I mused last week on the concept of synchronicity after an interesting experience I had. Analytics show the piece was not widely read.
But the following day I was contacted (which takes strangers some doing) by two curious fellows, one a psychoanalyst and the other a writer, both who investigate meaningful coincidences and the esoteric but not impossible relationship between time, space, and mind. They weren’t regular readers, they must have had google alerts set, probably for certain words or phrases like “synchronicity” and “meaningful coincidence”.
It reminds of another incident, years ago, when someone wrote me from Africa with a mix of disappointment and affinity, to say that he thought he had been the first person in the world to use the word inter-conscious. But according to the Internet I had beaten him to it.
Later research would show that I was not first to use the word after all, however I am pleased to announce that my reign as the progenitor of the word imporgent — a word denoting both importance and urgency — continues unchallenged. (I really should set my own imporgent Google alert, so that when the second bold user of this innovative word emerges in society I can properly welcome them.)
It’s a powerful reminder of how the Internetworked world works today. Like Professor X using Cerebro to scour the world for fellow mutants, we too can use our search engines to scour the planet for people of interest to us — people who know certain things or who display certain powers. We can even set alerts to notify us the moment they become such people, as indicated by their sudden use of some particular word or phrase.
Writers have always been concerned with word choice, but today the stakes are higher. Word choice is no longer a simple matter of trying to convey the right meaning. Today, the use of a single word can determine whether one will be read or discovered at all.
In other words, today’s enlightened writers know that there is a secret society of powerful illuminati (the current-day servants of the Secret Fire and wielders of the flame of Anor but with access to a robust fleet of private jets) just waiting, Google alerts set, for me to use that special word or phrase that will prove I have sufficiently prepared myself to enter their brotherhood.
As a writer, my chief concern remains discovering that secret word or combination of words. And once I find it, I will finally give up all this tedious blogging. Till then, I continue to Quixotically broadcast searchable words into cyberspace — my own personal dictionary attack meets SETI at home.