The Myth of Modern Communication

The Myth of Modern Communication

We think that all of the modern tools that we now use every day make us better communicators or somehow make the human connection more effective but the truth is often the exact opposite.

In the beginning there was email. And, it was good. Suddenly we could efficiently create and send a “letter” or “memo” to someone far away and they could respond in near real time. In the early days we didn’t send email to the person in the next pod or office; that came much later in digital terms – I think it was on the second day.

This was like magic. I naively thought that we were on the boundary of something big…maybe even cosmic. A new age of written communication could be at hand. But, by day three of the email revolution, the world had deteriorated into a place where full sentences, capitalizing words and (God forbid) complete thoughts were forever lost. They were replaced by emoticons and other almost indescribable and certainly grammatically tragic abbreviations masquerading as thought.

Quickly following the emoticon attack was the refinement of email as the key weapon in intra-company pod wars. Now anyone with an email account could launch inane requests to his or her peers. They could use the “to” line to keep hundreds of people “in the loop” on information that the receivers did not need or want. They could launch denial-of-productivity attacks by burying coworkers and staff in messages with endless unneeded attachments, or use the dreaded “cc all” to say “thanks” to hundreds of people efficiently letting the entire company know that they had read and fully understood the mass-mailing from the IT department telling the company that a report would be delayed.

Got it?

The next time you need to give someone an update or get “alignment” try that old school human trick: talk to them. You might like the result.

🙂

A walk through Siena

While in Tuscany this summer we spent a few hours walking around Siena . A spectacular Tuscan hill town, Siena is a wonderful walk through the middle ages.

These ancient iron rings are throughout Siena. Used to secure your horse (or other animal) while you did business in town, they are so well used that indents from the ring striking the wall can be an inch deep. If you look closely near the bottom of the ring you can see the impact of several centuries of use.

Horse_Ring

It will be no surprise to you that I immediately thought of my grandfather and his spectacular work horses when I saw these rings. I could imagine his delight at the utility and workmanship of these devices as he tied his horse outside of a pub or general store.

At the top of one of Siena’s (many) hilly and narrow streets we found this amazing mercato.

Siena Shop

As with all of the other images on this blog, these pictures were captured with my Canon GX1 point and shoot and edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Birdman at Musée du Louvre

Sometimes the street is a wonderful place. While walking the grounds of the Louvre I encountered this special soul.

Birdman at Musée du Louvre

Birdman at Musée du Louvre

Tin Cup

One of my earliest memories is of my grandfather working out by the barn on a hot summer day. He would occasionally stop and walk over to the hand pump by the basin we used to draw water for the cattle, grab an old tin cup that was there and pump the handle of the well pump, running the water until it was cold. He would then dip the cup in the stream of cold water filling it to overflowing and in one motion pull the cup out of the flow, tilt his head back and dump the water into his mouth and over his head. This ritual was repeated until he was both quenched and cool. Occasionally he would finish by dipping the tin cup in and quickly douse the closest grandchild with delightfully cold well water.

Grandpa's Cup.

I like to think this is Grandpa’s Cup, right where he left it last.


A few years ago I was back at the old farm and took some shots. I saw this image today and was instantly six years old again.

What a great day.

Newark Penn Station

Newark_Penn_Station-1

Grabbed this with my iPhone this summer on a trip to Washington, DC. I did some simple editing in Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro and really like the result. I can feel the history when I look at this image – the millions of lives that this platform and these trains have served seems to echo throughout the image.

Edgartown Harbor Storm – iPhone Art

Taken from the harbor on my iPhone while on a sailing trip around the island. The power and size of the storm is obvious when you compare the size of the un-landed tornado in the top right third of the image with the Edgartown Lighthouse below and to the left of it (its the little white speck).

Edgartown Harbor

Nobska Point lighthouse – cape cod

Cape_Cod_Lighthouse-1

I have wanted a shot of the Nobska Point Lighthouse from the bay side for some time but never really had good light at the right time of the day. This shot was taken a little after 12PM on a day with good light and low humidity with my Canon 5D Mk3 and EF70-200 using a 2x converter @ 400mm effective. I shot three images at roughly -2, 0 and +2 exposure because while the light was good there still was quite a range of shadows and highlights that I wanted to capture. It was a bit of a challenge shooting this from a moving boat and then getting the images aligned without ghosting. I processed in HDR using HDR Efex Pro 2 and pushed structure and saturation a bit more than normal. Finally, I took out some visitors that were sitting on the hill in front of the lighthouse using Photoshop. The sailboat in the foreground was an unexpected bonus. All in all a fun shot.