[fr] Je me suis rendu compte tout dernièrement à quel point il est facile de répondre à une question sans l'avoir lue en entier, de commenter sur un billet de blog sans avoir cliqué sur le lien. FriendFeed pousse un peu à ça, avec sa manie de lister des titres de billets sur lesquels on peut commenter (je prétends pas avoir une meilleure solution).
Récemment, je demandais à mon entourage leur avis sur une question de workshops avant ou après Going Solo (j'en parlerai ailleurs plus en détail, ce n'est pas le propos de ce billet), et j'ai été étonnée de la quantité de réponses qui semblaient indiquer que mon interlocuteur n'avait en fait pas lu le lien que je lui avais donné.
Je ne vais pas jeter la pierre, je me rends régulièrement coupable du même raccourci (commenter sans avoir lu) même si j'essaie vraiment de me limiter. Ça me rappelle les Mythologiques de Lévi-Strauss, qu'on cite à tout va mais que personne n'a en fait lues en entier...
I’m guilty too. I sometimes read the title of a blog post, or a few sentences of an article, and comment on it.
It struck me recently how common this practice is, and also how it impairs communication. It’s the shortcut, the bet we make that we guessed or assumed correctly, the easy way out. Communication with no parasites requires work, and patience.
These last two days I’ve been trying to make up my mind about whether to place workshops before or after the main day of conferences for Going Solo. It’s a tricky problem which I don’t want to start discussing right now (I’m going to blog about the issues I face more precisely on the Going Solo blog shortly).
So, I chatted with people, Twittered about it, got into e-mail conversations, and decided to sum up some of my thoughts in a Tumblr entry, which allowed me to simply point people there and ask them what their thoughts were.
And I was amazed at how many people didn’t actually respond to my point of concern (“are there any economical/sales/marketing reasons for putting a workshop before a conference, if there are other good reasons to place it after”) because the title, visible in the URL, led them to believe it was a simpler question:
Now, I’m guilty as much as they are. I took a shortcut too by blogging my thoughts and giving them a link, rather than engaging with each of them personally from ground zero.
But setting aside the question or workshops (which I’ll expound in another post), it did serve as an enlighting reminder that people (me included) do not always read what they react to.
It reminds me of one of my university teachers who told us the following story. When he was doing his PhD, he started trudging through the four volumes of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s Mythologiques. For those who are not familiar with Lévi-Strauss, Mythologiques is his master work and is oft-cited in many disciplines of the academic world. Well, as he was stumbling upon some particularly nasty passages, he started asking collegues and professors what they had thought of them. And to his surprise, he realised that nobody he could find had actually read through the four volumes. Everyone was talking about this work, but nobody had actually read it in its entirety.
Isn’t that incredible?
Well, not so incredible if you think of it — at least not in the academic world. And obviously, not in the blog world either.