Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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    Sending (and receiving)

    By on June 9, 2014 in See It Here

    The Ability To Hit “Reply”

    Short story:

    I got a flyer in the mail from a guy running for Congress and because I have no life, I sat down on the front steps and actually read the thing. One of the promises he made was “fight climate change.”

    I stopped reading.

    I went to his website and sent a note saying in this world of saying humans have no role in climate change, maybe he should have said “fight climate change deniers.”

    I figured a kid sitting in the office would hit “reply” and say ‘thanks for contacting us, we’ll be in touch with an answer to your question. Your support is needed in the upcoming election.’


    A week later, no reply. So I did something unheard of: I wrote a two-paragraph letter saying ‘I know the campaign is underway with appearances and fund-raising, but I sent this a week ago and never heard anything’ and put it in the mail.

    Nothing came back. It’s been a week.

    In this world of “I’ve been busy” as the most annoying excuse for not doing something, I worry we’ve become numb to the fact “reply” is just a click that will keep us from all the other other pressing issues (that we know aren’t pressing whatsoever but the eBay bid really was just accepted). Apple and Dell could sell a lot of computers without “reply.” Life would be less complicated and offices would become more efficient. But that’s the problem: they aren’t. Technology is great but we’re still learning how to use it. The sad part of this is we do know how to use it but prefer to avoid hitting “reply.” And that suggests we have even considered doing it.

    Makes me wonder how this guy will do if he ever gets into office? I’m going to hit “reply” when I vote tomorrow.


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