Beautiful1 alerted me that the Urban Monk has started a consciousness and fund raising meme. Check it out at Blog Apocalypse. His meme challenge is to post what advice you’d give as your last “blog word” on the Internet. For every link he gets he contributes a dollar to a charity. And you get to express yourself philosophically! Everyone wins, or whines, depending on their mood.
Were the blogosphere about to blow up, or perhaps spurt its last fizzle, I’d encourage my readers to quickly Google the word library before their “only” source of information dries up. If they manage to catch its meaning before they’re cut off from the outer world, there’s a chance they might also be able to locate one of those antiquated knowledge warehouses in their neighborhood.
Once located, I urge them to plan an hour or two exploration while there. Perhaps the trip to their local branch might involve walking. Interesting how the legs function to move the body from one place to another. Upon entering the library, let your eyes wander across the shelves quietly waiting to be browsed. Notice how the eyes have little strain from glare, how the back and neck actually have to move around a bit to glance up or down a shelf. Notice how the hands can remain relaxed and neutral at the ends of the arms, with no potential repetitive stress damage.
Pull out a book. Notice its weight, the binding, the smell of it, the paper’s texture, the font. Each book is different. The font is usually credited somewhere in the book, often with an interesting history. Open it to a random page and begin reading, yes, right there in the middle of the stacks. Read a random sentence and think on it, feel the words tumble in your mind in the quiet of the library.
In this place the thoughts of others are relegated to the imagination, or a great writer’s expression. A rant is taken to a higher level. The essence of words is distilled here to the finest liquor. Ideas and words which make it this far have been sifted through countless quality controls, some not so scrupulous, but most with ideal intentions. They can be counted on to be the best in their class. You can open your mind here and know it will safely be filled with rare thoughts.
Human contact in a library is done quietly, in person, with eyes and body language. Words have tone and shape rather than just letters. The people you see there probably live near you, so you may see them again in the library, even if you don’t speak to them the first time. Without communicating verbally, you may notice a change in someone’s face one day, a brightness or a shadow which wasn’t there the last time.
Without the blogosphere, we may need to resort to writing letters to communicate, or to speaking our thoughts or diarizing them. The expression of our ideas will be tested and challenged before being aired to the general public. We will have to work harder to be heard. Is that a bad thing?
Yes, the blogosphere may end, but it may end up fostering another beginning, a restarting of something old and rarefied.