COMPUTER boffins will tell you nothing is ever lost in cyber world.
There are indelible imprints of everything you record on computers.
Even if your computer crashes you can often — and for a hefty price — find an expert to recover the information you thought had been lost forever.
Anything you do with digital technology automatically leaves evidence for others to find — ominous news for some and comforting for others.
Our world contains at least 4500 languages. And there are clearly gender and generational differences that confuse the meanings of words in even the same languages.
It is not easy to know what someone else really means, and sometimes difficult to find the right words to sum up what we mean ourselves.
Biologist Rupert Sheldrake observed that humankind had somewhat lost the habit of using positive words.
“We’re just bitching, cutting each other up and wallowing in our self-pity. Self-pity banishes praise.”
Then there is the special language of music and other arts: seemingly enlightening to some and unintelligible to others.
Beethoven said the silences in music were as important as the notes — and he was right.
The pauses in a rendition of his majestic fifth or ninth symphonies, in the hands of a great conductor such as Herbert Von Karajan, are eloquent reminders that sometimes what we do not say is as important as what we do say.
Of course, there is a reverse to the equation. Martin Luther King said: “In the end we will remember not so much the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Words, as vital as they are, are also often inadequate for conveying the precise character of a feeling.
A scream, or laughter can be better than a speech. It is a matter of knowing what is best at the time.