Friday, November 12, 2004

Alone in a sea of company

As I walked from my office to the college library this morning, a distance of about thirty yards, I passed six students. Every one was talking on a cellphone.

It occurred to me that the space I was walking through -- indeed, even the cavities of my body -- were aquiver with electromagnetic oscillations, the unheard conversations of these six students and hundreds, thousands more.

We live in a sea of chat, an ether tremulous with ghostly voices, gigahertz radio waves bearing in their modulations the words and thoughts of people who might live anywhere on the planet.