Roll up your sleeve. Time for another Reality Inoculation….
It was an odd conversation, as most of ours are around the ranch: Elaine and I were thinking back to the “times of old” when men could open a car door for a woman without being sent to Chauvinist Hell. When people said “Please, yes, thank you for asking…” and a host of other terms that ensured we didn’t disrespect one-another.
That was then.
This is now. And this is taken from actual phone calls in the past week.
“….so call me after work and I’ll let you know my schedule. (Click!)”
“…Let me know what you find out (Click!)”
The part that Elaine was having a problem with was the idea that if I find a piece of music that is interesting to me, I have no hesitation in pasting a link to a YouTube video for one of my kids to consider.
She was stopped like a deer-in-headlights by the notion that I failed important etiquette rules to her way of thinking.
“That’s fairly presumptuous. What didn’t you send a note first asking if they were even remotely interested in receiving such a link?”
This is the kind of thing that leads her to think I am egotistical at times. Full of myself and presumptive about what other people want, find interesting, and so forth.
Oh no…not again, She was asking a perfectly logical question and one that actually neds to be asked now and then.
Already today, I have received half a dozen unsolicited jokes, a couple of useless videos that Ii don’t have time to watch and so on and so forth.
Not a single person ever bothered to ASK if I wanted to be on a distro list for inane bullshit. Especially from people I don’t know well and have respect for their taste.
To amplify a bit, if my buddy of 64 years, the retired Major who is coming down to visit with his wife this week thinks I MIGHT be interested in something, he has some basis for thinking it. For one, we have been pals way more than half a century and we pretty much know how one-another are wired.
On the other hand, I get emails from people I’ve run off this site in the past for off-topic comments and trying to get people all riled up. Then there is the racist crap and the anti-Semitic and anti-corporate rants.
These people, who don’t bother asking, don’t know I have close long-term friends who are Jewish, relatives who are black, and without corporations such luxuries of Life as free shipping with Prime wouldn’t be around.
I like people of all sorts. And I like ;em with manners.
All this spun through my limited number of brain cells while I stalled for time.
‘So let’s say you found this really cool new TV series that one of the boys would like. Wouldn’t you just email them a link… or if it was music, wouldn’t you just flip an MP3 over to them?”
Right here, Elaine explained the my thinking gap:
“Of course not. I would ask them, since I found this new show interesting, whether they would like to learn about it…or NOT. I don’t want to throw things at them if they aren’t interested.”
Ah Ha!!! Suddenly mental fog lifted and thinking cleared.
The density of information-exchange is what has killed manners.
You see, in Elaine’s world, she would politely ask (*message 1) if the son or daughter-in-law had any interest. Then she would get a response (*message 2) or not. Then she would reply (^message 3).
See it? Two messages of politeness but arguably low density overhead.
This kind of thinking is extensible, too. Under extreme-time compression, people stop opening doors for the females, for example. We then cobble laws to excuse the gaff. Same with men walking on the outside of a sidewalk – to take the splash from a passing carriage. We then make up whole movements *like women’s rights) to a) rope both sexes into the workforce and b( toi raise more money for globalists and tax revenue for governments.
Most people just drink the Kool-Aid on such (it’s been wrapped up as “equality”) and don’t ask questions like “Why did only one member of a Household have to work to support a family of four really well – and even take family vacations together in the 1950’s? Have we been snookered along the way?”
Oh my heavens….yes..we have been had…
As part of the “information compression chamber” we live in, rather than “waste” two messages, you just flip the file over to whoever and let them figure if it’s useful or interesting.
There are other examples as well.
Take those cell phone chats that end with a click.
This is running rampant in today’s world.
Occasionally, what passes in today’s world as an extended end to a phone call does take place. “…I’m out.” (Click)
More often than not, that extra bit of personal energy is conserved. A click says the call is over better than “Good-bye” and it doesn’t take as long.
For old fogies like me, I don’t know the difference between an accidental mute button or a hang-up click. But this is back to point.
Even agenda-setting is gone.
“I have three things I need to go over with you….” Has been replaced with just running the list. Ending with a click.
In a sense, I can understand how it happens. Agenda setting, numbering, check-listing… it’s all OVERHEAD in the communications channel. Like Good-bye, it has done gone and went.
My Pet Theory of the Week (PTOTW) is that once upon a time, in a land far removed, people actually thought about other people, and no solely themselves.
In doing so, they were respectful and always polite. Concepts today are so compressed that if I tell you to FO, you naturally follow. Or OMGF is a predicate for a sentence that has become so trite that it has been abbreviated.
I worry much about about the danger we have unleashed on the world in the form of computers. Not that I am a particularly religious man, per se, but there’s maybe something behind Leviticus 26:1.
That’s the part of the bible that goes into don’t make idols, images, and so forth.
In a sense, that is exactly what Facebook and Youtube ARE – a full-time fascination with images and idolatry of us humans. Good enough reason to be banned…since it’s a huge source of communications compression.
Their trick is they don’t provide any content. Just a slick layout. The content (hence revenue) comes from suckers like us who make them rich. It’s like renting the models to make craven images. Slick, huh?
Even today, there are tribes in the world who believe a photograph steals a bit of a person’s soul. Shows up in Obadiah/voodoo, as well. Make an image of someone, stick pins in, and wait for results. Then again, maybe I have a better grounding in sympathetic magick than most.
I don’t kid you on this stuff: See the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry discussion here.
While we’re on it, see the Yahoo discussion here, as well.
Obviously, media of any kind can extend the image, voice, and influence of a human. But what if the human is not worthy and just happens to hype well? (I give you the presidential contest as evidence.)
You may just be too busy working at being “in the herd” to be “in the moment.”
So here is the Monday ponder that may help put the week in perspective:
When we started shoveling idols around in real-time with television and ubiquitously on the web, did we set ourselves up to become The Hive?
Elaine’s the last woman of her sort to be built, near as I can figure. Have never met another person who has such a fine grounding in politeness. Not that I’m proud of it, but I more than make up for it on the big Cosmic Scales.
Just anecdotally, though, I have heard the politeness leaving in my lifetime.
Phone calls (again from this week’s experience) don’t begin like they used to. 10-years ago, a call from my son would begin “Hey dad, it’s George and I’m calling to [sets agenda].
Now, there’s no social predicate, except in openings like “Yo…what’s your ruckus?”
The compression varies by age and peer group.
I wouldn’t be so sensitive to it, but in order to get a really high class ham radio license it’s a good idea to know old-time Q Signals.
Called the Q-Code, it was really useful to have a systematic way of communicating in Morse code with such things as aircraft flying during wartime. The long list of Wikipedia entries is interesting, even if you don’t memorize the All Services list. The ham radio list is useful, and consistent.
America’s youth are not very clever. If they were, they would not have resorted to a baseful functional set of abbreviations. Between the old Police Department Miscellaneous Incident Reporting (MIR) code, you could abbreviate most functional requirements of communications. The MIR Codes are now the Uniform Crime Reporting codes.
I’m not trying to begin the week with a Luddite Revival of Manners. I am after all one of two two kinds of plumbing ought to handle all cases guy…
But somewhere between data compression and time constraints, civil society has gotten ripped. With no time for reflection and no economic way to kick back and just reflect on sh*t for half a day, now and then, what could we expect?
Next time you are out and about and people are acting rudely, notice how much time they are spending in the apes-pressing-buttons mode.
Betcha it’ll be high.
A polite society takes time to do things right. Judging by behaviors in the world today, we must just about be “outta time” – and not the license plate in B2TF.
Data compression explains a lot of what’s wrong with the world including the accelerating disappearance of politeness.
QRU & 73
(Decompressed as “Now I have no more traffic for you, so I will say good-bye and very best regards.”)
P.S. I notice my kids tend to end calls with “Talk to you later, love you dad” more on weekends than during the workweek. Tells you something, doesn’t it?
Maybe today’s run of rudeness and impolite isn’t about ill-manners and is about lack ofs time to do things in a thoughtful, humanly aware way.
I will politely remind you to write when you get rich… If you have time, are so inclined, and we’re all excellent to one-an other.