It was fascinating to read the comments which followed my post of yesterday as two old sea-dogs argued as to whether the ship featured in the photograph was a schooner or a brig, square rigged or gaff rigged. There can be few better examples of the delights of this strange new digital world in which we inhabit : a world where you can throw out a question, sit back and wait for it to be taken up by people from throughout the world. The internet has a lot going for it : it is wonderfully comprehensive, enormously large, breathtakingly fast - but there have been big books and fast newspapers before : the true wonder of this internet of ours is its' interactivity.
And let us not forget its' creativity. And let us not be ashamed of the semi-virtual world we sometimes inhabit. Each year I always look forward to turning up at Tess Kincaid's matchless Willow Manor Ball. You may recall that last year my guest was the delightful Dorothy Parker, and on our way to the virtual gathering she gave me a short lecture on the historical precedents for virtual reality. Dorothy will not be my guest this year - she can be moody and she is in one of her moods at the moment. But I have invited this girl from across the valley. I popped over there yesterday and dropped a note through her letter-box, but I have yet to get an answer (I popped in for a pint at the Black Bull afterwards in the hope that I might see her brother there but he was indisposed unfortunately). Being a gentleman I will not reveal her name until I have confirmation that she will be joining me at the Ball, but you can join us and all the stars of the cyber world by following the instructions on the Willow Manor Blog.
I switched on my iPad this morning and immediately turned to my favourite app - Flipboard. Flipboard gathers chosen news and RSS feeds and turns them into a made-to-measure magazine. Each section of the magazine is previewed on the opening pages by a current image. My front page has feeds from The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, Twitter, Facebook and a variety of other sources. What I saw was image after image of Steve Jobs as each media source reported the news of his passing. Somehow it was strangely appropriate, but equally it was strangely appropriate that by the time I decided to incorporate a screen-clip into my blog, many of the images had changed. The world has this habit of moving on : Steve Jobs, I fancy, would have recognised this and rejoiced in it. The one front-page feed that didn't feature Steve Jobs was the News From Nowhere feed. Hopefully, when I next turn my iPad on, this omission will be rectified.