You can tell Saturday has come round again. I’m here with another of those ‘mindless’ posts. Still, anyone not suffering from too much of a post-halloween hangover, and looking for a cool bit of culturally-correct entertainment should try this (especially mousing over top-right exhibit two). If however you are in the mood for a culturally less-correct but nonetheless fairly enjoyable quick read try this. And the point of all this, the place I found the links: Henry Schroy’s Blog. Now Henry is a musician (more culture: check out the music for Orixas), born in Rio and now living in Brooklyn New York: so what the hell has this got to do with Europe? Good question. The answer is probably very little. However…….
I can manage to work up one or two pointers which might get us back on track. You see, the interesting question to ask would be about how I got to meet Henry. And the answer would be that I found him because he linked to me (I normally follow new links back upstream to have a quick gander at just who might be crazy enough…..), and he linked to me because, for some reason I still haven’t fathomed, he got interested in my Indian Tech friend Rajesh, and this somehow sent him over to me.
Now I’m starting to get used to things like this, but when it first started happening, it was, I think, little short of mind blowing. Someone from Brazil, living in NY, zooms through Mumbai only to end up on top of my desk in Barcelona. Not only that, but it turns out we have a number of things in common. What I think I’m trying to say is that if this has never happened to you, it’s very hard to describe how you feel. My wife continually tells me that she can see from my face that something interesting has been happening, but beyond that there is no other external sign. She complains she has no way of telling what is important and what isn’t anymore. And the net is like this. Those of us who are in just can’t find any reasonable way of conveying the sensations to those who aren’t. The only strategy would seem to be preparing an experiential explanation – like one of those Borges maps which gives a more detailed specification than the space it is describing – which could offer a large as life version of the net itself. An astronaut must have similar problems after the flight.
And this brings me back to the core of this post. What I find is that my very conception of human contact – whether European or any other – is changing, and part of that change has to do with the loss of place, of physical location, as a determinant. I would say I had now a lot more friends, or people who I consider to be friends, than I had when I started blogging. But the strange thing about my new ‘friends’ is that in the majority of cases I neither know what they look like, nor have I ever heard their voice. I think it’s worse: I think I’m getting to like it like this. In some ways you could say the contact is ‘purer’: you have less to go on, you form your opinion without visual or auditory information, you get to use your imagination more. It is in a way a bit like reading a novel, and imagining the characters, simply by going on the author’s description and what he has them say. And yet, the strangest thing of all, I have the feeling I know the person I am communicating with, that I can like, or dislike them, just as I can like or dislike people in the physical world. Weird.