Originally posted by thesonofsaul
That's the whole reason why I started my chess clan, Labrador's Doroknob. I wanted to get some people together to actually have meaningful dialogue, as you put it, away from the pointless sparks. That and I wanted to run a clan. I got half of what I wanted, anyway--I've come to the conculsion that very few people actually want to converse.
Off topic (sorry, no1), but it's ironic you would point this out. When the Internet first started gaining popularity back in the mid-90's with AOL and all the chat rooms and whatnot, it struck me as being little more than one big party line. Those of you old enough to remember them will recall that most cities had a phone number that any number of lines could access at the same time. Everyone heard a busy signal, but the line allowed conversation between the various lines which were accessing it, as well.
You could listen to literally hundreds of people at the same time. If me and a buddy called into it and could make out each other's voices from among the crowd, we could engage in a conversation, albeit amidst the cacophony of the hundreds of other babbling voices. It seemed cool at first (overriding the talk-block of a busy signal; having access to hundreds of other "conversations," etc.), but the coolness quickly faded when we realized that everyone else was doing what we were doing: yelling out over a sea of voices, searching for a familiar voice and then engaging in small talk and otherwise meaningless conversation.
The instant access of the Internet has offered so much while adding so little, it appears.