Saturday, 31 October 2009

Information is not communication

I am not quite sure how this happened but today, after a quick flit around the Ferney market, post office and pharmacy, we headed off to spend a bit of time in Geneva, particularly Plainpalais and Carouge. I needed to buy tights and succeeded in doing this, but somehow after a lovely time at the Carouge market and the café du marché, we seem to have arrived home with about 8 more books. Fortunately they are for the most part not too long so I hope they won't distract me from the writing I am going to do this weekend.
Dr B bought me Dominique Wolton's Informer n'est pas communiquer from the Librairie du Boulevard. Wolton has his own site here filled with lots of great quotes.
The essay contained in the book points to today's challenge of "information having become abundant and communication rare". Although I have not yet read the whole essay, each page I turn to has thought-provoking aphorisms which help me think about my work as part of a communications department:
"Emphasising that communication and the funcitoning of the public space are about living together, is also to reflect on the need to manage both the inherent differences in our societies and the upholding of a principle of unity, with the perspective of renewing contemporary characteristics of the society" p. 33
At the end of the book (yes ok I admit it I am one of theose dreadful people who often looks at the end of books before having read the middle) Wolton looks at the issue of the environment in particular and says that "this is why information and communication are such important questions at the beginning of this century. Questions of war and peace."
On his website Wolton has this quote which I think sums up his approach brilliantly
"L'information va de plus en plus vite, la communication toujours aussi lentement."
(Information is going faster and faster, communication still goes just as slowly as ever)