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Textual Human Interface

Perhaps a sign that I spend too much time here
  [vote for,

When I went to a barber yesterday I realized how imprecise spoken language is. We started out talking about politics, and worked our way to the need for a 3rd party in the American political system. However, the conversation felt lacking and dumbed-down compared to online conversations I've had about similar topics. When adding an anno in the HB I can spend a minute and compose my thoughts before typing, however in life everything is real-time which leads to conversations that are by comparison poorly developed.

I propose a small device similar to a PDA. This device will have a microphone and a voice-to-text translator. The device will be used to help develop and polish conversations, so that intellectual intent is communicated. For example, I can say "Yeah, I hate that", then touch "Yeah" and press delete, then touch "that" and say "the rigid political system denying the advancement of 3rd parties" (or possibly copy and paste the barber's previous comment), then add to it from there. The device is used by both parties, and the conversation progresses.

Sure this will slow down conversations quite a bit, but some conversations deserve a much slower pace than that of spoken language.

Worldgineer, Feb 13 2004

Amusing Ourselves to Death http://www.amazon.c...d=1185600803&sr=8-1
The beginning chapters of this book, in particular, offer an interesting glance back 100 years, noticing how complex debates and suchlike were at the time, when writing was still the predominant form of cultural discourse, than now, in the age of TV. [imaginality, Jul 28 2007]


       Speech-bubble-shaped dry-erase board and some magic markers.
Incidently, I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be with my barber juggling a PDA while cutting my hair.
nick_n_uit, Feb 13 2004

       We need something, that's for sure, but I don't know if this is what it is. Maybe more time to have more leisurely conversations, to allow more time to think before and while talking, would help smarten up our speech. I have a hard time finding anyone willing to really discuss anything at any length. Occaisionally interesting discussions are one of the attractions of this place, coupled with the fact that most of you are a lot smarter than me, which is a refreshing change from most of my daily interactions.
oxen crossing, Feb 13 2004

       //The device will be used to help develop polish conversations //   

       Oh so it translates, too? That's handy.
waugsqueke, Feb 13 2004

       I agree with oxen, for sure. One thing I find lacking is for people to keep quiet long enough for me to say what I'm trying to say. Or, for people to pause for one another while you mentally edit your idea, then say it clearly. Maybe I am just around the wrong people, but I feel like getting a word in is a lot like merging into traffic.
MuddyBuddy, Feb 14 2004

       Conversation is an art form and the ability to think quickly is its own reward. I don't particularly like this idea for the reasons it has been proposed.   

       Just take a deep breath before you answer; people will think you are wise. : )
k_sra, Feb 18 2004

       Unless you are free diving.
FarmerJohn, Feb 18 2004

       Spoken word processor?
st3f, Feb 18 2004

       This is exactly why I would rather chat with my girlfriend than call her on the phone... [+]
ghillie, Feb 18 2004

       I like [jutta]'s point. I'm not saying I want all dancing to be like chess. Sometimes you dance to have a good time and be graceful. However, I'd like the option of carefully thought out movements that challenge the mind and not just the body. Ok, so maybe the analogy is falling apart...   

       Perhaps the answer is just to slow down some in conversation. However, here I find I'm often re-reading annos to help construct meaningful arguments, something that is memory-constrained while in conversation. Also, if an argument is long and intricate then you are straining the listener's concentration and memory skills - something that's not as much an issue if they have the text in front of them ([Vernon] ideas aside).
Worldgineer, Feb 18 2004

       I sometimes speak a little too quickly in normal every day conversation myself. On topics that require a well thought-out approach, I can look like a viable source of ideas, but a conversation just off the street, makes me seem in urgent need of a 3rd grade repeat.
Letsbuildafort, Feb 18 2004

       In the realm of debates, rather than ordinary conversations, people DO take extra time to phrase what they want to say. I suspect that makes this Idea baked, with no gadget needed.
Vernon, Feb 21 2004

       How about just finding a more interesting barber? The world's full of highly-intelligent people doing things for which they're vastly overqualified. I don't suppose I need point out any immediate examples.   

       Alternatively, you could have some fun with your pedestrian barber. For example:   

       _ Couch your words with hidden meanings.   

       _ Pretend you're interviewing the barber for a magazine.   

       _ Use alliteration, but casually, as though you don't intend to.   

       _ Use only single-syllable words in one sentence, then only two-syllable words, and so on.   

       _ Experiment with different pitch patterns (e.g. start each sentence low and go up, rather than the usual tendency to do the opposite).   

       It'll be extra-exciting because the person you're speaking to, and who may eventually become offended, is holding sharp objects.
Ander, Jul 20 2007

       But finding a more intellegent barber would only solve half the problem.
Worldgineer, Jul 27 2007


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