Intimate Communication

Intimate Communication --- RichardGabriel 6 Dec 2001

. . . NoManIsAnIsland. People need to express emotions (SharingFeelings) as part of the RhythmOfConversation. Communicating private and intimate thoughts are part of TheContextOfOurLives. People require privacy and confidentiality . . .

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High-tech communication focuses on information content—the words "information content" reflect deep concern about technology and shallow concern about humanity.

Transmitting information from one person to another was one of the first applications of the Arpanet—precursor to the Internet. These early mail programs were designed for the purpose of to move research and military information expediently. Soon, however, it became apparent that the medium was going to be used as a substitute for postal mail and telephone calls. Later these early mail programs were used for collaboration on projects. The natural inclination of people to socialize and share personal correspondence rose to the surface.

Instead of only typing in data from the latest experiment or logistical timetables, people additionally started writing letters, expressing grief and joy, and sharing personal milestones. One finds it hard to speak of the expression of love or sympathy over the loss of a parent as "content."


Endeavor to create a textual electronic communications system which recognizes that people will be communicating intimately, expressing their deepest feelings in words typed in to a machine. Do what you can to make the experience human and humane, make the tools adapted and adaptable to how people will work when expressing their most private thoughts.

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Make it possible for people to write a SlowLetter, express Deep Emotion (?DramaticEffect), respecting their privacy (PrivacyGradient, PrivateConversation) and dignity. Make the experience transparent (LowOverheadMessages, EditingEase) and flexible (EaseOfShiftingModality).


Last edited December 24, 2002
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