A Brain like a Hyperlink

Charles Wycliffe, the fictional detective superintendent of the British Mystery series “Wycliffe,” is depicted as a thinking inquirer and an accomplished amateur jazz pianist in this long-running series.

In the closing scene of one episode (Season 4, Episode 2, “Close to Home,”) Wycliffe, played by actor Jack Shepherd—himself a surprising jazz enthusiast and pianist—is seen walking along a Cornish beach with his distressed teenaged son having a father-son chat.

The boy asks his father, “If you got to choose again, would you still be a detective?”

After a reflective pause, Wycliffe answers emphatically, “No!”

Then, following another well-timed pause, he adds, “I’d be Oscar Peterson.”

Father and son enjoy an animated laugh as the credits for the show begin to roll, while many in the audience–like me–are caught in ignorance: “Who’s Oscar Peterson?” Almost immediately, I employ my Wikipedia synapses and am dutifully and appreciatively educated about the Canadian jazz pianist who died in 2007.

I employ my familiarity with hyperlinks, and in seconds I am being educated by URLs on my tablet.

Readers whose minds unwittingly are captivated and moved by textual hyperlinks are almost instantaneously learning to fill gaps in their knowledge.

You can follow suit at:: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/oscar_peterson

Incidentally, one doesn’t have to depend on Wikipedia. Just going to Google and typing in “Oscar Peterson” will provide more links to information about this musical artist.

If and when anyone ventures online, he or she is obligated to become a hyperlink learner and reader. Frankly, hyperlinks are the most powerful tools in a lifelong learner’s electronic toolbox.

“Use your brain!” my parents frequently admonished. Contemporary parents might wisely advise: “Use your hyperlinks!”

I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest this link:


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