The late great Douglas Adams (who shared my birthday, March 11th — I’m sure that means something, but I have no idea what), created a character that I dearly love. Dirk Gently (also known by a number of other names, including Svlad Cjelli), was the owner/operator of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
His basic concept was the “fundamental interconnectedness of all things.” I believe in Douglas Adams and Dirk Gently. We all operate, knowingly or not, on the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. More than half the posts I write — including this — are born while commenting on someone else’s post.
We are intricately and intimately linked. I wonder if we take for granted how bound to others we are in this strange cyber world we have created. I have read and heard much talk about the isolation of each person, alone and lonely with their computer. It has been put out there as a metaphor for the estrangement of people from each other, the symbolic isolation of individuals in the technological world. I don’t think it’s true. If this long period of isolation and quarantine has proved anything, it’s that even if we can’t meet face-to-face, we do really connect electronically. Electronic communications are not incidental to modern life. They are essential. For some of us, they are life and death.
For me and for many others, our current isolation would be tragic without the Internet, without computers, without cell phones. For anyone who suffers a chronic illness, for those of us getting on in years who can’t get out because we are afraid of dying of of COVID-19 — and whose friends have died or moved far away — and for young people whose studies, work, force them to work electronically or not at all. If we cannot share a hug, we can share face time. Electronic communications let us share in ways that were science fiction a few years ago.
Without computers, Garry and I would be isolated. Not only does our age and physical issues make getting around difficult, but Coronavirus has made getting out nearly impossible. Without electronic connections, we would be squirrels in a tree without fellow squirrels with whom to hang. This post was originally inspired by Dawn Hoskings on whose post I was commenting when I realized how lucky I am to be living in a world in which we enjoy virtual travel and participate in a larger world. I’m proud to be part of a community of bloggers, a community of friends around the world. And deeply grateful.
I also think that everyone should have wifi and computers just as everyone should have a roof, heat, and a telephone. It isn’t an “extra.” These days, it may be the ONLY way kids can get schooling or their grandparents are able to see anyone at all. No one seems to be fighting for this since Obama left office, but it’s more important than ever.