The web

September 25, 2006 at 2:52 am (Uncategorized)

worldweb.jpgIt absolutely bewilders me sometimes. The night’s writing is finished. I’ve done everything I need to do and now have obligation free time on my hands. There isn’t squat on the tube but that’s okay. I’m sitting at a computer connected to the World Wide Web. Almost literally, the history of human knowledge is at my fingertips. I could explore the farthest reaches of the known universe, investigate my own biology down to the quantum level, or just watch naked people doing remarkable things to each other in streaming video. But I don’t do any of it. I sit with my fingers frozen over the keyboard and I can’t think of a single place to go.

I love the Internet. If I need to know what day the solstice falls on or what kind of vegetation is found in the Nevada desert, I can find it in about six seconds. If I need a photo of a clown eating a human arm, my search might expand to half a minute. I can write you and ask to borrow a red and white shirt, or look up an old friend in Zimbabwe and confess that I once slept with his sister. What’s he going to do? He can respond with his rage at the speed of light, but he’s still in Zimbabwe, for chrissakes.

I hated the idea of interconnected computers when I first heard of it. It would ultimately destroy our ability for the real world interaction which had allowed us to evolve and thrive over the past four million years. It would make quasi-experts out of loudmouth barflies and sooner or later, the intelligence of the entire race would plateau. We would settle for quick hit knowledge rather than long studies in the things that fascinate us. This World Wide Web, I reasoned, would bring about the dumbing down of society.

Mostly I was just bitter because I couldn’t afford a PC. I heard of men and women having real time conversations over instant messaging technology. Free to converse without the inhibitions of a face-to-face meeting, these people were hooking up with the help of microchips and processors. Sure, they were lying about their age, social status and appearance, but they were hooking up nonetheless. Of course I was envious. I still had to make cold calls and prowl the bars.

My first experience on the Internet was in a chatroom. I had heard there were ways to converse with complete strangers from around the world, but didn’t believe it. I stumbled into a place called the Ant Farm and got hooked. I stayed hooked for about a year. Then I discovered that chatrooms are filled with the same blustery assholes you find in the real world, only louder and bolder with the anonymity.

I still love the Internet. E-Mail alone saves me hours in phone time and allows me to forumalate my thoughts before I deliver them. For research at 3 in the morning, the web cannot be beat. If something extraordinary happens anywhere in the world, I will know about it very quickly through Google news. If I want to see a nude shot of Tina Louse (oh yes, there is one), I could find it in no time.

My first computer cost me about nine hundred bucks. I’m still paying for it, in fact. It had a 3MB hard drive, a 56K processor and 64 MB of ram. It was among the best machines on the market in 1997. Today, I couldn’t get $50 for it at a pawn shop.

Yep, I dig the web. What about you? Think it’s a portal to knowledge? Or the ultimate tool of doom. Also, what are you wearing?

48 Comments

  1. Daughtio said,

    I know what you mean about sometimes just not knowing what to do/where to go on the net. I stay up til all hours of the night just because I can’t sleep, and sometimes I just sit here thinking real hard of what to do on the net besides my usual (MySpace, LiveJournal, CoastieChicks, E-Mail, and this site. And I’m always on AIM) It’s kind of weird since there’s an endless amount of things to do on the net.
    I first started using the internet when I was in 7th or 8th grade…I’ve been pretty much addicted to it ever since. I have no idea what I’d do without it. Bleh!! Although I was never too big on the chatrooms…they kinda creep me out!!

  2. Gil said,

    I was taught “Data Processing” (goto, run, if/then…) in High School on a Tandy (TRS80).
    When this whole “Internet” thing started up I thought only Uber-geeks would use it and it would soon go away. Of course back then they didn’t really have chat rooms, they had the BB sites where you could leave messages.
    Now, I am a Uber-geek, having built my last two computers from the ground up, and I still run out of places to go

  3. Gil said,

    And by the way, I’m wearing what I always wear when blogging – Work boots, purple G-string and boonie hat. Why?

  4. AO said,

    Thank goodness for internet poker, huh Gil?

  5. Mainetarr said,

    I love it, too. When I first discovered you could shop on line, I didn’t leave my house for days. E-Bay, Overstock.com, and on and on….you gotta love it. When I first got on line (I was waaayyyyy behind everyone else) I disovered a place called Mplayer. It was a virtual chat heaven. There were all kinds of chat rooms, some with cameras, too, so you could see who you were talking to. There were fight rooms, where you could just go in and fight with people (much like Our View, only uncensored), you name it, they had it. It was a fuggin riot. I was hooked. Now, I enjoy reading the paper, various news sites, this blog, and e-mail. I cannot function without e-mail. Even patients from my office e-mail me with surgical questions, billing questions and so on. Our corporate lawyer uses e-mail, my insurance broker e-mails me, everyone I deal with uses it. It’s so user friendly, if the phones are going nuts, I can still answer everyone’s questions while on the phone. It’s the ultimate in multi-tasking. What I can’t figure out is how we ever functioned without the fax machine.

  6. jarheaddoc said,

    This whole internet thing is just a tool, MT, nothing more. Unfortunately, it’s an insidious one that links everyone in the world together. Well, those that have internet capability.

    Used to be you”d ask for a home phone when dealing with someone, now it’s can I have your e-mail address. The progression went from pagers to cel-phones to the internet in a very short period of time.

    I used to ask a knowledgable person a question if I had one, now I just click the little down arrow and the drop down menu comes up and I point and click my way to the answer.

    The internet has definitely changed the way people deal with each other. Now I can argue with people about an account because I can see the same screen as the person on the other end of the phone. My phone bill has gone down but the money goes to the cable company for internet access.

    I haven’t a clue how this damn computer works, but I can point and click my way to virtual bankruptcy on e-bay. Ahh, the wonders of modern technology. Kinda makes you wonder what will happen in the near future, you know, the next five years.

    I think that someday, maybe even in my lifetime, we will see Star Trek type technology as far as being able to transport things and people from one point to the next. That just means that I can hop on the transporter and go argue face to face with a person if seeing the same thing via the internet doesn’t work.

    And Gil, that whole G-string thing is entirely TMI any time of the day.

  7. K2 said,

    I must give credit to a teacher I had in college, who, besides once asking me if I could hook her up with some blow, which I did not oblidge (never have been a fan of the Peruvian Marching Powder), made her classes start doing all their work on RIT’s intranet, the VAX. Everything had to be e-mailed into her, and the exams were online. That was 1991. I hated it — who needs e-mail? — and ultimately got a C because I simply never bothered with the online final. Smart kid, huh?

    Anyhow, a rather prescient woman, and she was not a techie — she taught communications. She ended up not getting tenured because she didn’t finish her PhD on time. She was one cool woman, though, and the cocaine inquiry was the only ‘blunder’ of hers that I discerned, and cripes, it was the early ’90s.

    But you can’t beat Internet porn, I’ll tell you that.

  8. K2 said,

    No pun intended.

  9. Linda said,

    I loved email immediately and completely back in the 90’s. It revolutionized “keeping in touch” with family members far away. Now I realize that some of my email is a deliberate choice to deal with something at arm’s length – opting not to engage in even a conversation. One of my principles at work is that when somebody sends an email that I have questions about, I phone them instead of emailing back. Even if I really don’t feel like talking with them it sometimes seems like the more helpful thing to do.

    Two scary things about the internet: (1) will it stop us from getting close enough to hug people we really like? And (2) it can make strangers seem like friends.

  10. newsflasher said,

    If I had you email I woulda sent two news stories to you- perhaps you’ve seen them anyway?
    One about a guy walking down the street with his marajuana harvest, and another about a mother who had her 18 month old get mellow by sucking on the bong….. they are both easy to find on yahoo.com, odd news

  11. K2 said,

    Everyone knows the American Academy of Pediatrics says no bongs before age 2.

    Maybe she misunderstood youtube?

  12. brenda said,

    she said it helped her child eat well, and made her nice & mellow…. duh. Have they even tried that for all those ADHD kids? maybe preschool & kindergarten could be a lot easier with mellow kids?

  13. Mandy, the obit writer said,

    Compared to what it was when I started the job six and a half years ago, now the majority of my work correspondence is conducted via e-mail. It has done wonjders for my speed and productivity; however, our work system is innerconnected with the other papers in the company so if there is a problem say in L.A., our e-mail is affected too.
    By the way Mark, for what its worth, I’m wearing tight black jeans and a deep purple sweater.

  14. LaFlamme said,

    Okay, Gil. Why? Just… why?

  15. LaFlamme said,

    And seriously. You know that song you liked when you were a kid? The one about a girl pleading with her father to approve of her boyfriend Joey because they were in love and wanted to get married? Only, dad wasn’t buying it so he brought out his gun and plugged the guy? Only he plugged his daughter by mistake and her last words were further pleas for acceptance? And you cried and all your friends made fun of you? Yeah. That song. You’d never hear it again if it weren’t for the Internet.

  16. LaFlamme said,

    Also, buying sex toys is easier and more anonymous.

  17. K2 said,

    This post brought to you by gelantinousdoubledongs.com.

  18. Dan Dan the Outer Space man said,

    All your base are belong to us

  19. LaFlamme said,

    Damn, man! Been years since I heard that.

  20. Bulldog said,

    I love the net. I miss it terribly. I’ve been too busy to even pop in and spy on y’all but this subject lured me into the “web”.

    What would I do without the net? Gee, I guess the one thing I’d miss is talking to my cyber family and of course, you can’t forget the cyber sex too….

  21. Linda said,

    OK, I guess it’s unanimous, we love the internet. For such a variety of reasons!

  22. AO said,

    I don’t know what I ever did before it came along. Oh yeah, I read a lot more!

    Hey, Bulldog:)

  23. Linda said,

  24. Mainetarr said,

    I am 56% evil Linda. Fun test.

  25. Linda said,

    No way! Me too!! Sole sisters, eh?

  26. LaFlamme said,

    What?? That test is flawed. You people are way more evil than that.

  27. LaFlamme said,

    Anyone read Sunspots today? Check it out.

  28. Linda said,

    Well I’m just taking a wild guess here, but is that our K2 with the bazillion golf balls?

  29. LaFlamme said,

    That’s him. Trying to unload his balls in a family paper. No shame at all.

  30. Linda said,

    Evil, simply evil.

  31. LaFlamme said,

    Now, if he had golf shirt with horizontal red and white stripes and long sleeves, on the other hand…

  32. Linda said,

    So you still didn’t get the shirt? Bummer.

  33. Linda said,

    If it’s for Halloween, maybe you could find someone to make one for you. Lots of moms make Halloween costumes for their little kids, before they insist on having the crappy costumes from Wally World.

  34. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah. And I hit the wall. Marshalls, TJMax, Burlington Coat Factory, Target… I even went into a couple stores for larger size men and women. I’m spent.

  35. Linda said,

    And — a horizontally striped red and white shirt? — I truly hope it’s just for Halloween.

  36. LaFlamme said,

    Rest assured.

  37. Linda said,

    OK then, find a seamstress. or a friend who sews.

  38. LaFlamme said,

    Flamette sews like nobody’s business. Looks like I’ll go that route.

  39. Linda said,

    Great! She knits too, doesn’t she.

  40. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah. AC Moore is like a porn palace to her. It’s sick, I tell you! Sick!

  41. Linda said,

    No use telling me, I have the same sickness.

  42. LaFlamme said,

    Ah. So you’re part of the cult.
    Speaking of the cult, where’s the rest of the coven tonight?

  43. Linda said,

    I wish I knew. We’re in the dead zone this week. That’s the only thing that would make me mention anything so boring as knitting, ’cause it always cops me plenty of abuse when there is anyone else here.

  44. Linda said,

    “What About Bob” is on TV. “I’m sailing! I’m sa-a-ailing!” I love it.

  45. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah. It’s quiet around these parts. There hasn’t been one bar fight in a week or more.

  46. Linda said,

    Its probably due to the autumnal equinox. A time when the planet is in a state of unhealthy balance. Makes everyone obtunded.

  47. LaFlamme said,

    Yes. That. Everyone should be in denial about it, like me.

  48. brenda said,

    I made new curtains for my kitchen today and am making tablecloths & kitchen towels & dishcloths to match, that’s what I’m doing. Exciting for me, boring for bloggers. oh,well bye.

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