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The Message 2. - The Big Picture

Updated: Nov 29, 2021



Because the details are always so interesting, it's easy to get lost in the tiny things and lose track of the big picture. Several times in the book, The Message: The Extraordinary Journey of an Ordinary Text Message, including on the endpapers and the jacket itself, I've done what's basically, the same image. A person sends a text with their phone, it goes through the air, underground, and possibly underwater, before reversing it all, before arriving at another phone, and be seen by another person. Note that in the image below, I also make a point of showing the text in each person's head/brain. Because that's where the text really comes from, and is going to. It's not just two phones, but two people, two brains. It's not really electric signals going through wires, or radio waves in the air, it's thoughts and even feelings that are actually travelling.


Like waves in the ocean, it's not the water that's actually moving, it's energy that's moving through the water. and here it's human energy moving through air, metal, plastic, glass, and silicon. And what's even more amazing is that these thoughts and emotions are not only moving at unimaginable speeds, but in those mere seconds are also being translated many times over and back again until they are picked up by another person. And it's through our skills with that human invention called written language, that we are able to create, in another person's brain, a thought, and impossibly, even an emotion, thousands of miles away.


A text is not just an electric signal, it's a thought sent from one person to another. Title spread.

More on this in a later post, but it bears remembering, within the vast technology that is the world wide web, moves the most basic of human communication. Like waves through a vast ocean, or song though the air.


And yet, as I'll get into more in another post, all our messages, all our very personal and private thoughts and feelings, must actually travel across those miles. They do not transport by magic (yet). Quantum physics may change that. But not quite yet. For now, your xxx's and ooo's, your kisses and hugs, must actually move through the network, across thousands of miles along the earth's surface. Past places most humans will never see. Flying though the air past birds and butterflies, moving inside metals and glass, burrowing in the dirt, past rabbits and moles, worms and rats, past tree roots and coffins, perhaps even buried treasure. Then they might even go underwater - under rivers, ponds, even the Pacific ocean. Down to the bottom, to where no human has ever been.


Then this kiss, this hello, crawls back up, and out, like some primordial creature, and down more wires, more cables, into another phone. Then into another brain, where a new message is formed, and most likely, rapidly sent back.



Because the network is vast with many cables, your message may not go by the exact same route, but it could. And anyone who has texted back and forth rapidly, knows that they can send another text before getting a reply to the previous one. Which means, that your friend's message could pass right though yours, say, inside a fiber cable, on the bottom of the sea, somewhere in the dark, cold, and unfathomable depth. A place no human has ever seen, let alone could survive. Yet two people's messages could meet, in this inhospitable place, in utter this darkness, and slide right through each other like carefree ghosts.


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