May 17, 2010

Fear not: Internet helps shrink world into villages again

Great reminder from Jason Kottke who has been sharing online since March 1998, about How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet.

Click on that link and you'll see what Kottke pulled out as a stark reminder that it is us on the Internet.

Then head to the original piece by Douglas Adams, which first appeared in The Sunday Times on Aug. 29, 1990.

One of my favorite lines?
"Anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it."
It's part of three sentences of what in the world is normal and what is against the natural order of things. Unfortunately, most of us won't believe those sentences until we've made it past the age of 40 or so.

But I also like the reminder:
"Another problem with the net is that it’s still ‘technology’, and ‘technology’, as the computer scientist Bran Ferren memorably defined it, is ‘stuff that doesn’t work yet.’ "
But what I like best is this reminder of who we are and why we reach out via email, Facebook, FarmVille, Twitter, and so much more:

"We are natural villagers. For most of mankind’s history we have lived in very small communities in which we knew everybody and everybody knew us. But gradually there grew to be far too many of us, and our communities became too large and disparate for us to be able to feel a part of them, and our technologies were unequal to the task of drawing us together. But that is changing.

"Interactivity. Many-to-many communications. Pervasive networking. These are cumbersome new terms for elements in our lives so fundamental that, before we lost them, we didn’t even know to have names for them."

Won't you be my friend? Or follower? Or neighbor?


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