lizardek's obiter dictum lizardek Home Now Then Friends Info Ek Family
zird is the word [userpic]
adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

(thanks to travelertrish for posting a version of this and to Google for leading me to the source.)
mood: tired
music: Husby Brudmarsch in my head


Love it, love it, love it. I just spammed my friends and family (Something I seldom do) with Trish's short version.
Thanks for this version.

Every time I read this story, and it's been many, I smile. Isn't it true, at the end of a day?

I'm pretty sure I've read it before too, but it sure strikes you hard, and is certainly worth the repeat! :)

I love your (the true) version. I am still curious about what ganked means.

It seems that we'd have to read the book for the ACTUAL original version. Even this one is apparently based on it, but not exactly it. :)


you KNOW I love this kind of story . . . sigh, what a perfect way to start my day!!!

The geek in me is trying to come up with a modern version. It would go something like this:

A wise IT coordinator was walking through the library, when he saw a young man sitting in front of one of the computers, writing email. He walked up to him and asked:

-"Hello, what are you doing?"

-"I am sending email to postmasters around the world to tell them a spammer has abused their mail server."

-"But don't you realize there are thousands of open, vulnerable mail servers out there? You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man finishes off another abuse complaint and answers:

-"I hope it will make a difference for this one."

... hm, I'm not so sure it conveys the same message as the original text, and not even half as poetic but as I wrote, I'm a geek and can't help it.

September 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30


lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

obiter snippets

Layout thanks to dandelion.
Findus the cat as used in my user icon and header is the creation of Sven Nordqvist.