> We are the only animal that can perform the miraculous feat of making the link between a specific vocal sound and an object that exists in the world.
I assume the author intended a more specific meaning (perhaps the assumption was that other animals communicate via a discernable "expressed emotional state" as opposed to actual words), but those words at face value are demonstrably false. All you have to do to prove it is look at any family of birds. Penguins are able to recognize their offspring's cries in a sea of cries on a crowded beach. Birds (and all creatures to an extent, who haven't yet gone extinct) have an amazing ability to recognize the sounds that their offspring produce, even when the final audial profile of that very specific sound is tainted by so many other competing profiles. If you've ever worked in sound design then you understand what an amazing accomplishment this is.
From a physical perspective, when two equal waveforms come together in a controlled space the resulting sound is doubled. By "resulting sound" I mean the final waveform produced by all sound producers in a space (a sound environment, in which each individual's perception of the environment is entirely dependent upon their position within that environment). And so imagine many birds sharing the same frequency as your child (we're birds now, for the rest of this argument), and those frequencies are overlapping - multiplying those particular portions of the resulting sound wave, and yet you are still able to find your kid. Animals can definitely make "the link between a specific vocal sound and an object that exists in the world."
There was always possibility that dog was thought to press sequence of buttons to indicate something. A pavlovan reaction trained to look like dog is building a crude sentence.
But the Chaser studies are quite convincing that dogs are capable of linking speech to abstract general ideas. Its absolutely amazing.
You show them the thing asking 'whats this?' 'did you do it?'.
They just look to the side pretending that they are not paying attention to you. Like you are not there, until they break and just try to hide :D
I got referred to an ENT pretty quickly. From there … it got a bit bad-healthcare interesting. The first attempt at getting a look at my vocal chords, as I recall, was with a fiber optic scope up the nose. They numb your nose first, and it wasn't painful, but it was beyond uncomfortable, and apparently I nearly blacked out. (And apparently that's common.)
The second attempt was a camera down the throat, and while that was also not great, it got the image of the throat the ENT wanted, and showed the polyp. I wish I had the image; the doctor was not sure how to transfer that to me, so I never got it.
The bill though, was something else. It was like $4k, just to get a look a my throat. Thankfully insurance cut that back considerably, but I instantly paid my deductible for the year. But I can't fathom what actually cost that, unless the camera they stuck down my throat somehow couldn't just be wiped clean & reused.
The surgery to remove the polyp, AIUI at the time, had a prognosis of like a 50% chance of the polyp just coming back. The ENT prescribed some voice exercises, but they were hard to keep up with. So I ended up just taking it easy for a while, and the problem went away. (Though if the article is to be believed, I'd best never run into a vocal specialist in an elevator if I want to keep on thinking that…; but I'm also not a singer.)
Regarding association of whispering with throat pain - it comes from (much more common) experience with viral infections that inflame the throat and chronic laryngitis is nothing like that. In my case, I had a ticklish sensation for couple of days and then nothing at all, no pain, but the voice disappeared.
Also, it turns out that whispering was even harder than vocalizing because - paradoxically - whispering requires more control and effort from vocal cords than vocalizing.
I have started to think that I'm speaking too loudly to compensate for the lack of physical closeness and I'm "over modulating" my voice to "project" emotion into the call.
Maybe I'm making it up? Anyone having a similar experience?
People who use their voice frequently and professionally tend to (over)compensate for perceived or real shortcomings in their environment or their own voice, which in turn can lead to self-consciousness and bad habits over time.
As for the specific setting of video conference calls you're probably right, too. We tend to speak louder than necessary during such calls and to overdo our "performance" because we feel we have to compensate for missing channels such as the full range of gestures, body posture, and facial expressions.
Here are a few general tips for speaking in (semi-)public settings (not just when on Zoom calls):
- Slow down.
- Lower your speaking voice. There are exercises for finding your natural speaking pitch.
- Smile (just a little, no creepy Joker grin ;-) ).
- Focus on your diaphragm rather than your throat for putting emphasis on words or syllables. This admittedly takes some getting used to.
Calls over the Internet add enough latency that it really fucks up that natural process. So I find I end up being hypervigilent to try to guess ahead when the speaker is about to pause so that if I start talking now it will flow naturally. Otherwise, if I wait for them to pause, they won't hear me start for a while and will end up resuming.
So it's just super draining trying to anticipate the conversational flow and make it go smoothly. I hate it.
And to your broader points, I find myself wiped out after any significant Zoom calls. Even a stand up that runs a little long leads to me feeling wiped out
like, people loved Dilbert, why gild the lily?
Jim Davis, is great. He drew Garfield, collected his check, and went home
Since WFH I can go for days without uttering a word. When I'm in a situation where I can talk to someone, my voice seems thin and cracks a lot. If I "warm up" my voice occasionally, singing along to music, etc. this goes away and my "normal" voice returns.
“You’re behaving through a veil of monotone,” he went on. “When you talk, you can’t express emotion properly. You can’t change pitch, can’t get loud, can’t do the normal things that a voice does to express how you feel.”
The first example that jumped to mind when I read this section was Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut from Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul).
Anyone know how accurate my armchair diagnosis is?