I’m going to preface this post by saying I am not going to do this topic justice. We read “Communication: The Context of Change” by Dean Barnlund for Dick Buchanan’s class. It was actually a really good read, and quite accessible, unlike some of the other readings.

The three questions Dick always asks about the reading are:

  • What is interacting?
  • How is it interacting?
  • And why?

I bring this up, and also say I will not do the topic justice, because I would really like to explain what is going on with all the readings and how we are building this idea, or definition perhaps, of interaction.
However, I don’t think I can share the experience of what that means in words. I can only say that we’re exploring some really interesting and downright confusing texts that are challenging our ideas and possibly even causing us to grow.

But I digress (or maybe not, since I’m not really sure what my point is). I want to share some quotes from the Barnlund reading.

Unless this symbolic world is kept open and responsive to continuing experience, men are forced to live out their lives imprisoned within the constructs of their own inventions.

Except for the significances we bring, the happenings around us would be meaningless.

This is a rather existential view, you could say, which Dick called radical because it challenges the mainstream idea that life has meaning. I didn’t find it particularly radical because it seems I hold an existential point of view.

Nevertheless, the argument is we create our own meaning. And this is the point where I feel like I could type a million more words and still not say everything that is going on in my mind in regards to the rest of what Barnlund has to say about communication and barriers to communication and methods for reducing barriers, and how I find everything he has to say very useful in analyzing my personal communications, and how this all relates to interaction, and, of course, what the answers are to the three questions I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

But I can’t spare a million words at the moment, and you probably don’t have the time either. So I’ll leave you with my joke that all questions can be answered by some line from the reading.

For example, “Would you like to get dinner�”

Human understanding is facilitated where there is a willingness to become involved with the other person.

So yes, I would like to get dinner.

Or how about the question I have asked here before: Why do you blog?

The willingness to be transparent leads to a further condition that promotes healthy interaction.

I hope I’m promoting healthy interaction.