Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Making sense

I have been reading up about Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. Why? Just because I can. Also, over Christmas I bought a new mobile phone. Now, the idea of all this communication seems OK on the face of it, but what information are we trading? News of Jordan’s latest enhancement? Big Brother voting patterns? Ringtones? We seem to be missing something here, and I am all for information, but it really is quality, not quantity, that I’m after.

I’m sure I have learnt a lot more since the Internet first engaged me, but a lot more of what? I used to learn a lot when I visited the library, the difference now is that I learn as and when I think about it. That immediacy can be confusing. My concentration is dissipated, the nature of the Web is to explore, to go off on those crazy tangents, probably never to return to what I was searching for in the first place. As an antidote to that I sit down, in front of a piece of blank paper, to see what my mind, on its own, throws up. That is writing.

So the essential part of me, what makes me what I am (call it personality) is unchanged by technology. Another part of me, the excitable geek, the enthusiast, the useful (to my firm or society in general) part is improved. Which one is important? Well, I would say both are, but not equally. The me that appreciates fine things, beauty, a quality of objects and their attributes is, to me, more important. But that experience is mine alone and purely subjective, a result perhaps of all the poems I have read or written, the hours spent staring at the blank page trying to communicate with myself, and through me whatever sought to bring things into being.

A result also of the time spent playing guitar, talking to people, laughing aloud, drinking beer, reading, looking, learning; in short, living. In the search for quality, not quantity, I would advise turning off the TV, switching off the computer, pouring a glass, curling up on the sofa and opening a book (preferably Shakespeare) and reading. I am taking my own advice here, which will do for now, until my Bluetooth phone beeps and tells me that, as always, the other side of life is still waiting.
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