Monday, 28 April 2008

internet: transcending time and space

It is often noted that the internet has joined up the world, made it smaller in so many ways. This week, this was bought home to me in a way I'd not considered before, that it is not just our current dimension that is bridged, but time also is surpassed, when the past is brought to the future, for current relevance.
Through our online group of likeminded shark conservationists, I have been fortunate to become aquainted with Ila France Porcher, who lives on an Island somewhere in the middle of the Pacific. Although I have never met her, she is known and respected amongst our group of friends to be well versed in literacy, and is full of respect for the sanctity of the living being, particularly sharks. This is the way that we know the internet; to join people who live in the current time, but it struck me when Ila posted a quote from Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), that information not only passes across distance, but also across time, when something written 100 years ago, shows us the relevance of our actions in our own daily world.

I shall leave you to ponder on the words of Conrad, posted by Ila who was seeking to explain the relevance of art and it's value equated with that of science and math.

Ila's own moving dedications to sharks can be found at

"...The artist, then, like the thinker or the scientist, seeks the truth and makes his appeal. Impressed by the aspect of the world, the thinker plunges into ideas, the scientist into facts--whence, presently, emerging they make their appeal to those qualities of our being that fit us best for the hazardous enterprise of living. They speak authoritatively to our common sense, to our intelligence, to our desire of peace or to our desire of unrest; not seldom to our prejudices, sometimes to our fears, often to our egoism--but always to our credulity. And their words are heard with reverence, for their concern is with weighty matters: with the cultivation of our minds and the proper care of our bodies, with the attainment of our ambitions, with the perfection of the means and the glorification of our most precious aims.

"It is otherwise with the artist.

" ...His appeal is less loud, more profound, less distinct, more stirring--and sooner forgotten. Yet its effect endures forever. The changing wisdom of successive generations discards ideas, questions facts, demolishes theories. But the artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom: to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition--and, therefore, more permanently enduring. He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation--to the subtle but invincible conviction of solidarity that knits together the loneliness of innumerable hearts, to the solidarity in dreams, in joy, in sorrow, in aspirations, in illusions, in hope, in fear, which binds men to each other, which binds together all humanity--the dead to the living and the living to the unborn."

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