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the first bird

Wednesday,  03/18/09  01:05 AM

I am somewhat intermittently rereading The New New Thing, Michael Lewis' book about Jim Clark, dating from 1999; the height of the Internet boom.  I was struck by a passage about "the first bird".  Jim Clark and Michael Lewis are at sea, sailing from Europe to the Caribbean on Clark's computer-controlled mega-yacht, and before their landfall they see a solitary figure: the first bird.  The first bird is a cheery site for the crew of a boat because it means land is nearing, but it isn't great for the bird; likely, it has strayed too far from land and cannot make it back.  An interesting metaphor for Clark himself.  There is a chance the bird cannot make it back to the land it has left, but is nearing new land ahead.  I sometimes feel exactly like such a bird.  I cannot turn back, it would be too far, so I must press on hoping to find new land.  Onward!