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Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Media Ecology, Wu Wei

Michael Brenner proposes Shut Up Wednesdays, and I like this idea. We all talk too much these days. With two huge cohorts of talkers (Boomers + Millenials), “social everything,” and the general anxiety to look good when all is crashing down around us, I find myself overwhelmed by trivial chat.

Here’s the key blurb on speechlessness:

Never before have we had so many means to communicate. Never before has there been more clatter and clamor. Never before have we communicated less. Especially in our political life. The shrillness of this year’s overwrought electoral campaign is a powerful reminder of the difference. It’s all about feeling rather than thought — either emoting to stimulate the feelings of sympathizers or emoting to grate upon the feelings of enemies. That certainly is true of most Republicans and their Tea Party hit men. Thought and ideas be damned. It’s the primal scream — twisted by fear, anger and confusion.

We might all start listening to our own listening. What am I listening for? How can I encourage authentic speech and guide everyday dialogue?How might we learn to value silence in discourse?

In honor of parsimonious communication I’ll even keep my post briefer than usual.