Desire for ideal communication
We were talking last week about this desire for an ideal way of communicating that is ever present. In Vannevar Bush’ text the dream of a mind-to-mind communication was expressed. Well, I was reading Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony (written by Eoin Colfer) yesterday and I came across a wonderful example of this desire, how integrated it is in human thinking. So much integrated that it even pops up in children’s books. Artemis Fowl is about a kid who is extremely intelligent and who discovers that fairies and demons actually exist. In this fragment, he is on an island that is about to be sucked in time and he has to work together with 3 warlocks (one of whom is stuck inside a demon) and a fairy (Holly) to form a magic circle that will bring them back to their own time. In this circle they share their consciousness, so they don’t have to speak aloud to communicate. They can read thoughts, as it were.
“Hello? Who’s there? said a new voice, which was something you don’t expect in a closed magic circle, even if it is your first one. Along with the voice came a series of memories. Great battles, betrayal and a plunge into a fiery volcano.
Qweffor? said Qwan. Is that you, boy?
Qwan? Can it be you? Are you trapped here too?
Qweffor. The apprentice hauled into the volcano by Abbot back on Earth. Qwan instantly understood what must have happened.
No. We’re in the magic circle once more. I need your power. Now!
Oh gods, Master Qwan. It’s been so long. You wouldn’t believe what this demon eats.
Power, Qweffor! Now! We can talk at the other end.
Oh, OK. Sorry. Nice to hear a warlock’s thoughts again. After so long, I thought –
Sorry. On the way.
It may seem that all this bickering was a waste of valuable time, but it took place instantaneously. A million multi-sensory messages were exchanged along magical pathways, which made fibre-optic cables look about as efficient as two cans and a piece of string. Memories, opinions and secrets were laid bare for all to see.
Interesting, noted Artemis. If I could recreate this, I coud revolutionize the communications business.”