[ESIP-all] Meeting Venues and Climate Change

James Frew frew at bren.ucsb.edu
Wed Feb 5 17:01:27 EST 2014

I want to second Joshua's position.

In 1992 I was part of a multicampus research project with our own 
private 45 Mbit network and handmade audio-video cards in our DEC Alpha 
workstations (cutting-edge at the time; i.e. a modest fraction of an 
iPhone...) We held weekly virtual meetings and quickly discovered a 
fundamental law of videoconferencing: it works orders of magnitude 
better if you know (as in, have been in the physical presence of) the 
remote person. The way I explained it to people was (and is) that, even 
if you're not saying anything or mugging fiercely, a little comic-book 
balloon that says "BS" will form over your head when you sense it 
getting deep, and if somebody *knows* you, that balloon is clearly 
visible even at single-digit fps and truly miserable quantization. 
Conversely, if you *don't* know someone, all the fidelity in the world 
(or at least, that I've ever experienced) won't convey the subtle cues 
that make a conversation really work.

My $2E-02,

On 2014-02-05, 10:48, Joshua Lieberman wrote:
> Current videoconferencing is nowhere close to giving us all of the 
> cues we rely on for effective conversation. Good speakers can make up 
> for this to some extent in a presentation (e.g. Roosevelt's fireside 
> chats) but interaction is much more difficult. We've recognized in the 
> OGC virtual test beds and pilots that without at least an initial F2F 
> meeting, renewed every few months, it is very difficult and time 
> consuming for a group to come to any mutual understanding, let alone 
> compromise and eventual consensus. Another way to look at this is that 
> virtual interactions are typically much more efficient when supported 
> by live interaction experience shared between the participants.
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