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The Indefinite Article.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Video conferencing and video chat with Killy

This evening marks the first time I have ever video chatted with anyone. This isn't a new technology really, I followed CUseeMe software as it developed years ago, I think before PowerMacs were around. This evening, I finally talked to someone over the internet.

In some ways, even though it has been around for years, it is still a technology in its infancy. The camera is an add-on cludge to the computer, even though it does have an elegant clamp-on perch and a short, non-tangly cable into the firewire port. But compared to text messaging, video and audio messaging is still limited. For example, it doesn't record the conversation as with text, and if it did, it would take up vast amounts of space on my hard drive (relatively). More importantly, perhaps, is that I do not have a physiological vocabulary that adds value to the video conversation other than "hey I can sit here or I can walk around with the computer and talk to you at the same time." In the larger scheme of things, motion pictures themselves have only been around for a hundred years or so; with that in mind if doesn't seem strange that my physical expressive vocabulary is limited. Sure, people have been watching each other talk since before there were written words, but motion picture transmision is far different--it rewards a different set of movements and lighting, which reflects the its gamut of experience is more limited than that of live in person.

I wonder if my kids will live in a world where one's physical vocabulary will be as important in communications as one's verbal?


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