Human communication, 'as the saying goes, is a clash of symbols' it covers a multitude of signs. But it is more than media and messages, information and persuasion; it also meets a deeper need and serves a higher purpose. Whether clear or garbled, tumultuous or silent, deliberate or fatally inadvertent, communication is the ground of meeting and the foundation of community. It is, in short, the essential human connection.
It neither kills outright nor inflicts apparent physical harm, yet the extent of its destructive toll is already greater than that of any war, plague, famine, or natural calamity on record - and its potential damage to the quality of human life and the fabric of civilized society is beyond calculation. For that reason this sickness of the soul might well be called the 'Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse.' Its more conventional name, of course, is dehumanization.