Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm chatting with Loic right now. Loic has a very distinct French accent. I hear his voice in my head. I've always had a problem reading and I think it's because I tend to hear text rather than read it directly. The interesting thing is that when I know the voice of the author, I hear the author's voice. The voice can cause a very emotional reaction. The other day, when I was reading an email, I got so excited I even noticed a taste. It was a kind of email induced synesthesia.

With iChat, maybe because of the real-time nature and the icon/face, the voice seems much more clear.

Am I crazy?


Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat my accent ?! ;=)

You are right, I hear you speaking when you chat too even if you do not have a strong Japanese accent.

Voices have a lot of impact indeed.

But maybe that is the Chateauneuf du Pape... Let's see.

The interesting thing is that your voice is much more clear in the iChat window then here on my blog...

Maybe the picture in the ichat window ?

We should actually think of adding small pictures, face pictures, to comments ?

You are not crazy. When I am IMing with people I know, I actually 'see' them talking. I am not sure if those iChat's 'iFaces' would interfere with this odd effect though.

I've read once that a good way to increase you reading speed is indeed to force you -not to "speak" the text in your head-. Just shut up the little voice in your head, only use your eyes. It has indeed an impact on the speed of the reading.

PS: If Loïc's French accent is strong, what about mine! :-D
PPS: i think i have a better Japanese accent even if i speak very very little Japanese. (watashiwa baka desu) :-D

Well, I tried various fast reading techniques but I was getting dizzy from consciously dragging my eyeballs around pages.

My visual reading style is more comfortable because reading is done semi-consciously. There is a real downside though which is that words and sentences that don't fit into the picture I see when I read are skipped over. It's sort of like predator's selective visions. There could be a horde of sloths right under my chin without me being aware of them. Doh!

I noticed the same when reading a Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawkin. It was strange to read a book with his computer generated voice popping into my head.

This is a well-known phenomenon. Not only do people hear the speaking voice, but also the natural speaking pattern and speed.

I'm normally a fast reader, but I can't read anything by Garrison Keillor at a rate faster than he talks and I'm hearing him in my head rather than just reading the words.

I have this affliction too. I find that I continually speak the words in my head while I read and so find it difficult to read things very quickly. I also find I do this when I type. Which can be irritating when I mis-type things

Joi, have you ever experienced the reverse? I have a few friends who are -- I don't know, more like e-pals than real-space pals. We live in different cities, in some cases we've effectively met digitally, and we interact online more than we do by voice or in realspace. Have you experienced the opposite of your iChat synaesthesia -- where, like, you want to IM someone a file when you're sitting accross the table from them at a restaurant? Or you find yourselves referring to patterns of speech or gestures you use in IM? Or, just generally imagining their online "accent" as you speak to them in real space? That's really interesting to me. Not all relationships -- professional, personal, whatever -- are initiated in real space anymore. Sometimes the digital persona precedes the one with the distinctive French accent.

Steve, do you have any links to papers?

Xeni. That's funny. I do often get the urge to page slap people in RL. But now that you mention it... I remember having a discussion with Roji who is a regular on #joiito. We talked in one-liners like we do on IRC. I think we definitely had the rhythm of online chat in our RL discussion. Also, in IRC and other important place, a TAB does completion. Sometimes I'm thinking or talking and feel like hitting TAB to complete.

Joi : at least we should try not to do smiley faces when talking to someone in RL :-D

i think a lot of that rhythm had to do with keeping three or four conversational threads going at once... we have rewired your brain so you can communicate with us. welcome to the collective.

That raises an entirely other phenomenon.
You know how, say you have mounted a remote hard drive on your desktop ... and you yank out the ethernet cable... the OS sorta twitches for a while?

That's how I feel when I don't have access to the network... my extended memory banks... the extensions to my mouth, fingers, eyes and ears...

As for the reading thing; music videos do the same thing for me... Once I've seen a song's music video, anytime I hear that song, the video plays in my head. Particularily annoying is listening to classical or opera and seeing Bugs Bunny in my mind's eye...

why not