Digital Sea

We are all negotiating with the Digital Sea

We are all swimming, navigating, floating, deep diving and sometimes drowning in the Digital Sea.

I love the song written by Dustin Kensrue and his band Thrice. One of my all-time favourite bands. One of my all-time favourite songs as well.

I think that in a nutshell, it’s a song about the internet and its hugely ubiquitous influence in our lives.

It’s a song from the concept album The Alchemy Index which is the title given to a collection of four albums with themes: Fire, Water, Earth and Air. I particularly like the Fire and Water albums. I find the Water album very chilled out and relaxing.

Digital Sea is the opening song from the Water album.

I love this song because we all spend so much of our time swimming, drowning, floating and enjoying the Digital Sea. I definitely spend a ton of time surfing and using the Digital Sea, to enrich my life, to broaden my mind, to entertain myself, to distract myself and also to earn a living.

We can so easily drown ourselves in the Digital Sea – not knowing when to disengage. The Digital Sea can become an insidious distraction from tactile reality; from face-to-face socialising, from enjoying Mother Nature and being outdoors, from exercising, building things, playing and from skin-on-skin contact.

It’s a slightly melancholic song. It’s a relaxing song. It’s an echoing song. It echoes with a marine vibe to it and it echoes with a slightly robotic/digital vibe to it as well. The song references the Father of philosophy Descartes, widely regarded as the first modern philosopher – he made the connection between geometry and algebra which allowed for the solving of geometrical problems by way of algebraic equations.

The song also references the phrase my voice goes to ones and zeros.

Ones and zeros is about physics:

Each position in space is a bit, whether the presence is there or not is the value of that specific bit, the universe we live in is the arrangement of these bits, and physics is the computer program that is manipulating them. Our entire universe is an arranged pattern of ones and zeros.

Digital Sea is an abstract song about Big Ideas. About the infinity of the universe, the monumental influence the internet has on our lives, and about how nearly everything comes down to maths in some way shape or form: the universe is maths, the internet is maths, music is maths, are we all just algebra, geometry and physics? Is the internet our universe? We’re all just answerable to the ones and zeros?

My guess is that Kensrue is calling to the universe in this song to release him from being submerged in the Digital Sea. To release him from a moment in time when he was feeling lonely and overly digitalised.

Or maybe he was just surfing at dusk, lying on his surfboard and looking up at the universe – enjoying the escape from technology and pondering the similarities between the ocean, the sky and internet.

Both ideas seem pretty cool to me.


I woke, cold and alone

Adrift in the open sea

Caught up in regrets

And tangled in nets

Instead of your arms wrapped around me

And I wept, but my tears are anathema here

Just more water to fill my lungs

I hear someone scream

“God what is it we have done?”

I am drowning in a digital sea

I am slipping beneath the sound

Here my voice goes to ones and zeros

I’m slipping beneath the sound

A song from somewhere below

Deadly and slow begins

Both sickly and sweet

Now picking up speed

Ushering in the world’s end

And the ghost of Descartes screams again in the dark

“Oh how could I have been so wrong?”

But above the screams, the sirens sing their song

I am drowning in a digital sea

I am slipping beneath the sound

Here my voices goes to ones and zeros

I’m slipping beneath the sound

Here my voice goes to ones and zeros

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