Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yikes! I Agree with Krugman

Well it is the week before Christmas and things have come somewhat to a halt but in checking out my Google Reader I came across a Krugman blog I agree with, perhaps a first. He states:

Still, at the risk of sounding like an old fuddy-duddy (after all, I am an old fuddy-duddy), there are very real virtues to old-fashioned email. You can convey a lot of information, if necessary — and it’s information that stays available in the archive. Plus, the lack of immediacy is, given the way I live, a virtue. In general, I can’t break what I’m doing to talk to you or text you; so an asynchronous form of communication, which I can respond to when convenient, is a huge advantage.

 This is in response to a NY Times piece this week regarding the younger generation sending instant messages. Well I have disabled my messages, I think, hope Verizon hears this, and if one wants to reach me then you must send an email or even call. And a readable email please, none of those bouncing smiley faces. Short, to the point, from you, and with some structure so as to be readable.

I am reminded of Umberto Eco and his novels on Semiotics where signs reflect the civilization. Eco is much better than that DaVinci story fellow but alas one cannot hope for a great deal out of pulp novelists.

You see, email is better than letter writing, you get a chance to look at it and revise it, with a letter you start and go until finished, especially if you use pen and ink which I do, yes, pen and ink, black, blue black and even blue. When I ran my international companies I was sure each day to send each of my grandchildren a letter from where ever I was and with a local stamp, so that hopefully a hundred years hence on some antiques roadshow they can pull out this pile and reflect upon the early 21st century. E mail lacks that sense, they have no stamps, and instant messaging is like whispering in the hall ways.

There clearly is a place for every thing, but one can call also, for a call is two way and interactive and reduces overall ambiguity, or social entropy. Instant messages often lead to WTF type responses.