Saturday October 29, 2005

A Correspondence in Correspondence

Both Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein relied on pen, paper, and the postal service to communicate with correspondents around the world. But researchers have now found the pattern of their replies is the same as that of computer users answering email today, with both following the same mathematical formula.

New Scientist magazine, 26 October 2005

This doesn't seem unusual to me. I tend to treat email as just another way to write a letter, a note, a memo.... The primary difference for me is that, when I was writing paper letters, I would write fewer of them, to a smaller set of people, and the letters themselves would be much longer. If I was going to sit down with pen and paper I might as well make the most of the time.

Using email, I write more often to more people, sending shorter messages at more frequent intervals. I keep up with my sister and with college friends - people I used to exchange letters with once or twice a year.

My mother, on the other hand, has moved from multi-page handwritten paper letters to multi-page typed and printed letters to multi-page (if I printed them) email letters. The biggest difference for her is that she now sends the same letter to both my sister and myself. I reply to both of them, including my Dad, keeping everyone "on the same page".

After all, what are letters (paper or electronic) but a way to communicate?

A Correspondence in Correspondence ( in category Random Thoughts , Special Interests ) - posted at Sat, 29 Oct, 12:32 Pacific | Comments (0)