Web of Thought

Is it possible to combine all the little snippets of thought a person has into one, massive mega-thought?

Thoughts usually come sequentially, one idea after another. Some experience rapid fire sequences of thought, ideas rushing past with hardly enough time to make sense of them. Some multitaskers find it possible to hold many thoughts within the mind at one time. Others become confused trying to do this.

Imagine being able to read the thoughts of millions of people throughout the world anytime and anywhere. We don’t need to imagine; we have the Internet. Connection to the hive mind, the collective conscience, is as easy as picking up a smart phone or turning on a computer. What we find is a collection of unconnected, largely uncensored thoughts, some logical, some not, all expressing a unique point of view.

Lost in all the talk about the negative aspects of the Internet is the single advantage of being able to share in the thoughts of others and to contribute to the discussion. The Internet is a massive world-wide conversation that’s ongoing and depending on the time of day, a different portion of the world is represented. We’re not required to agree or disagree and can often turn off someone who’s abusive or inflammatory.

My first post on an Internet forum was answered by someone on the other side of the world. While working on deciphering my ancestor’s coat of arms, I engaged people on three continents. When the Australian Open was going on one year, I could call up the webcams and watch the sunrise in Melbourne while I was at work.

Not all aspects of this twenty-four hour conversation are positive. There are bullies, and people who share too much, and those who misunderstand the intent of certain posts, but that’s common wherever conversations take place. The importance of this massive communication medium lies in the very features that make it easy to abuse. It’s just as easy to state one’s case and receive instantaneous feedback. Through discussion, we can hope to come to a better understanding of ourselves and others. It’s worth it to participate.

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