Sunday, October 24, 2010

Joy 28/82: Internet

Back in the dark ages (1996), a friend came to me and told me I just had to have a website and I had to send out an email newsletter.  I asked him why but his tech-oriented answer didn't make sense to me so he finally just said "trust me."  He was a really smart guy so I did.  My first, light-hearted weekly email message called, "Wake-up, Brain ... it's Monday again!" had over 2,000 subscribers in just a few days.  I know that's peanuts these days but back then, it was pretty darn cool.  Within a few months, the list was up to 15,000 subscribers and I was a believer.

It's hard to remember those days when people talked about all the stuff that would be on the Internet "someday."  Now, hardly a day goes by without my checking Wikipedia for some lost or never-had bit of information, reading reviews on any contemplated purchase, googling areas of interest, checking in with friends on facebook ... or finding out the time of the new facebook movie.  There's an odd swing in the way I feel about the Internet ... on one hand, I feel smarter because I can check facts and scratch my curiosity itch instantly ... on the other hand, I feel infinitely ignorant as I continuously discover a wider and more amazing world out there. 

It does make me wonder if our collective intelligence is rising ... even if our collective wisdom may be lagging behind.  Will the Internet make it less likely that we will continue making war or indulging in our passion for greed or power?  Or will it simply provide a faster way of accomplishing all of the above.  The larger questions aside, I love the Internet even when it makes me feel dumb.

About this image:  It has been raining here the past two days and I needed to look at something sunny so I pulled out all my sunflower pictures from Colorado.  I do miss those fields of sunflowers.

1 comment:

  1. I love your photo -- and way back then, even the word 'google' wasn't a verb!

    Imagine that. Now, I google everything from where to eat in Barbados to what to make for dinner!