Mind to mind

Are you a bioluminiscent girl in real life too?

G.K. Chesterton writes (“In Defense of Ugly Things”): “There are some people who state that the external, sex or physique, of another person is indifferent to them, that they care only for the communion of mind with mind; but these people will not detain us. There are some statements that no one ever thinks of believing, however often they are made.

I suspect this was spot on, throughout the thousands of years before the Internet. Now, however, I have numerous buddies (I can’t really call them close friends, but more so than my neighbors and almost all of my coworkers) who I have never seen even in a picture. These are people I have met on blogs, forums, mailing lists, USENET groups, or in online games. In some cases I don’t know the gender; in some cases I think I know it, but I may be wrong. In most cases I don’t know the color of their skin, the color of their hair, whether they are thin or fat, sometimes even not whether or not they are in a wheelchair.

Let me be honest. If I had actually met them in the flesh, it would almost certainly have colored my impression of what they said afterwards. I’m not really happy about this, but I am still that much human. I might be able to correct my mind to compensate for my prejudices, but probably not exactly. And of course even now I may have some idea about how they look, at least in some cases, on a subconscious level. But by and large, it is indeed a communication of mind with mind.

We live in an age of wonders. Many things that seemed not even miraculous but flat out impossible in the 1930es are now taken for granted. And the Internet is one of them. Actually, the Internet is many of them, and perhaps will be many more in the years that still remain for our civilization.

3 thoughts on “Mind to mind

  1. This made me laugh, although it is probably not pertinent here:

    Whenever my husband signs off on an e-mail with “Enjoy”, which he actually does fairly frequently, you’d better be on the lookout for something pretty gnarly!

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