Friday, November 25, 2011

Skype

Yesterday afternoon we had a lengthy video conversation with our descendants aboard a sailboat in a New Zealand harbor. We don't often do this, because it's intrusive and they don't often have an internet connection. But what joy to see their faces! (It was Friday morning in New Zealand and not Thanksgiving Day at all, so it was more of a holiday visit for us than it was for them.) It astonishes me too that there is no obvious cost for this pleasure. It's a mystery of life in the 21st Century--people make money by giving their services away!

Well, to be sure, since I am always at my computer, and since it's easier to use a mouse than to pick up a phone, and since the phone numbers too are on the computer screen, I also use Skype for most of my telephone calls as well, even local ones. (How weird is that? I'm probably routing my voice through Fargo, North Dakota, to reach someone down the street.) That costs 2.5 cents a minute, something like that. Yes, a mystery. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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