Not for a two way monologue but for a real dialogue

Martin Buber used to write that the ultimate prayer is not asking God to do something but listening what He tells us. Pray to ask Him to tell, as he said. This expresses the most fundamantal form of dialogue. A real dialogue starts when one asks the other to tell him/her.

In ham radio, especially on CW conversation, we scarcely experience such a real dialogue. I have already repeatedly questioned about this problem. The lack of real dialogue is due to two issues.

One is that they are just making a game on CW. Just exchanging reports and promises for QSL. It is not a communication. The content is just stereotyped. The one we work with could be replaced to anybody. It is not a conversation but just a game.

The other issue is that there are no dialogue but only two way monologues in the QSO. Each would talk what he/she wants to say. No further progress in the conversation. There should be catch balls of topics between the two. But they would just throw a ball to a direction other than the other and the other won't try to catch that ball at all. There would be an endless monologue from either side going on.

I guess this latter issue comes from two different factors. One is the personality or aging of the operator. When we get older, unfortunately, we are apt to lose the ability to understand the others as well as to be  sympathetic with the others.  The original personality may be responsible for that, also. All we could do is to be careful not to fall in this pitfall. I don't know how that effort works. But it might be better for us not to try to be selfish in rambling on about ourselves. Better than nothing. At least, I believe, we should always be conscious of this trait due to aging. On the reception side, we should be tolerant to those with the lack of ability for dialogue as they get aged. Everyone should go through the elderly days in ourlives. We might have something meaningful in their monologues.

The last issue, which is unique to non native speaker hams, is that they won't listen to what the other says mainly due to reception/language barrier. They would only tell what they want to. They need to listen what the other say. It requires us much tension and patience. It is often too hard and laborious for us to be patient enough to listen to them despite of "not understandable condition". We would often focus on what and how to express our thoughts in sophisticated way. It is not, however, of primary importance. We scarcely know how important it is to listen to the other. Listening and understanding to the other could never be emphasized for meaningful dialogue in the QSO.


  1. Shin you are a great rag chewer and your dialogue is never self centered. I often feel bad in answering questions of my family and situations in life in our 100s of QSOs over the years. Martin Buber is correct that we need to listen to what God has to tell us or say, just as with our daily QSOs. I have learned a lot from you about having meaningful conversations via CW. Now to cut down on my topics HI. I enjoy QSK type of QSOs much better where topics and thoughts are conveyed instantly with BK in between which helps with the thinking process and over all enjoyment of a QSO. I think a lot gets lost in the long dialogues before turning it over to the other station for comments. Always a pleasure to QSO with you old man :)

    1. No, no, I don't mean you in this article. You are a great dialogue as well. I am afraid aging may result in this two way monologue for myself. I always enjoy your topics.

      QSK is another thing. With QSK on, I could not concentrate on what to say. Noise or QRM in the meantime disturbs me a lot. That is why I won't use it. Sorry I could not catch up with you in this respect.

      See you soon.


    2. I run semi QSK, like you I have a hard time concentrating if running QSK. But with semi break in it is better for me and what I am use to after 48 yrs pounding the brass.

      thanks for kind comments, yes I am working on my communication skills HI