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The Need to Communicate

Language is a medium. It brings people together. "For the Greeks," wrote Hannah Arendt, "the essence of friendship consisted in discourse. They held that only the constant interchange of talk united citizens in a [political society]. However much we are affected by the things of the world, however deeply they may stir and stimulate us, they become human for us only when we can discuss them with our fellows .... We humanize what is going on in the world and in ourselves only by speaking of it, and in the course of speaking of it we learn to be human." — philosopher Hannah Arendt

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at February 14, 2004 10:24 AM in Thought for the Day


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"In surveys of lie-perception levels, 75 per cent of those questioned will pick out an average lie when they hear it; 65 per cent when they read it; and 50 per cent when they see it. The reason that revolutionary change is often tied to oral language is that this remains the most accurate means of real communication. We have great difficulty disbelieving what we see. This is one of the great risks in a society increasingly dependent on electronically manipulable images."
John Ralston Saul, The Doubter's Companion, 1994

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