22 March 2013

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: Do we ever communicate effectively?, + NEWS lunch

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Do we ever communicate effectively?

The traditional view of communication is to exchange information. And indeed, this information is meant to get others to do something for us for example have a new believe. However, authors like R Dawkins argued that communication is primarily to get others to do something we want them to do. Thus the emphasis is not on the exchange of information, but rather to influence the beahviour of others to do something for our benefit.

For us the issue is how effective are we and how good are we at getting others to do things for our benefit? I would argue that the debate will centre on two aspects: the value of our information and the ability of our information to penetrate the white noise we are inundated today.

--- Ceit ---

Hi Lawrence

I hope I'll be in time for you to incorporate this into the email:

Do we ever communicate effectively? It depends on what exactly we mean by communicate and by

Let's say communication is the act of transmitting information. This is usually done purposely,
although not always. When purposeful, it is to convey directions, desires, or make feelings known.

What is effective communication of direction or desire? When people do what you want. In this case,
the simple answer is yes, we do sometimes communicate effectively. If you go to a restaurant and
order a Coke, when the server brings you a Coke, you have effectively transmitted your desire.
However, it does not always work out. If you order a burger medium-rare and it is served well-done,
communication was not effective. This may be because of bad communication on your part, willful
misunderstanding on the part of the server, or outside interference (noise, personal worries, etc.)
In any case, the end result is ineffective communication.

And effective communication of feelings? It is much more difficult to determine. We might imagine
that when others acknowledge the feelings we say we have, we have effectively transmitted them. Yet,
we do not know if others really understand how we feel. Part of being human and dealing with a
society consists of learning to make others feel like we understand them. This does not mean that we
understand or empathize with others, at least not always, just that they are placated enough that
they do not press the issue. Sometimes, others dismiss or display rejection of the feelings we
transmit, which might seem like ineffective communication, but is not necessarily. We might have
been successful in transmitting our feelings to others; the others just don't want to deal with
them. Of course, other times we just do not transmit our feelings in ways that others understand or
care about.

Part of possible misunderstandings has to do with how we communicate. Generally, we understand
communication to mean using words, although tone and gestures are also important tools, sometimes
even more than the words themselves. For example, we might consider a person who puts great stock in
verbal communication having a minor accident and ending up with a broken wrist. This person goes to
the doctor and explains that she thinks her wrist is broken. She describes her symptoms, the fall
and that she has previously broken a bone and experienced similar symptoms. The doctor tells her to
go home and take an aspirin. Later, it is revealed that he does not believe she has anything wrong
with her because she described her problem "too clearly". Somebody with a broken wrist cannot
accurately state symptoms etc., because there would be too much pain. She is obviously an addict
looking for prescription drugs. Of course her wrist is really broken, but her "effective"
communication of the situation was actually ineffective - because she did not accompany her words
with the expected facial expressions and non-verbal sounds of pain. Words are precise, but
inadequate. This becomes a problem with cross-cultural communication. Gestures and intonation are
not the same across languages and cultures. Anybody who has traveled is aware of this.

Do we ever communicate effectively? The way the question is expressed shows exasperation. Do we
ever? It's fairly obvious that the short answer is yes, but if we ask, "Do we always or even usually
communicate effectively?" the answer is probably quite different.

---- Ruel --

Hi Lawrence,

May I share with the group my essay re next Sunday's PhiloMadrid topic.


Thank you and see you on Sunday.


---- -----

Important NEWS:

This Sunday we will try and set the date for the Lunch at the Segoviano we are trying to organise.
Please send me your opinion on the subject and if you can come.

----Lunch at the Segoviano----
1) Last Sunday we discussed the possibility of organising a lunch at the centro and I asked Encarna
for details. However, we still have to organise the date so you can think about this lunch and find
a gap in your busy diary. I also have a pending appointment at the hospital and won't know the dates
until next week. What is sure is that we start lunch at 3:30pm and then start the meeting as usual.
In the meantime we can think about the menu:
-Starters (frituras variadas), Entrecot o Cochinillo con ensalada, Postre- cafe-bebida. 25 euros per
-Alternative option 1: fish or vegetarian but you will have to speak to Encarna about this, I've got
her number so please ask me or her when you come to the meeting. 25 euros per person
-Alternative option 2: cochido completo (plus the extras above) 20 euros per person.
(Looking at the menu you might think this is a challenge to this week's subject, but I am assured
that the food is very good!!!)


Maricarmen is looking for English teachers for her academy, if you are interested let me know and
I'll put you in touch.


********* Cementerio Ingles********************
Redacto el presente mensaje tanto en inglés como en español para comunicar al máximo mi programa de
visitas comentadas antes de Semana Santa, los sábados por la mañana :-
Hora : a las 11 de la mañana
Lugar : en la entrada del Cementerio, c/ Comandante Fontanes 7, 2007 Madrid ( distrito de Carabanchel )

*sábado, día 16 de marzo con las explicaciones en inglés
*sabado, dia 23 de marzo con las explicaciones en español

Le dejo a su elección cual día acuda y no hay necesidad de avisar
Si prefiere hacer la vista en otra fecha y está en situación de formar un grupo de 8 personas o más,
avíseme y haré lo mejor para llegar a un acuerdo sobre fecha y hora

WEBSITE <www.britishcemeterymadrid.com>........ con detalles de la historia del Cementerio y el plan
de su ubicación

I am writing this in both Spanish and English to provide the programme of guided visits on Saturday
mornings up to Easter

Time : 11 a.m.
Place: gatehouse entrance in C/ Comandante Fontanes 7, 28007 Madrid ( Carabanchel disrict )

*the visit on Saturday 16th March will be in English
*the visit on Saturday 23rd March will be in Spanish

I leave it to you which date you prefer and there is no need to check further, just turn up on the day
If you would like a visit on any other day, and you are able to make up a group of 8 persons or
more, I will do my best to arrange a date to suit you

WEBSITE < www.britishcemeterymadrid.com> with some details of the history of the Cemetery and a map
to show its location
David Butler
See you Sunday,

Take care


Lawrence: 606081813
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao

Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: Do we ever communicate effectively?
+ NEWS lunch

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