Initial Concept

The costs of a phone call are:

For a number of reasons, a phone call between 2 people can be orders of magnitude more efficient than an online conversation.

Contrast a phone call, with an online conversation:

Open Request

If you’re substantially talking with 1 or 2 individuals on the Internet, and it starts to get substantial, or if it starts to become a debate, please begin arranging phone calls.

See Also


It makes economic sense, by orders of magnitude, even after factoring in the time it takes to…

  • …establish coordinates, (“Who will call whom? How will the conference call be set up?”)
  • …and report on the conversation. (“How will everyone else keep up with the conversation?”)

Also, will add: Doodle (also available as a plugin for dokuwiki), Google Calendar, 30 boxes, OpenSource web app WebCalendar, all can help cut down on the time you need to organize meetings or phone calls. You just plug in your availability, and these platforms and tools then help you quickly narrow down which date and time will work. Plus, you can use GizmoProject and save on your phone bills.

Yes. Using possibly open VoIP tools, Wengo, Gizmo and running a Gobby and live summarizing during the conversation - with a web preview and following copy to wiki or - if preferred - with a publication of the summary on wiki a few hours after the conversation.

Tomorrow, Sunday 18:00 UTC is classical ting-time. Gizmo? Gobby?

Luke might be with it. Setting up a conference in Gizmo … Likely you all have no time, then next sunday.

Let’s do it!

I don’t know if I’ll be able to get VoIP working, but we’ll see what we can get going.

Gizmo, pick a number for setting up a conference call it says - 1-222-879-0879

Idleing on freenode #onebigsoup, l’8ers

I set up two voice-tings

ting 85, Thursday 2007-04-26 18:00 UTC

ting 86, Sunday 2007-04-28 18:00 UTC

LukeStanley is behind a university-proxy and Gizmo doesn’t cope with that. Skype does. The sunday one is more likely to become transcontinental.

Gyah; Once again, I am sworn to familial duties on this Sunday morning…

But, I honestly don’t have anything pressing on my mind that needs discussing.

When I wrote this page, I was thinking about email storms, times when two (or more) people are having a sudden wave of email exchange, and it consumes a LOT of time.

Two such people should engage in a PhoneCall.

As it is, I have nothing so pressing at the moment, though.

What is the word for a type of process consideration that would be undesirable if humans behaved optimally but is desirable in the actual world because humans are lazy/stupid/imperfect?

Anyhow, a consideration of that type is one of the things that makes me like emails and wiki over phone calls. Specifically, I am unlikely to actually make time (or to preschedule time) to properly write up a conversation that has already been had, even though this may be cheaper in the long run compared to having the conversation in text. See also FractalTimeManagement? and LackOfReworking.

I certainly agree that talking is more efficient, and there is a point beyond which the efficiency gains push me to prefer phone calls. But due to my inability to properly schedule write-up time, that point is reached less frequently than it could.

Nrr… I believe the word you are looking for, is “pragmatic?”

I don’t think this is actually about laziness. I think it’s just that people are noticeably uncomfortable about talking with people by voice. I think that– when people are in voice, they have very different expectations of behavior, attitude, observance, decorum, and so on, as well as expectations of: “This person has called me once; Now they may feel free to call me again, even if I ask them not to. Better not let them in the door in the first place.”

I remember when I talked about the OrientationCall. DavidCary responded to the concept with: “I don’t know; I was originally pretty uneasy with the idea. I mean, here I am, one moment, browsing the web. And the next moment, my phone is ringing, with some stranger from far away on the line.” (This is from memory, of something David said to me on the phone, incidentally. ;) )

That is, there is a perception that the phone is in this world, Prime Materia, whereas webpages et all live in the fairy land, that is the Internet, safe and contained.

If we could transparently see, “BayleShanks is online too, reading these pages as well,” and all I had to do was knock on the screen, wait for you to knock back, and then that opened up the voice line– I suspect we’d talk by voice more often.

Then again, here’s another thing– when you’re in voice, you have less control over the termination of conversation.

Perhaps we go through a negotiation with ourselves, while typing:

  • Do I still want to type? Well, maybe another two minutes…
  • Do I still want to type? Well, maybe another two minutes…
  • Do I still want to type? (…)

But negotiating a hang-up (SIG-HUP!) with a person on the phone is not at all easy, and you don’t really have total control.

People rarely just say, “I’m going, bye,” while the other party is in the middle of saying something.

So there’s significant loss of control in the phone call, as well.

(Though, to be properly abstract: This is a property of interaction, not voice over text. It’s true of IM’ing, as well.)

Very good points, I think those are indeed some of the reasons.

People rarely just say, “I’m going, bye,” while the other party is in the middle of saying something.

I don’t IM much. But I think my brother told me once that him and his friends do just that; they just stop responding to IM in the middle of a conversation if they have something to do. Which implies that perhaps voice conversation would be more welcomed if social conventions created a quicker SIG-HUP.

Offline, you get to know people and then you feel comfortable interrupting them and telling them that you have to go. You also try to predict your friends’ schedules and habits and trying to guess when they have to go before they have to interrupt. By the way, apparently offline I personally am rather abrupt about breaking off conversations (according to a friend of mine). So I might be biased towards that sort of (rude, direct) solution.

I do think the pragmatic (thanks) consideration I mentioned above is part of it, though, too. There are times when you only have a little bit of time for CommunityWiki on a particular day, and if you spent a decent amount of time talking, then there would be no time for recording the conversation.

There are other reasons that conspire to prevent voice. For example, right now I’m writing this while debugging a program at work. It takes a minute to run, so while it runs, I write. I wouldn’t want to talk to anyone by voice because every few minutes I switch over to the program, debug it, and rerun it. Other times during the day, if I check CommunityWiki at work, I wouldn’t want to bother my officemates by talking to someone over the computer. At home, I often read CommunityWiki while eating dinner, and sometimes while intermittently talking to my girlfriend after a meal.

Yep. But if you and I got into a lengthy debate, that was hours upon hours upon hours, and hinging on the “dangerous,” I would hope you would agree to a phone call with me, before things got out of hand..!

Incidentally, point of reference --

When the kids at TheClearwaterSchool arrange playdates, …

The frequently visit, and not play with one another..!

This isn’t just Sakura, because I’ve talked with several other baffled parents, as well: This is typical Clearwater (and plausibly Sudbury) behavior..!

The kids are perfectly fine, just being in the space together, but not interacting, at all!

And what I think is going on here, is:

  • Because we’re so time-with-others poor, we treat our time with each other as: “You’re here, and I have to interact with you while we’re together, because we see each other so infrequently.”
  • …consequentially, we often choose (subconsciously) not to be with others, because it is a mutual imposition – “Here we are, we must interact with one another, together, for the duration of our co-presencing.” ..!
  • Whereas the SudburySchool kids, (or more appropriately, TheClearwaterSchool, since I don’t know if this is true at other Sudbury schools,) – they see each other all the time. They are always in each other’s presence.
  • And they have worked out explicit systems of trade and negotiations, with each other, in terms of “Are you going to play with me, or not?” I’ll never forget, that Sakura picked up the language of trade as soon as she entered ClearWater?, and the number one token of trade was not money or materials, but rather, will you play with me? and will you talk with me about this thing? – This totally amazed me, because it wasn’t like that with my friends in school at all. Not that I remember, at least. (It certainly wasn’t like that for Sakura at her previous school.)
  • These kids are perfectly content to just be in the same building, visiting each others houses, but not playing with each other.
    • Clearwater parents, everywhere, are baffled, and always express, “Isn’t it weird how they do that?” Though we get used to it.
  • And why shouldn’t they be? They are always around each other, and can talk with each other whenever they want. They have no classes “getting in the way,” and no stealth programs of sustaining interactions when the teacher isn’t looking. The only limitation is the willingness of the other.

I’m not quite sure how this fits in with PhoneCall, but I figured you’d be interested.

I think… …I am seeing something similar to this, emerging in IM patterns, online.

The customary excuse, “I’m sorry, but I have some work I have to do” doesn’t really make sense, when you very clearly don’t.

As our VirtualPresence technologies deepen, we are more and more like my daughter’s school, and realizing … …whatever it is that they have realized. They, and the business world people.

I think this POV may result from the subject’s awareness of Time. I distinctly recall knowing the meaning of the word “mortality” when I was a teenager.

  • One of the reasons for this was the incredible shock I felt when one of my highschool acquaintances died. After all, death was not something that happened to us teenagers.
  • Another set of experiences that reinforce my opinion that personal views of Time affect our Thoughts and our very selves (… “I think, therefor I am.” ) comes from my days of “climbing”. (In the context of those 100 of us that were considered “best” at the time, have dwindled to about 70, as a result of with 30 having died, 30 have retired and the remaining 30 still engaging in an activity is likely to make the final tally 50-50 for dead-retired (exlusive pf death by ‘natural’ - not climbing-related - causes.)) The point of this contextual digression is that those of us that climbed this way were young (and fit) enough to believe that we had lots of time left to contemplate ‘retirement’ by “running out of time”.

Now then… Here’s my current view of why I want to take advantage of each and every moment. I’m running out of time! Not in the sense that I expect to die within the next 1/4 century, but rather in the sense that the time I realistically need to do all of the tings I want to before I die, is growing at a dauntaing rate given the ratio of the time needed to complete the list, to the expected time available.

So, I gotta tell ya. I want to…

  • Squeeze every possible moment of pleasure out of every centi-second I can, and
  • Automate as much of my work (to acquire funds for play), as possible.
    • Use tools to augment my limited senses (more bandwidth = improved communications, etc.)
    • More collaboration means more efficient and effective achievement of my Objectives.
  • Focus as intensely as possible on the fewest number of things that let me achieve my Goals. C’est tout! Das Ende! Tha…tha…thats all, folks!

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