Communication (was: Some trash I found in my Email inbox)

dr at ducvax.auburn.edu dr at ducvax.auburn.edu
Fri May 14 12:15:21 EST 1993


In article <1993May8.225451.27662 at ncsu.edu>, nmodena at ncsu.edu (Stephen Modena) writes:
> I love getting email....it is amazing what some people are ashamed to
> say outloud in public!
> [... remaining lines deleted...]

One should not confuse courtesy for weakness, nor rudeness for strength.
I think it is courtesy, not shame or cowardice, which motivated the
sending of email rather than a public posting. 

Additionally, there is the matter of timeliness and clarity in writing. 
It is easier to write for an audience of one than for two; more difficult
still would be an audience of many; still harder would be multiple
audiences. 

This message, for example, took *much* longer to write than an 
equivalent email message, and I still consider it unsatisfactory: 
I feel it should tie-in to and perhaps develop some lines of inquiry 
(I think) appropriate to this forum; eg. differences in styles of 
presentation and relative effectiveness of those styles; the difference 
between perceived and actual power/influence/recognition; what are the
appropriate comparisons of relative career advancement; the relative 
importance of formal vs. informal power; tradeoffs between familial 
and career obligations; the return on scientific vs. social/political 
vs. pedagogical efforts (in both the long and short term), etc.

This is already longer than I intended, and has consumed far more 
time than I can afford (I have my own set of tradeoffs to consider);
I will conclude by asking:  There was a recent presentation here by 
Dr. Victoria A. Lawson of the University of Washington, titled 
"Third World Women: Gender and Status in Quito"; although it drew 
heavily on fields in which I have little or no background (Economics, 
Industrial Geography), it was on the whole accessible, and contained
a number of interesting insights (and some surprises!) on a changing 
society (particularly focusing on the effect of debt crisis); the 
division of labor therein (especially the formalization of work); 
the role and perception of "machismo"...  I thought much of it 
relevant to situations in the U.S.A. - including the pursuit of 
a career in biology.  Is anyone familiar with this work?

	D.R.
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