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Error comments on Wait vs Interrupt Culture - Less Wrong

71 Post author: Benquo 27 November 2013 03:38PM

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Comment author: Error 25 November 2013 04:19:14PM 16 points [-]

I've always found interrupt mode incredibly frustrating to deal with, because it takes me longer to come up with appropriate responses than most people's Maximum Wait Time, and by the time a monologue is finished, whatever I thought of is no longer on-topic. I do find it interesting that you associate interruption with nerddom, though. As a tech geek, interruption is a Very Bad Thing because it disrupts mental state. If I want someone's attention, I stand near them, look attentive, and wait for them to swap out. I expect others to do the same. Sometimes I have to ask. But I don't think I've had anyone competent refuse to wait or express confusion about why.

It's possible nerd communities make a distinction between work-interruption and conversation-interruption. Most of my communication is textual so I may not have noticed. One of the things I've always loved about communication on the Internet is that interruption is effectively impossible; both parties can get their say without being dependent on the other party to shut up for a moment.

Comment author: ThrustVectoring 27 November 2013 04:04:43PM 10 points [-]

One of the things I've always loved about communication on the Internet is that interruption is effectively impossible; both parties can get their say without being dependent on the other party to shut up for a moment.

For the longest time I've preferred communicating over the internet rather than in-person, and I think I just figured out why.

Comment author: SaidAchmiz 26 November 2013 12:54:56AM 5 points [-]

Most of my communication is textual so I may not have noticed. One of the things I've always loved about communication on the Internet is that interruption is effectively impossible; both parties can get their say without being dependent on the other party to shut up for a moment.

So very seconded. Text communication is awesome. The fact that it's entirely asynchronous is outstanding for preserving mental flow/state through the entire episode of communication of an idea.

Comment author: Error 26 November 2013 06:35:22PM 5 points [-]

Being able to easily walk away from an unpleasant interaction is also a major plus. I love that it's semi-formalized as "tapping out" here.

Comment author: ChrisHibbert 30 November 2013 06:46:30PM 1 point [-]

In my group at work, it's relatively common to chat "interruptible?" to someone who's sitting right next to you. You can keep working until they're free to take the interrupt, and they don't need to take the interrupt utill they're ready.

In f2f conversations, it's mostly an interrupt culture, but with some conventions about not breaking in in groups larger than 4 or so.

Comment author: Benquo 25 November 2013 04:59:16PM 0 points [-]

You're right, I was mainly thinking of spoken conversation, not conversation by text.

Comment author: trist 22 December 2013 06:39:57PM -1 points [-]

Even with realtime text, that is where other's letters appear as they type, I find that interruptions don't happen much. I can read while I type much more easily than listen while a talk. The factors I see are fading speed and channel noise... I've heard stories about people talking and listening simultaneously on a telephone, but can't say I've observed it. So my hunch is that fading speed has more to do with it. Anyone know much about interruption in signed conversation?