16 May 2001
a rabbit and a woodpecker, the tiniest experiences can be read by people anywhere
Brick shelter. The only dry seat today after heavy rain. I've only seen one or two people though the sky is now clear. Pale blue with wisps of pale pink cloud catching the colour of the sunset.
When I arrived here a half-tame rabbit moved slowly away and then returned and passed within a few yards of me as I ate my hastily made picnic of prawn sandwich and banana and tap water in a spring water bottle. Tap water is said to be a hundred times cheaper and of comparable purity - not to mention the radioactivity from Chernobyl that can be in water from the alps pictured on the label.
As I ate, a large woodpecker moved about on the nearby grass, two other rabbits hopped about in front of me and a blackbird also - none of them aware that by tomorrow this account of their movements may be read by people anywhere in the world. Earlier I'd noted (on paper) my astonished realisation of this:
I've just realised another astonishing aspect of the web - anyone can pass (in minutes) from the writing of the tiniest and most recent experience (or thought) to making it visible to anyone in the world! What a power, what a danger, what a responsibility - but no more than e.g. in a village or a family, or between intimate friends. But extended to everyone - that is the difference. It calls for a new ethic.
And when I arrived at this shelter the first thing I saw was a dead bee - curled up and rigid. The bristly hairs on its back are dark orange.
Yes today I'm very pleased with this little computer (without wheels). It's completed the link that I imagined and wrote of in 1957 between the
thoughts of one person and any of the others. But only now do I experience it.
As I inscribed that paragraph a woman walked slowly by, looking down at a mobile phone which she held up in front of her. She didn't seem to notice me or a rabbit hopping about quite close to her.
My life is transformed. Now for a drink of water.