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Levels Of Conversation

Updated on February 27, 2016
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Born without a clue. A lifetime later, situation largely unchanged. Nevertheless, one perseveres.....

Polls Apart

A number of contemplaters and commentators (including the infamous George Gurdjieff) have taken the liberty of defining levels of conversation.

Generally speaking, these fall into three main categories, to whit:

  • a) Talking about people
  • b) Talking about events
  • c) Talking about concepts


a) Talking about people

This form of conversation is considered the most common among humans. At this level, conversation can often be characterised as “gossip”. Apparently, something like 70% of all human conversations on planet Earth involve gossip of some kind. Talking about people is supposedly noted for its lack of intellect and its minimal draw on the more complex functions of the brain. Dissing people in one's circle or conjecturing on the lives of “celebrities” are examples of this level of conversation.

b) Talking about events

This form of conversation isn’t considered to be as simple-minded as gossip. It can involve a chat about a recent experience or an event highlighted in the local news. At a more advanced level, it can include broader “current events” and even history.

c) Talking about concepts

This form of conversation is generally considered to be the least used in modern (western) society. It can be exhausting as it may require abstract thinking or the temporary maintenance of more than one paradigm in mind at the same time.


The assumption is that as humans grow / learn / mature, the further up the scale they tend to venture and linger.

These distinctions may of course be meaningless, but, before dismissing them altogether, a useful exercise might be to attune to and review the distinctions for oneself over the previous 24 hour period.

In the course of this length of time, try to recall what sort of conversations you may have been listening to and/or engaged in.

If memory or concentration span fails, this sort of task can be undertaken much more readily through social networks such as facebook where one can easily review recent on-line conversations with a few clicks.

Then, in the interests of advancing human self-knowledge, please feel free to complete the Poll below.

Anonymity guaranteed.

In theory, this is called “Crowd Science”.

Levels of Conversation

In the course of the last 24 hour period, what was discussed MOST in your social circle?

See results

In the course of the last 24 hour period, what was discussed SECOND MOST in your social circle?

See results

© 2013 Deacon Martin

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