Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is it just me?

I guess that's not a question that makes sense on the Internet, or in the 'blogoshere.' The answer is No, you are not alone.

But there is something so uncanny about the Internet. For example, ever since I posted about Sarah and Hillary American Girl dolls, I've had banners for Kit and Ruthie at the top of my NYT pages.

And yesterday, after using the word "disrespectful" in an email, the next page opened with ads for human resource seminars on "overcoming your fear of confrontation and conflict." (Lots of good advice there, as a matter of fact.)

Is it just Google? The Internet is like Thea's gift: it has long bookmark arms. If you are a Post-it Note (as I guess you are, if you have a blog), it draws in more of whatever you put out. Perhaps it invariably (commercially, cunningly) illustrates a law of Karma, or of the Golden Rule. It divines more of the same – whatever you're searching for, or thinking.

This reminds me of a story once told by a friend about the housekeeper she was close to as a child. When she would randomly open the kitchen cupboards, Ruth would say, "Whatever you're looking for, darling, it's not in there."

Or maybe it is? As Michael Turner, astrophysicist at the University of Chicago, puts it (in an article about the three physicists who just won the 2008 Nobel Prize for Physics) "You have to look for symmetries even when you cannot find them." You have to look for patterns, recursions, rhymes in time. You are just trying to divine the markers of 'broken' or hidden symmetries.

What are you looking for today, and where will you find it? What sort of broken (or hidden) symmetry will fall from the sky, or from the hand of a child, into your lap?

(Maybe it's something from the clip art library you'll find if you click on the Hidden Symmetry patterns on the left: thanks to Jess at How About Orange!)


hoping for better things said...

Thank you, dear Elenabella. "What are you looking for today, and where will you find it?" - the perfect questions to frame my day. To make it not run together like all the other less-than-satisfying ones.

Here I go looking! Running out! I already know I'm looking for bread for the house, and for human connections, and for structure. Patterns, Elenabella, they are going to be the key!

Wish me luck.

elena said...

oh, Marie, you made my day!! (and it's only 6:30...and I didn't want to get out of bed...

Yes: hoping/looking for better things: what a good motive and mission. Find some good patterns, and remember that they sometimes hide for long stretches of time!