A dialogue is a cyclic process where two humans are trying to understand what the other is meaning. The final test of their mutual understanding is activity. If this activity fails they have a reason to start a new cycle. If the activity succeeds they are in the flow.
A failure starts the process of imagination. It generates an idea. If one of them treats the failure as a mistake the collaboration stops and they are in a conflict. At that moment collaboration changes into competition if they are unable to solve the conflict. A successful chain of collaboration-cycles (mistakes) leads to innovation and to the feeling of joy.
If we program a dialogue meaning is transformed into a structure. Meaning is fluent. A structure is fixed. Water turns into ice. The warmth of the cooperation cools down. Activities are changed into procedures, rules to obey.
A long time ago people told stories and enjoyed them. They lived in a secure environment and the others were unknown. They lived far beyond the horizon. When people started to move around the world they started to write letters. Sometimes it took many months to complete a dialogue-cycle.
The cycle-time of the dialogue was shortened by invention of the postal system. The postman collected the letters and sorted the letters by destination. The letters were transported to a destination where the reverse process took place. The postman became a social person in the area he addressed. Everyday he walked the same cycle and new everything that happened in his neighborhood.
The content was secured by a small container (an envelop). The envelop was identified by the destination of the sender and the receiver. Because of the innovation of the transportation-system the cycle-time of the dialogue shortened. Horses and carriages changed into trains and planes. The shape of the container changed but the postman staid and made his roundtrip.
In the last phase the programmers started to act. Trains and planes were controlled by time-tables and more advanced tools. The role of the machinist, the trucker, the pilot and finally the postman changed from innovative collaborating human being into people that were dominated by a machine. They have to obey the procedure. They are controlled by the software-system and when the software fails they fail but they are unable to learn from their mistakes and start a new dialogue. The programmer is far away and cannot be reached.
Finally the letter is transformed into an email and people are bombarded by messages (spam, advertisement) they don’t want to receive. The dialogue has stopped.
The Email has not only stopped the dialogue. It has also destroyed the art of writing. People don’t take the time to reflect and get to the essence of the message they want to send back.
When they are stressed their return-message (an Email) is an impulsive reaction. Sometimes it generates a conflict and they really don’t know why. They also don’t have an idea how to solve the conflict and move to the level of mutual understanding again.