that purposive miscommunication has been the mainstay of some quite enduring political administrations and institutions....

these days we have so many means of communication at our disposal it's staggering. geez, imagine life before the internet and cell phones? just yesterday I flew into metro dc, my brother picked me up at the airport. when I got outside of baggage claim, I whipped out my phone, called paul and found out precisely he where he was. it was so easy - in the 'old days' (the days before cell phones) I'd feel a bit anxious about meeting someone at an airport: what if we didn't communicate clearly on where to meet or what if someone was running late. now almost everyone has a cell, all we have to do is whip it out and get the skinny.... and poof those little anxieties evaporate - connection is made!

The word that is heard perishes, but the letter that is written remains.

To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.
John Marshall (1755-1835) American statesman and jurist

Globalization, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing... you are talking about the Internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers. This doesn't affect two-thirds of the people of the world.
Jimmy Carter (b. 1924) 39th US president, human rights advocate

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish playwright and essayist

Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.
Ansel Adams (1902-1984)American photographer

notes on photos:
1) 19th century graffiti on 1st century aqueduct - pont du gard, france
2) mailboxes along a rural route, new braunfels, texas
3) friends at lunch (communicating, but at the moment not with each other!) new jersey
4) my bro multi-tasking in his "mobile office" - somewhere on the d.c. beltway (pic taken with cell phone!)
5) unions communicating their dissatisfaction with the bush administration's policies with an inflatable rat - cleveland, ohio
6) me embracing ansel adam's take on communication at the labor day peace show. thanks steve p for the pic and keep up your great work with the veterans against the war!


lettuce said...

of course - you have to co-ordinate thursdays themes with your alphabet at the moment. Nicely done

I still like writing letters sometimes

and how nice to see a pic. of you

Bob Dylan said...

Great post again, Kim. We do communicate without words so often. Like the Jimmy Carter quote. A very wise man. As I await the delivery of my newest cell phone, you have fascinated me with this post- just
that you mention miscommunication and misunderstanding and purposive miscommunication is so interesting. For years I thought of miscommunication, among friends anyway, as accidental, but then I met egocentric people who actually strive to be pigheaded and love to use miscommunication to create drama and unhappiness. This way you can never call them out, they are not verbally abusive after all and they often put themselves down. Still they have a way of communicating that is very very sad. But they seem unaware, and you really can't get close to them, no matter how you'd like to.
Ah, what a complex thing it can be to communicate.Or try to communicate.

Anonymous said...

3 of us opened our laptops and pretended to be chatting on cellphones while sending e mails to one another. the performance piece was for our husbands who walked in the door and had a good laugh as they are as addicted as anyone else.


Coffee Messiah said...

Great quotes and pictures.

I still am amazed that when people are out and about and sitting together, they must talk to others on their phones.

tut-tut said...

Communication = understanding. I think it's as simple as that. So often, there is a brick wall that is the other person to whom you are talking. If you don't agree, any wire over the abyss is severed. I had a college friend who was very conservative. I suggested we each subscribe to a liberal and conservative political journal and then discuss the differences/points of contact. She wouldn't hear of it! astonishing. But then again, perhaps not.

Gary said...

Loving that bottom pic of you in action!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

lettuce - no coordination occurred! just another wonderful example of the synchronicity of the spheres! coffee actually chose our theme this week.... I had been thinking of resurrecting the alphabet for september for months and it just worked out perfectly. we will see what next thursday brings!

I love that pic, steve, who is a wwII vet and very active with veterans against the war was kind enough to email it to perfect was that!

bob - jimmy is my man. best of luck with the new cell, I know you've had problems with the old one.

some folks can't live without high's quite sad, really....

anymouse...great story!

coffee... thanks... I know it is the darnedest thing and we see this weird version of 'parallel play' more and more every day

tut - wonderful story... people are so reluctant to confront anything that might shake there beliefs....

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Having written many papers on Shaw, I am embarrassed to realize I don't remember ever reading that quote.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Ah yes, miscommunication and misunderstanding, the bain of humanity. Brilliant post! And I love the shot of the mailboxes. I have to say, I get very excited when I get a real letter, it's such a rarity these days.