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Hanging up the phone on others is...

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Empiricist-Bruno
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Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Empiricist-Bruno » January 5th, 2019, 5:32 pm

Hello Forum,

I just hang up the phone after picking up the line. When I picked up, I said, "hello" and given the number of seconds I had to wait before someone said something, I realized that this was due to an automated dialer that calls people all the time so that telephone marketers can focus on just talking to people and not waiting to a ringing sound.

Instead, it is me who does the waiting. I think this is wrong. If you want to speak to me, you got to be there when I pick up the line. So, my policy is to hang up immediately, without any concern, the moment someone starts talking, or even before. Is this rude behavior?

And a more deeper question, is it really possible to be rude to another while talking on the phone?

My basic assumption is that when you speak to a phone, you are not and cannot be speaking to a real person that way. Consequently, you cannot really be rude.

However, even if my rudeness is not real, it is still being perceived by a machine. Should this matter? When people tell you "talk to the hand", does it still matters to be polite, as if our habit of politeness must never be broken, even when our politeness makes no real sense?

This question tears me appart. I see it as evidence that people have not conquered fire yet, as what comes out of that phone is more like fire than it is like some human discussing, or trying to discuss things with you.

If the voice of the phone is not any human's voice, then how can we copyright it? If we can't morally copyright the stuff that the phone produces, how can we organize ourselves otherwise? This issue also connects with the idea of wills: once you die, your will cannot be accomplished because you aren't there anymore. If we understand this, we realize that wills are likely immoral too. I think not enough reasoning goes on in our heads as we are too busy respecting and organizing our stupid culture.

When you get to your red light, no one is giving you your signal, you just act as if you were being given a signal. But if no one really gave you your signal, aren't you "Just following the orders" like a machine, when you respect your signal? Isn't that too morally dubious? I suspect that we should avoid surrounding our selves with a technology that mimics us and we should especially beware of those who benefit from pushing technology this way onto people. We need justice first if we are to progress and not more technological development.
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Eduk » January 6th, 2019, 5:42 am

I'm not obeying a traffic lights will. I'm obeying the road conventions of the will of all those who made and obey the road conventions as well as the planners and engineers who built and maintain the light.
I don't know how to say this without coming across as rude or making a personal attack but I'm wondering how your thoughts can be so wide of reality? And just as importantly how well you realise this?
For example I am a terrible singer, but I do realise this.
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Steve3007 » January 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm

This OP appears to be a bit of a confused jumble of ideas, but its central theme appears to be: Is it wrong to be rude to machines or to people who are paid to act like machines?

Personally, I still have the residual habit of politeness mentioned in the OP. I even find it difficult to be abrupt or rude to "Alexa" - the computer controlled voice used by my Amazon Echo (much to the amusement of my kids who, having grown up in this world of HAL-esque automatons, have absolutely no such qualms). But that residual politeness is rapidly fading. I have gradually learnt to hang up abruptly on both cold callers and on calls from automated voices that are recorded messages triggered to start speaking, in imitation of a real caller, when I say "hello".

Obviously it's not rude to be abrupt with those automated voices, or with Alexa, because they're not human. But is it rude when the cold caller on the phone is actually a person, and you know they are? If that person is paid to call thousands of people per day and read out the same speech, then maybe not. In that particular type of social interaction both sides know the score, and I doubt very much whether I am causing any offence. Likewise, in the social interaction consisting of a phone call with my mother we also both know the score. In that case hanging up abruptly would be very rude indeed.

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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Felix » January 6th, 2019, 2:36 pm

Eduk: I'm not obeying a traffic lights will. I'm obeying the road conventions of the will of all those who made and obey the road conventions as well as the planners and engineers who built and maintain the light.
That's just a round about way of saying "I'm obeying the law." If it was very early in the morning, and there was not a car on the road except yours, would you sit there at a red light until it changed? - i .e., when no one else would be affected if you drove through it? If so, are you not obeying a senseless law?
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Eduk » January 6th, 2019, 3:02 pm

when no one else would be affected if you drove through it? If so, are you not obeying a senseless law?
I have on occasion driven through a red light. But it has to be pretty exceptional. Because other road users may be relying on me to follow the rules I need to be extra sure that I have not made a mistake (it being late at night isn't good enough).
Also if no one had invented red lights then, given the aptitude, I would.
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Empiricist-Bruno » January 6th, 2019, 6:44 pm

Eduk wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 5:42 am
I'm not obeying a traffic lights will. I'm obeying the road conventions of the will of all those who made and obey the road conventions as well as the planners and engineers who built and maintain the lights
Good to know. Know whom to trust. How many were killed or injurred on their master plan?
Eduk wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 5:42 am
I
I don't know how to say this without coming across as rude or making a personal attack but I'm wondering how your thoughts can be so wide of reality? And just as importantly how well you realise this?
For example I am a terrible singer, but I do realise this.
You know what they told him after some guy came out from the caves in which they lived and saw the sun and then came back to the shadows and tried to explain the world to them? I think it is in Plato's cave story.
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by h_k_s » January 6th, 2019, 7:05 pm

Empiricist-Bruno wrote:
January 5th, 2019, 5:32 pm
Hello Forum,

I just hang up the phone after picking up the line. When I picked up, I said, "hello" and given the number of seconds I had to wait before someone said something, I realized that this was due to an automated dialer that calls people all the time so that telephone marketers can focus on just talking to people and not waiting to a ringing sound.

Instead, it is me who does the waiting. I think this is wrong. If you want to speak to me, you got to be there when I pick up the line. So, my policy is to hang up immediately, without any concern, the moment someone starts talking, or even before. Is this rude behavior?

And a more deeper question, is it really possible to be rude to another while talking on the phone?

My basic assumption is that when you speak to a phone, you are not and cannot be speaking to a real person that way. Consequently, you cannot really be rude.

However, even if my rudeness is not real, it is still being perceived by a machine. Should this matter? When people tell you "talk to the hand", does it still matters to be polite, as if our habit of politeness must never be broken, even when our politeness makes no real sense?

This question tears me appart. I see it as evidence that people have not conquered fire yet, as what comes out of that phone is more like fire than it is like some human discussing, or trying to discuss things with you.

If the voice of the phone is not any human's voice, then how can we copyright it? If we can't morally copyright the stuff that the phone produces, how can we organize ourselves otherwise? This issue also connects with the idea of wills: once you die, your will cannot be accomplished because you aren't there anymore. If we understand this, we realize that wills are likely immoral too. I think not enough reasoning goes on in our heads as we are too busy respecting and organizing our stupid culture.

When you get to your red light, no one is giving you your signal, you just act as if you were being given a signal. But if no one really gave you your signal, aren't you "Just following the orders" like a machine, when you respect your signal? Isn't that too morally dubious? I suspect that we should avoid surrounding our selves with a technology that mimics us and we should especially beware of those who benefit from pushing technology this way onto people. We need justice first if we are to progress and not more technological development.
I answer these calls in Spanish or German so that when a real person comes on the line they are dazed and confused about the foreign language. It is a fun game, and you get to waste their time back.

This is called (by Herodotus the ancient historian) as "tit for tat".

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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Eduk » January 6th, 2019, 7:10 pm

@Empiricist-Bruno can you speak a little more clearly, I have no idea what you are talking about. Who's master plan? And what's your point about Plato's cave.
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Empiricist-Bruno » January 6th, 2019, 7:38 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm
This OP appears to be a bit of a confused jumble of ideas, but its central theme appears to be: Is it wrong to be rude to machines or to people who are paid to act like machines?
Yes, it is a bit of a mishmash. I wanted you to be sure you knew you could take this from a wide variety of angles. I think I didn't really mean to be that specific in my question but you have touched on the subject I wanted to hear about, thank you.
Steve3007 wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm
Personally, I still have the residual habit of politeness mentioned in the OP. I even find it difficult to be abrupt or rude to "Alexa" - the computer controlled voice used by my Amazon Echo (much to the amusement of my kids who, having grown up in this world of HAL-esque automatons, have absolutely no such qualms).
You seem to be saying that your kids are different from you. This technology has made them different. Technology is changing humanity and we don't question it. Can your kids be described as more desensitized? If they practise being rude to robots all day, won't it be more easy for them to show similar rudeness toward each other? Who is there to warn us about such danger? Who is there to warn your kids?
Steve3007 wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm

But that residual politeness is rapidly fading. I have gradually learnt to hang up abruptly on both cold callers and on calls from automated voices that are recorded messages triggered to start speaking, in imitation of a real caller, when I say "hello".
Here, the big chasm between my views and yours are in full display. To me, hanging up the phone on others is simply turning the machine off. The notion of another involved with the machine that I handle is simply not real. Hanging up the phone on others is an expression created by manipulative people who try to make you feel guilty about what you do even if none is ever involved.

Steve3007 wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm
Obviously it's not rude to be abrupt with those automated voices, or with Alexa, because they're not human.
A phone is a phone: it isn't sometimes human but I fully recognize you can always try and ignore the difference, which means you may "act" as if it were human. Should you be doing this? There is definitely value in acting but does it adequately stands for real life?
Steve3007 wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm
But is it rude when the cold caller on the phone is actually a person, and you know they are? If that person is paid to call thousands of people per day and read out the same speech, then maybe not.
In my view, if call you and the phone disconnects, it represent the phone's failure to connect with anyone. Even if you were to think you are behaving rudely toward another, no ill effect what so ever may reach the person you may think you are offending.
Steve3007 wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm
In that particular type of social interaction both sides know the score, and I doubt very much whether I am causing any offence.
They want you to feel guilty so that next time you do talk with them. To make you feel guilty, they will try and convince you that you were being hurtful and caused offense to them. You are open to that idea.
Steve3007 wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm
Likewise, in the social interaction consisting of a phone call with my mother we also both know the score. In that case hanging up abruptly would be very rude indeed.
Right, she taught you how to use the phone politely. But our parents may not have given enough thoughts about this. If they had, I suspect they would have acted differently about technology.
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by ktz » January 7th, 2019, 2:09 am

Empiricist-Bruno wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 7:38 pm
You seem to be saying that your kids are different from you. This technology has made them different. Technology is changing humanity and we don't question it. Can your kids be described as more desensitized? If they practise being rude to robots all day, won't it be more easy for them to show similar rudeness toward each other? Who is there to warn us about such danger? Who is there to warn your kids?
Steve3007 wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm

But that residual politeness is rapidly fading. I have gradually learnt to hang up abruptly on both cold callers and on calls from automated voices that are recorded messages triggered to start speaking, in imitation of a real caller, when I say "hello".
Here, the big chasm between my views and yours are in full display. To me, hanging up the phone on others is simply turning the machine off. The notion of another involved with the machine that I handle is simply not real. Hanging up the phone on others is an expression created by manipulative people who try to make you feel guilty about what you do even if none is ever involved.
I actually think some of the consequences described above are not an inherent reaction to technology, but are instead specific to the development of advertising infrastructure. If the robots were helpful and careful to avoid not bothering you unnecessarily, instead of trying to sell you stupid stuff you don't need, there would be no need for any sort of backlash. Instead, marketing professionals devote day and night to the study of how to exploit natural and constructive human tendencies like politeness, familiarity, and reciprocity to get people to buy more of their product -- which product? Doesn't matter the value or contribution to the user -- skills get used exclusively by the highest bidder.

With the development of mass communication infrastructure of newspaper and radio, we got the (highly controversial at the time) rise of modern advertising, starting with Claude Hopkins, Clark Stanley and the rest of the sleazy patent medicine guys from whom we get the term snake oil salesmen. From there post-WW2 we continue through McCarthyism and the terrifying propaganda expert Edward Bernays who has quotes like:
Bernays wrote:“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind. ... Men (people) are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions.
and finally getting to our modern infrastructure of cold-call phishing and what amounts to a highly inefficient value extraction by Facebook and Google, who essentially charge a middleman's tax between seller and buyer, enriching themselves so that they can sell the free world out to Putin's Russian bots (Facebook) and China's censorship (Google).

I believe all this to have the iatrogenic effect of fostering a natural state of intense cynicism throughout our society, not to mention the consequences you have noted: a steadily trained de-emphasis on politeness, empathy, and altruistic attitudes. Because, in the system we have developed, otherwise you quickly end up a sucker to those who will gladly exploit your polite upbringing to get you to part with your money. I suggest anyone interested in reading more on the topic to check out Tim Wu, whose oeuvre covers these topics, most notably his 2016 book The Attention Merchants.
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » January 7th, 2019, 2:55 am

Hey man I didn't read all of this because personally I think this conversation is a little bit >insert rude<. But let me just say this before I lose my last dying brain cells from typing this forsaken message on this forsaken topic: If it is rude, it is inherently wrong.

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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Eduk » January 7th, 2019, 8:01 am

If it is rude, it is inherently wrong.
Just wondering how you are defining if it is rude as that seems key to me.
Take this example. I am called by a telemarketer who starts their spiel. I hang up.
Is that rude?
If you believe that this is rude then I would contest your being rude is inherently wrong statement.
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by LuckyR » January 8th, 2019, 4:56 am

A couple of things: it is completely possible to be rude over the phone, but rude does not equal wrong, necessarily. However, the OP's example is not a good one to demonstrate rudeness, since the rudeness was originally perpetrated by the telemarketer, thus any response is appropriate, rude or not.
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Empiricist-Bruno » January 8th, 2019, 12:10 pm

LuckyR wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 4:56 am
A couple of things: it is completely possible to be rude over the phone, but rude does not equal wrong, necessarily. However, the OP's example is not a good one to demonstrate rudeness, since the rudeness was originally perpetrated by the telemarketer, thus any response is appropriate, rude or not.
To all people who think you can be rude over the phone, can you please first specify if you also think that an elevator can be rude to you in closing its door unexpectedly on you, and if that isn't rudeness, why not?
I think rude is not something machine or automated system can be, even if they imitate those who can be rude.
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Re: Hanging up the phone on others is...

Post by Eduk » January 8th, 2019, 12:20 pm

@Empiricist-Bruno When you talk to someone on the phone there is a person on the other side of the phone isn't there?
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