January 25, 2008

The User Illusion, part three

My wife is Japanese, I'm English and we met and live in Taiwan. Her English is not very good, and my Japanese is barely functional. My Chinese is OK, while hers is fluent.

People always want to know how we communicate. We do it in a mix of English and Chinese. These conversations are limited, and there are many topics that we can't begin to discuss in detail, and yet this rarely creates a problem. We have fewer misunderstandings than I had with girlfriends who were native English speakers, and there is a feeling of closeness that makes no sense if communication is seen only as words.
The interesting things in life may not be the ones that take long explanations to describe, but those that take many experiences to get to know. p80
The least interesting aspect of a good conversation is what is actually said. What is more interesting is all the deliberations and emotions that take place simultaneously [...] in the heads and bodies of the conversers. p94
...we can only talk about what matters when we do not talk but act... p309

If you have a cat or a dog you will never share a word, and yet you can have a relationship that's as close and rich as with any person. Words are not that important.

Later, these lines will haunt me.

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