Electronic Mail is Not For Everyone

A true story: Sally works as a marketing & promotions director at a reputable book publisher. She deals directly with authors on a daily basis, communicating primarlily via email. This is by far the easiest way to shuttle documented information back and forth. It is also the year 2005, where one might consider “electronic mail” as common as peanut butter, or even Neil Diamond.

Sally’s been working with an author by the name of Bernard, who despises everything to do with technology, and refuses to use a computer, let alone send or read email. Instead, Sally communicates with Bernard’s wife, who relays the email messages to her husband (one would assume verbally).

Things got a bit more interesting last week, when Bernard needed to respond to one of Sally’s emails. Sticking to his non-technological guns, Bernard hand-wrote a reply (on paper), which his wife then scanned and sent as an attachment.

For some, this interweb thing is just terrifying, mysterious, or just not worth the effort.

The preceding story is based on real events/people, but the names have been changed to protect those involved.


  1. Dante says:

    I bet that guy has a huge cell phone and possibly still a walkman.

  2. Reminds me of the story my mother told me, she works for Moscow metro and their building is not totally wired (and there’s no wi-fi of course :)) so transferring data involves floppies.
    So then, my mother prepares some electricity consumption report, big Excel table and she needs to give it to someone over at accounting department. “Someone” is a woman who doesn’t trust technology so she refuses to take the floppy with Excel file, even when the explanations are provided and help is offered. She asks my mom to print it, she does and carries it to accounting lady. The latter takes the printed sheets, sits down at her computer and starts… re-typing them over to Excel.

  3. Fi says:

    I’d smack my husband if he started acting up like that.

  4. neil says:

    I don’t know… while I agree that technology can make life better, I don’t believe that people should be forced to use it. If the guy is happy to not have anything to do with computers, then he should be allowed to do so.
    I mean, there still are phones, right? If he wants to not be hooked up, that’s his perogative. Technology should not be a barrier.
    For the thousands of people who look at a new technology and say “it’s one step forward!” I’m sure there are dozens who say, “backwards!”

  5. jeremiah says:

    Reminds me of a client I had that just had to get a website up for his business even though he refused to use email at all. He only communicated by phone or fax (email replies too…)
    I had to design a form for his site that, upon completion, had the user print and fax the document to him instead of emailing it to him. Could not talk him out of it.

  6. tom sherman says:

    For the tech savvy of us, it’s easy to look at this situation and laugh. That would be a mistake. There can be wisdom in avoiding technology. Just because something is new (and because our culture embraces all that is new) does not mean it is better.
    We can pat ourselves on the back about the latest technological developments on the horizon, and yet we still work far more hours per week than our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. But we have a better quality of life, you say! Don’t be so quick to jump to that conclusion, either. Our ancestors were surprisingly healthy, and I can guarantee they never had to deal with hour and a half traffic jams, either.
    The obstinance of anti-technology folks (Luddites) is clear, but that’s simply a reaction to the culture in which they live. They’re swimming upstream. Almost everyone disagrees with them. In the end, they might be right. We may destroys ourselves with our beloved technology.

  7. tom – More power to people who shun technology. I’m sure some have good reason. I wish I could have that year back when the Hamster Dance and Mahir were wasting my time.
    So, the intention of the story is not to laugh at Bernard, but rather, for people who think of email as they would brushing their teeth or taking out the trash, the act of scanning a hand-written note to be sent by email is amusing. Or so I thought.

  8. Yannick L. says:

    He’s just old school. I bet he probably laughs real hard when someone’s computer isn’t working though. :)

  9. Brian says:

    I’ve occasionally wished that we could go back to a less technology-dependent world. The fax story cracks me up – if you’re going to consume some kind of technology, it might as well be useful.

  10. Dave Marks says:

    The word stubern comes to mind.
    Arrogant and prehaps stupid or misguided too!
    I wonder if he still uses candle for light?
    ;) Ofcourse it is his right, and I’m sure he has good reason, but honestly there comes a time when he is just being awkward for the sake of being awkward and hes the one losing out.
    My old man is a little bit like this, but mainly cos he has no need to get involved. I’ve often caught him doing something or the other though… looking up stuff about fishing or suchlike.
    I must share this though… Once my mum left him with it while they were on dialup – she told him when he was finished, to put the mouse over the two computers next to the clock and right click and select disconnect (Windows users will no what i mean) when she came back, he explained that he had tried to “write click” but it wasn’t working – that had us in tears for ages!

  11. John Waller says:

    Bernard is of course entitled to his views and his way of life. And it’s easy to derive illicit amusement from stories such as this.
    But I wonder what Bernard’s actual objection(s), or resistance, to communicating via technology is. And what it stems from.
    Is it really a phobia (picking up on the use of “terrifying” and “mysterious”) or is it something more deep-rooted and philosophical.

  12. ben scott says:

    I deal regularly with people that dont use computers or seem to have the most roundabout way to do the most basic things with a computer. I would say it really is their loss when they refuse to use basic functions of a computer.
    You can debate if computers have made us more busy but then you can do that based on efficiency in the workplace being central to a post war vision of society
    I would say use a computer when you want just make sure you learn how to do the basic tasks well.
    I would cite the use of web email to run a business as my own worst use of computers and one that causes me huge pains (why doesnt yahoo and hotmail allow you to take contacts out).

  13. Chui Tey says:

    Not very different from people
    a) who won’t learn a new programming language because whitespace identation reminds them of FORTRAN
    b) who won’t learn LISP because of objections to curly braces
    c) who won’t learn languages other than LISP because “all other languages are just a half baked implementation of LISP”
    d) who won’t learn word processing because “all word processors are just a half baked implementation of typewriters”.
    e) who won’t learn maths because the symbols look like Greek (they ARE)
    f) who have better things to do than learn things they have no whatsoever interest in

  14. Angie McKaig says:

    Isn’t it just possible – just, mind, as I’m floating this and not really trying to pick a dissenting opinion – that we, as part of the industry trying to make these technologies more accessible to the masses, bear some responsibility in these stories? If the fax machine or using your wife’s tech knowledge is where these people are, isn’t it possible that we just haven’t found a way in the last 20-30 years of technology to come across as a) directly beneficial in a clear way and b) easy to use rather than owing to a large learning curve?
    I mean, really – what was the last time you saw a new technology that didn’t have a UI that needed hugely oversimplifying, or didn’t have a decently steep learning curve? I mean, geez, the MOUSE has a learning curve. Took my mom several weeks to figure it out – and if she doesn’t use the computer for a few weeks, she forgets again how to move it precisely.
    Clear benefits – both as the sales pitch and the actual follow through – would help break down some of this anti-tech mindset. IMO. But for that we’d still need WAY more people worrying about the “why” and “how”, and less about the “what”.

  15. Jaro says:

    Reminds me of a story I heard from my co-worker last week. His grandfather needed to send a fax order. After few tries he came back frustrated: “This machine doesn’t work, it spits the damn paper out every time I put it in!”

  16. John says:

    I’ll avoid naming names, but in the company where I work (A PC manufacturer), our previous sales director had a PC on his desk that was never turned on. His secretary would print out his emails, he would write replies on them (beautiful calligraphy with a Cross pen), his secretary would type his reply, and send it. We all thought that was rather quaint, and the old boys network he was a member of contributed a large portion of our income then, too…

  17. You’ll often get this: some people are not very good or happy with the latest technology, and instead of trying to learn, they make a statement out of it.
    Here in Belgium, everybody has a cellphone. Those who do not, often say this: “I refuse to use one because it invades my personal space… oh, can I use your’s for just a sec? I need to call the misses to tell her I’m going to be fifteen minutes late.”
    I’d rather have someone do stupid things with technology than nothing at all. Somebody should say to Bernard’s wife that what she did was not quite the best thing to do. Maybe she’ll learn out of it, maybe not.
    All this reminds me of a man/woman calling a helpdesk because she experienced some problems with her printer. When asked what the problem was, she said: “Well, I’m getting this message Printer not found! Printer not found!… but it is standing right next to the computer!!” (Actually, the fault here lies within the dialog box displaying the error. It should say “Can’t make a connection to the printer” instead. But it’s still a funny story ;-)

  18. Chris K says:

    Makes you think of how dependent we become on technology. I can think back when the internet, e-mail, cell phones, heck, even cable tv, was noexistent or only very few used them. Reminds me of my parents. For years they refused to get a computer because they weren’t comfortable learning how to use it. Now that they’ve had one, you can’t get my father to get off it. Although he still has a large learning curve. He once took digital pictures, printed them out, rescanned it and emailed the scan.

  19. Socrates refused to learn to read because he felt that knowing how to encode thought caused laziness of the memory, and made people stupid.
    Many people refused to take trains when they were able to go at the ungodly speeds of 15 to 20 mph because they would separate the souls of people from their bodies.
    Certainly hating technology is your right, but I am predisposed to feel scorn for those who do. Why? Because many of them are uneducated about what a return to a “purer, simpler time” would mean. They have no concept of microbiology, no understanding of agriculture, and their caution is not backed up with reasonable facts.
    As someone who owes her life (I have chronic illnesses) to modern technology, I feel no shame scorning those who would condemn me to death through irrational fear.

  20. Noah says:

    It’s hard not to laugh, at least a little bit, at people who scorn/fear technology because it’s ‘technology.’
    Heck, when the WHEEL came out, it was the latest technology.
    People who say that don’t like computers or are fearful of them seem to have no problem using the electricity in their home, the indoor plumbing, or the land-line telephone. Yet those are all “technology” and most people don’t understand how they work, either.

  21. Dustin Diaz says:

    I thank God my wife asks me technological questions before she goes and does something awkward like this.

  22. Dave says:

    I don’t think it is wise to laugh at this guy because he will probably be selected as our leader in our fight to save the human way of life once these damn computers start to think for themselves and take over the world.

  23. Randy M says:

    Ignorance is bliss. On the one hand, Bernard doesn’t want to learn how to email his publisher, but on the other, he wants to benefit from the fruits of email communication.
    Bernard ought to learn to email because it benefits him. The alternative is dependency on his wife, hardly sustainable. Either way, he’s taking advantage of the technology.
    Bernard should certainly be free to choose to learn or not to learn. If Bernard refuses to learn the technology, he risks losing the benefit of it. If that happens, he will have no one to blame but himself.

  24. owen says:

    Interesting to me that NOT ONE of the commenters so far thought that it was odd that the promotions director is only willing to communicate by email. That is at least as intransigent as Bernard.
    I liked the point of the original post though – it is very funny that they scanned and emailed the attachment rather than (say) putting it in the regular mail or faxing it.
    FWIW, many writers like to write (at least initially) in pen and paper and then move it to a computer when they are at the manuscript stage. It is easy to me to see that a writer would refuse to write on a computer – although for just communiation it does seem a little odd.
    Final point – more than half of the people in the world don’t have email.

  25. I don’t think shunning technology is the case of stubborness — I think it’s an interesting pyschological condition.
    Let’s pretend Bernard is a very proud man. I know nothing about Bernard, so it’s all speculation for fun.
    But let’s say Bernard tries to learn the computer, and fails. The whole pointing and clicking and computer workflow that most of us find innately intuitive might be difficult to someone. Bernard might feel that by trying and failing, he’d be a dinosaur — on the verge of extinction, a laughingstock, a man that’s no longer in complete control of the world he interacts with. By refusing to awknowledge computers and having his wife do the work (is there a control element here? He might be afraid that he can’t control his computer, but he can control his wife?), he maintains his status as an in-control man. He’s just against computers.
    I doubt there are many people who actually think computers are evil. I’d bet far more are simply afraid that they will not be able to match wits with the computer — and thus find themselves buried as society passes them by.
    Again, I know nothing about Bernard, just throwing out some amateur pyschology for fun. It’s interesting stuff, though.

  26. tom sherman says:

    Interesting discussion. I think my take on the story has altered a bit from my original comment (#6).
    I especially like owen’s comment (#24). The key person in the story is Bernard’s wife. She is enabling technophobe Bernard to interact with tech-savvy Sally. She’s backwards-compatibility, personified. And the points made by others that Bernard should “stick to his guns” and not benefit from technology in a peripheral manner (see Peter’s comment #17) are valid. So let’s take Bernard’s wife out of the equation, for the moment.
    Now we’re left with PR director Sally and author Bernard. Bernard hates e-mail. He needs to write letters. He needs to find a PR Director that will oblige this quaint demand. If he does not, and if he brings his wife along for backwards-compatibility, he’s cheating.
    By the same token, if Sally and her company want to make money off Bernard, they should oblige his wishes. Corresponding via the post is not too big of a deal.
    Anyway, I guess the point of my comment is that e-mail and snail mail are two logically coherent systems that work perfectly well. They each have advantages; they are each self-contained. It’s the wife that’s creating this mess!

  27. Tommy says:

    My dad got me started on a TI in the early 80s. But he still likes to send me written messages each week. He feels it show he cares more then just “firing off” an email.
    I think too often many of us that work w/ technology assume that everyone must get/understand why we love technology. We think/say “gosh you don’t have a blog or you don’t get RSS feeds, how do you live?”
    Just as many, many generations lived before us.
    Well people can write well (better then I BTW) w/o these technologies.

  28. Damon says:

    Amazing. That sounds just like my old high school senior government teacher. (Keep in mind that I just graduated high school.) He hates computers. This year the school system transferred over to an all-computer grade book system, so he had to learn how to input scores. All he did was figure up the final score on an old grade book, then input the final scores on the computer. Smart, I say. That score book was the most confusing thing on earth. I’m amazed how half the teachers got their scores in.

  29. beto says:

    After ten years of nonstop work on web development, I gotta say that this Bernard guy is my hero of the day.
    I stopped drinking the “technology makes your life better” kool-aid long ago. Yes, I still depend on it for a living, and I’m very grateful for that – but there are many times when I feel I’d be enjoying myself better if I had nothing to do with computers at all, you know, like embarking on an artistic painting/sculpting career or become a novel writer (on a Moleskine, Hemingway-style). Of course, that’s a very personal opinion and not neccesarily that of anyone else…

  30. Jens Meiert says:

    As far as I understand the scenario, using the telephone could do the trick, too. Interesting story.

  31. zedzdead says:

    So presumably Bernard doesn’t want paying by account transfer or by cheque? If I were Sally I’d get a big wheel-barrow full of cash, ring his bell and leg it!

  32. Jack says:

    I had a similar thing happen recently, doing a mini-interview with a poet/artist in his 80s – my questions were emailed to his gallery, who printed them out and faxed them to him. He then typed his answers, faxed them to the gallery, where they were scanned and emailed back to me.
    Pretty annoying since I was working to a tight deadline, but when the scanned fax came, it was utterly charming. And it made me wonder if my future self will be insisting on email when my future grandchildren want to talk on the Hologram UltraPhone 9000.

  33. Justin says:

    “I don’t own a computer, or a modem, or anything like that; I still work on a manual typewriter, by choice, and to those who consider me a Luddite I say: Fuck you and yo mama. I operate at the level of technology that best suits my needs. And I type at 120 words per minute—two fingers—I make no mistakes, and my manuscripts are real. You can pick them up and hold them. My typewriter doesn’t dump its memory—I don’t lose a book.”
    – Harlan Ellison
    (emphasis mine)

  34. jamie says:

    recently my granfather told me off his mother who, during a thuderstom, did not want to unplag the TV incase the “juice” from the electrcity leaked onto the carpet
    i must admit i do find things like this very funny, howevere i do also beilieve that it is peoples right to chose wether, or weather not they use technology, and in some case’s it better that they don’t. e-mail from my nan nagging me every few days would seem like hell!
    *makes sure to keep his “how to use e-mail” guide out of reach of nan*

  35. iFingers says:

    My dad has a hard time with computers. He can operate his in-car navigation just fine. But send an email… My 4 year old daughter, fires off emails to her Nan with no problems whatsoever. Granted they may be gobbledygook but she has no built-in resistance to this new fangled interweb thing. I think it’s more state-of-mind than anything else.

  36. Louie says:

    Found the story both humorous and very interesting. Like Pavlov’s Dog, I have been conditioned to the sound of mail received into my inbox. Although I do not drool like the dog I cannot stay away, I must look.
    Communication is the key and “electronic mail” makes things easier (for some of us). But then again I do get a thrill when I receive a hand written letter via snail mail. It is somehow more sincere.

  37. Ithika says:

    Well, it works for Donald Knuth (he gets all his email printed out by his secretary and deals with it “batch mode” once a week or something, like snail mail). He’s an author, not a programmer. I don’t think he’s objecting to using a telephone to save anyone’s life or anything; he’s just got different priorities from some of us.

  38. Bruno Girin says:

    Just to add to the story rather than comment on it, a friend of mine told me when she saw this that she created a yahoo account for her mum and showed her how to use it. But her mum still prefers to write her email on a piece of paper and have my friend type it in.

  39. What did happen to the Hamster Dance? Where did it go?

  40. Shawn says:

    Nothing like dancing Hamsters!
    My father, God love ‘em, is having a hard time keeping pace with technology.
    He needed to send a fax, and so I sent him in to town to a local shop where he could get the job done. About 10 minutes later, he returned saying: “I need to make a copy of this before I fax it, I need one for myself”.
    About a year ago, he asked me if I rewound the DVD we had rented the other night.
    Some people fear technology, but others (like my father) blunder boldly into it’s uncharted waters and learn to swim.

  41. Noah says:

    Shawn, perhaps you should have told your father that you had not rewound the DVD and needed $5.00 to cover the rewinding fee you were charged. ;)

  42. I sympathize with this authors sentiments. I think email has made our life more complicated in some ways.

  43. Vin says:

    My grandmother keeps referring to her GSM as ‘her GMS’.
    Cracks me up each time.

  44. Jake Tracey says:

    Why would anyone refer to a mobile phone as a GSM?

  45. charp says:

    For Bernard, it’s not about his attitude towards technology. That’s just an excuse for his attitude towards communicating in general. If he really did not want to communicate via email, he would have picked up the phone and called Sally. Letting his wife scan and email his written response illustrates his arrogance. If Sally had used the phone to speak with Bernard, I’m sure his wife would have answered the phone.

  46. Good for Bernard.
    Email sucks.
    See here.

  47. Bobby Jack says:

    To “#12 ben scott”:
    Yahoo DOES allow you to export contacts (Addresses tab, Import/Export, choose your format); it’s one of the many reasons I’m (slowly) migrating from hotmail to yahoo.

  48. Flashdance Jay says:

    I am a bit taken back by everyone’s knee jerk “technology rules” standpoint. Technology is just a tool, an evoloution in forms of communication.
    Hopefully “antiquated” email (It’s 30 years old you technofetishists!) will be replaced by a form of communication that is concise and emotive and doesn’t constitue a 50 email exchange to answer a simple question (all 50 of these emails containing a 25mb excel spreadsheet)
    Email and now IM has had the effect of dehumanizing human contact, Ebonicfying the web and most importantly eating all of our time.
    I prefer a communication form that takes actual effort to communicate.

  49. Iain B says:

    As I type this comment, my four assitants are busy carving my full reply into a wood block which I will then place into my Gutenberg press and will then send to Simplebits via Pony Express to be transcribed into this forum.
    True, technology shouldn’t be forced on anyone, but the use of technology has alsways been an adapt or die situtation. In today’s world immediacy is a requirement, not an option, and requires the use of technology.
    You can throw your sabot into the looms all you want, but it won’t stop a thing.

  50. flashdancejay says:

    Just read this statistic.
    My sentiments exactly.
    “The typical office worker is interrupted every three minutes by a phone call, e-mail, instant message or other distraction. The problem is that it takes about eight uninterrupted minutes for our brains to get into a really creative state.”
    Full article here…

  51. Mr B says:

    I fail to see the big deal here, and if this is a true story i’m the Pope.
    Bernard despises everything to do with technology. So what.
    The final comment of “For some, this interweb thing is just terrifying, mysterious, or just not worth the effort.” may or may not describe Bernard. He despises technology, that does not mean he doesn’t understand it or even have the knowledge to utilise it. Maybe he used it for a few years and came to the conclusion that for him it is a sack of shit.
    Sally supposedly works for “a reputable book publisher”. Bernard is one of their client’s, off of whom it would be reasonable to suspect they wish to earn commission. So knowing this particular client despises technology, stop fucking annoying him by using it to communicate with him all the fucking time.
    Frankly if I was Bernard I would be telling Sally to shove her keyboard up her arsehole.
    In any case, communicating via Bernard’s wife is still communicating with him, so what is the big deal?

  52. Rob says:

    Where I live 70% of the people with ‘the internet’ still use dial-up. Of those who do have internet connectivity less then half use email as a form of communication.

  53. emiliano says:

    The point of the story, for me, is that email should make things faster and easier, scanning a hand-written note and then sending it..it’s neither! I have the same problem, my partners in the company we own cannot use computers. I have to go through the secretary (who is no computer wiz either) and in many occasions I have had timeline problems because of this. When technology helps in streamlining the tasks it should be applied, it’s not a matter of “like it or not” anymore but of conducting successfull business or not (in my case).

  54. Jordie says:

    I guess scanners don’t count as technology then. :P

  55. Paul says:

    I can only relate.
    My old boss refused to use email even though the entire company was on emails and pda’s he got his secretary to do all his emailing for him. he said he feared change though but you take my mother, who at the age of 55 took to email like a duck to water without ever using a computer before.
    Its a sad life for those opposed to change.

  56. Darrel says:

    I guess if I treated my wife like a secretary, I wouldn’t need email either.

  57. Ian Brown says:

    I was rather bemused by this to be honest. Would it not have been simpler, and easier, just to dictate the short note to his wife whilst she typed it out? It would have saved a lot of time and effort on his front.

  58. Notepad says:

    The truth is that the hard copy is/will always be available when the hard drive dies…when you have no backup.
    Technology comes at a hefty price when you not clued as to it’s full capacity.
    Bordering on insanity si what one might call it.

  59. whizdumb says:

    I agree with the person who called Bernard’s attitude “arrogant”. To me, resisting common tools like this is just another way of saying “I’m too cool to do what everyone else does,” and that annoys me.

    The funniest thing is that everything is technology! The pianist who won’t play a synth, or the purist who demands words printed in ink on paper instead of on-screen…how do they get the crazy notion that pianos and printing aren’t just tech that’s been around for awhile?

    Yo, Bernie…if you were really that smart, wouldn’t you realize that a PEN is technology, and refuse to use that too?

    And…NO! the hard copy will not always be there! Hard copies get lost, damaged, and when they do, it’s a disaster, because as rarely as people bother to back-up their data, it’s still done much more frequently than anyone backs up a book! Time was I lived in terror of losing my Daytimer along with every tidbit of important data I needed.Now, if I drop my PDA in a well, I can just pick up a new one and sync all those tasty bits right back on it, as if nothing ever happened.

  60. Manoloweb says:

    This is the year 2050, and this story is about [pick a name from above, and name it NewBernard] when Carlos is asking him to transmit a thinksenger to his daughter Lucy who is living in the “Genesis Space Station”…
    -(NB)Thinksenger you say?
    -(Carlos)Yes NewBernard, just look at the blue spot on that frame and think what you want to tell her.
    -(NB – thinking) How the hell does this crap gets on?
    -(Lucy) Dad! watch your mouth!
    -(NB)Sorry princess!
    -(Carlos) She didn’t hear that, you have to just think it and watch the spot, remember (laughs)
    -(NB – thinking again)Young people, they think they know everything, they never needed to CSS, XML nor PHP anything and they think they’re smart enough to make fun of me…
    -(Lucy) Daa..ad, I’m still here… he he!, I know you were a geek when you were young, that’s why I believe you can do this easily, just follow the instructions.
    -(NB – yelling at Carlos)OK, that’s it! so everyone will know what I’m thinking while chatting??
    -(Carlos) Not at all, just look away of the spot and you’re offline, or muted as we call it.
    -(NB) You know what, give me that old laptop, and I’ll send her an email.
    -(Carlos, thinking at the thinksenger) Can you believe this Lucy? this old and obsolet “Millenium Generation Guy” doesn’t know how to use technology, he he he, it is so funny.
    To everyone making fun of Bernard, Make sure your words are sweet and soft, you might find yourself eating them eventually…

  61. It’s not all that uncommon with some older senior managers where I used to work. Despite the fact that they were on the leading edge of many types of technological research many department directors still had their secretaries print their email for them to read and type their replies.

  62. Arthur says:

    Very funny, but all too true for alot of people.

  63. That is funny. I know a lot of people that might do something like that. It really shows how many people have misconceptions about technology and computers today.

  64. Q says:

    What a variety of comments from a simple anecdote.
    i find it most interesting the different projections some of the commentors applied to Bernard and his motives/personality. Arrogant, foolish, stubborn, manipulative of his wife….
    perhaps they are madly in love and would do anything for one another… even scan notes to send via email.
    i agree strongly with a point that one of you touched on: the cluttered state of the garbled interweb, filled with empty lols and ttyls. The dehumanizing of communication and identity is a frightening prospect… tower of Babel and all that nonsense.
    But now i’m babbling, so i’ll leave you with this:
    Communications technologies should be intuitive, authentic, and simple. Most importantly, they should serve to achieve communication.