Thinking about communication

The art of writing letters has been lost. 

Dear Reader, 

People seem to have forgotten how to debate in general communication. It seems that all conversation is directional in nature vs. providing some solid type of given and take. People are often directing others or trying to move the trajectory of an argument by pushing the very end of the argument as a slogan or aphorism. This type of directional effort falls short of convincing people of anything due to the hollow nature of it without the supporting foundation. That is one of the reasons that the media has been breaking down as an institution. Ongoing narratives have broken down and the foundation and background of an argument no longer fit into a sound byte or the space between commercial breaks allows communication to suffer and the people to be less informed. 

Maybe in some ways it feels like every conversation is for all the marbles and the national dialogue is the local dialogue. This obviously is problematic for a number of reasons. I started to think about how the art of writing letters has been lost. Imagine somebody sitting down and having to put everything together in one submission of thought to another person. Each of them having as much time as necessary to complete the communication cycle. In this case of a letter writing cycle the communication method was not as instant as an email, text, audio, or video. Even if people did sit down to write comprehensive missives would that format of communication be consumable is a question that remains. Maybe both the generation and consumption of arguments had changed. It does seem that with the rise of podcasts people are seeking out longer form communication. 

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado

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