we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Jul 24th 2004

how far have we come?

here’s a scenario for you from just 10-15 years ago:

curious son: “dad, who invented plastic?”
busy father: “uh, look it up in the encyclopedia, boy.”
curious son: “but these are grandpa’s old encyclopedias. they were published before plastics were invented. and they smell like him, too.”
busy father: well, then i guess you’ll just have to head down to the library to do some good ‘ol fashioned research.”
curious son: i think i’ll just waste away my life playing atari and get ADD by watching cartoons all day.
busy father: sounds good, boy.

or, imagine this: google circa 1960. now, the same problem, and how it would be resolved today:

curious boy: [click][click][click][click][click][click] (typing)…”dad, did you know that leo baekeland invented the first all-artificial plastic in 1907?”
busy father: [click][click][click][click][click][click] (typing)…”huh? uh, son that’s great. listen, i’m in the middle of a multi-billion dollar stock trade, right here on my laptop, so could you just email me the link and i’ll read it later?”
curious boy: “sure, dad. i really love you!”
busy father: “i love you, too, son!”

as you can see, the internet makes the world a better place for everyone.

for a long time, i have told my friends that my firstborn son will be named google; the search engine (and the evolution of the internet) has changed my life.

when i was in elementary and middle school (and even high school before i got wise to the technology) if i wanted to find something out, i had to go to the library, or ask someone who knew…or (let’s be honest) just forget about it altogether (i mean, who’s going to spend five hours on a tuesday night researching the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? there is a ton of knowledge/information out there that is only disseminated because it is now so easy to obtain [see one example here]

i cannot begin to count how many times i’ve been hanging out with friends when a question comes up, and we instantly find the answer by consulting the first page of our google search results. call me weird, but that is exhilarating.

once, there was an argument between some californians and the normal people in our group. the californians argued that “bell peppers” is the correct term for green peppers. the normal people (me included) argued that, in fact, “green peppers” was right. we consulted googlefight a site that compares the number of google results to see which is more common. [what did we find? did you even have to ask?]

i suppose i just have a huge love for the conveniences high-speed internet affords me.

just yesterday, a beautiful girl asked me what perennial means, exactly, and we were able to look it up together on within seconds, and were provided with five (not one, but FIVE) different entries on the matter. that sure beats lugging a huge dictionary (or five) around.

it saved us so much time, we were able to make-out extensively to maroon 5’s “she will be loved” which i acquired via the internet using a variation of one of the google searches suggested here. i also bought the CD (online, incidentally, on ebay) yesterday. it was competitively priced, even with shipping included, and will be delivered to me fresh like a pizza within a few days.

with gas prices being what they are nowadays, the cost of driving to the store is probably about the same as shipping. online shopping is becoming an incredibly viable alternative to the hubbub and hassle of shopping at “brick and mortar” stores.

ah, the internet age.

2 Responses to “how far have we come?”

  1. Everybody knows the world revolves around California(at least Southern Cali.) and so it’s Bell Peppers.

  2. Al

    Sure wish that were my dad. Don’t get me wrong, he is very computer savvy. He just hasn’t made to the ‘multi-million dollar stock trading’ yet. One day… Maybe it will be the second generation type of thing.