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Newsletter - May 2007

Have you noticed the size of mobile telephones seems to be getting smaller? I had a go at using a new model recently and the size of the buttons defeated me. It's not as if I have 'banana fingers' either - in fact, mine are on the slender size. I suspect the new phones were made in The land of Nokia by Santa's elves for elves.

As a former electronic engineer, mobile phones have always mystified me in one respect. When phones were invented, people used to bellow down the mouthpiece whenever they couldn't hear the other party very well. The cure was to introduce some of the microphone current into the same telephone receiver. This meant that if say, Curruthers still bellowed into the microphone, it would sound very loud to him and the consequence would be the lowering of his voice to a lower level to suit the line conditions.

Since then, in most modern professional communications equipment this 'Sidetone' has been standard - Except mobile phones. I really don't know why, as the cost is negligible. So when I use a mobile phone, it appears to sound faulty. Still; it gave Dom Joly a complete act.

In fact, this sidetone feature is a classic demonstration of a feedback network. Any increase in voice will increase the voice heard from oneself and if it sounds too loud, the person will lower the volume of the voice to a more comfortable level. This type of feedback loop is known as a balancing circuit since the output is maintained more or less at a constant level. A positive feedback loop is where the output augments the input and in an audio system, this can lead to increasing howlround and discomfort to those present. This is, of course, mandatory at Weddings, fetes, etc:

"Will the Vicar please come to theWWooOOOOOOOOOHH!!!"

One of the presuppositions of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) states:

"The meaning of my communication is the response I get back."

This statement suggests that communication itself is also SYSTEMIC Therefore a useful question for YOUR communications, messages etc. from your request, statement or command:

What is the response YOU want?

and so...

what is the initial communication that is likely to deliver the result you want?

More soon!


Steve Cowie

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