I just had a most extraordinary experience: SKYPE!
The occasion finally arose for me to stop stalling, fork over 20 bucks for a webcam, and make an actual Skype call. Omigosh it's a REAL PERSON! I'm still in shock. I know, some of you have been doing this for years (give me your numbers and let's "skype"). But for me, this is a revelation. It's better than the Jetsons!
Webcam! Why don't people use it? The kids' California grandparents have been on us to get hooked up, but I figured it was a big techno-hassle (it was easy). My parents, ay! this is made for my parents. Facebook my father cannot understand, but this he'll take to very easily. This is the "picture-phone" we dreamed of back in the 70s!
It really is almost "like" the person is "there"--they can hear things that are being said by people off-screen, just like if they were in the room. It was very surprising and unusual and much better than I expected.
Here is yet another device of human ingenuity devised to harness the vast features of material reality and shape them so that they might serve that ineradicable human desire of persons to be with one another.