Blog # 160        SPEAKING OF “CLOUDS”

The plural noun “clouds” evokes visions of soft, ethereal, foggy masses, floating above the planet, whose ever changing venue is completely at the mercy of the prevailing winds.

The traditional  meaning  of the word “cloud” has been hijacked in this  digital age and employed  to refer to the repository of information and data located and stored in the miraculous ether of the internet and available for access as needed by means of the individual computer.

In view of the apparent license to change the application of the word, we at have taken the liberty of further extending the word “cloud” to a third application. As we will explain, this third innovative concept makes possible the miraculous facility to engage in actual conversation between the “user” and an unlimited elective choice of great minds of the past; please note, we did say conversation.

Conversation is, essentially an exchange of statements for responsive reaction such as a reply by responsive statement, a refutation or a reactive question. This innovative application of “cloud,” in fact, can be said to exceed the utility and marvel of its stated internet application, because, as we will shortly demonstrate, it is interactive, while the internet use  describes only a mono-directional activity.

Our use of the word, “conversation,” in association with such third cloud, necessarily relies upon the element of written language (just as the internet cloud relies upon transcribed data). Written language, of course, is a system of recognizably understood words or symbols which enable the reader to ascertain the meaning of the expressed statement.[  N.B. Written language must be taught, while spoken language can be learned by reasonable exposure to it].

In this third utilization of the word “cloud,” we essentially refer to the eternal existence and ready availability of books and literature. Their existence and location is to be found in the unlimited and prodigious output of untold numbers of great authors and available at any library or bookstore. Each great novel has its own self-contained cloud, representing its recorded repository of wisdom and entertainment for access by the individual reader; and as well, an available conversation in which he is invited to participate by his reactive response.

The written expressions of  great authors when read carefully, reveal their respective interpretations of reality, and their impressions, of man, the vicissitudes of his life and the human condition in general. .

A conversation, of course, requires not only such statements, explicit or subtle, but also a reactive response .The best authors are wisely strategic and skilled enough in their art to predictably elicit, even direct, by selected language and context, the intended reaction by the reader. Such reactive response itself, albeit unspoken, satisfies the final and necessary criterion for a “conversation.” This repository of brilliant written expression, awaiting  response, is the third category of “cloud” (the literary cloud) and is present and readily available in all good literature.

It is exciting to realize that such marvelous conversations can easily  be had at any time, with any of the great and universally  celebrated authors, Dickens, Faulkner, Dostoevsky, et al. which facility (literary cloud) has  been available since the fortunate advent of the printing press.

It is also eminently clear that this new category of cloud will not mar any plans for outdoor recreation, but will only serve to enhance them.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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