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03 October 2010

Greeting the invisible

TO wonders... when a group of workers gather in a conference room, but a participant joins by telephone and speaks up, is it universal for the eyes around the table to focus their attention towards the telephone speaker? It's unlikely, after all, that the remote attendee will recognize this sign of attention; also, the sight of a telephone rarely suffices in itself to confer much information. Perhaps human instinct is just doing its best to adapt to a new situation enabled by technology.

In a similar vein, television newscasters have sometimes (and, perhaps, have been instructed?) to close their programs with cheerful exhortation to "see you here again tomorrow", despite the fact that one-way broadcasting is unlikely to enable such wide-sweeping vision.

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