On a Beach Walk: No. 9

I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

The water is vast as far as the eyes can see. From the shallowest depths where the waters begin their retreat from the shore to the deepest of the deep – the depths of those vast waters are not uniform.

These waters contain much information about things we know – the living creatures and their interactions with each other and with the materials comprising the floor and the waters above. The shipwrecks tell stories about human life of days gone by.

The vast water is also the home to tales and fables. Those encounters with serpents and mermaids – a home of the gods and more – all spun from human imagination or ancient beliefs, some which live on today.

That vast water is an analogy for another seemingly endless landscape – the sea of information and connection of our daily lives known the Web – the internet. Just as the waters brings information to the shores for us to see, the internet brings knowledge to our fingertips for quick retrieval.

Just like the vast water of the seas, the internet hold tales and fables in the form of inaccuracies and half-truths that should be shifted and when found. We should not be like an unassuming fish grabbing any fisherman’s hook in their quest for food. That would be foolish – but many people do.

As I walk my mind suddenly shifts back to the vastness of the sea with its waves rolling ashore and across my feet. Unlike the internet, these waters remain a source for the unknown – the yet to be discovered life forms – the yet to be found treasures – the unknown that will be tomorrow’s known so it can have a place on the sea of information.

As I walk on the sand, the waters to my side are vast with information. At least for me, this is an interesting analogy as I walk the beach while refreshing my feet.

On Pausing for Context

The Internet is a wonderful source of information. Whether useful or not, factual or misinformation, opinion or fact, biased or unbiased, or humorous or serious, it is up to users to sort through this informational quagmire.

At one time or another and whether intentional or not, everyone is probably guilty of taking bits of information out of context. In this information world of snippets, context is more important to we realize.

YouTube is an endless vault of video snippets over a vast array of topics. I came across an amusing video, and since the event happened in my friend’s hometown during our college years, I asked him if he remembered it. Since he hadn’t, it sent him the link. I also bookmarked the link as a possible video for a future post, but then I discovered the words of Paul Harvey – the rest of the story.

The video rekindled my friend’s memory and he told me about the event figuring I didn’t know – how although full of laughs on the surface, yet one of torture and sadness when examining the full context of the event. With that knowledge in hand, I found a news article that looked back at both the event and the life thereafter of the one involved.

With the information I now know, there’s no way I could embed the video in one of my posts. But in respect to the person involved in the video, I can encourage others to beware of context as things may not be as they appear – especially in the light of full context. Besides, we know how politicians and the media are great examples of taking things out of context. Yes, some of us still yearn for integrity.