Accessing the entirety of information known to man

The NTWW lolcat!

The NTWW lolcat! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: What's Delaying My Dinner postcard, 1...

English: What’s Delaying My Dinner postcard, 1905. Early example of a lolcat-style image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Peanut and Munchkin,

A few days ago, I saw this quip on Facebook:

Q: If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today?

A: I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers.

No kidding.

The last sentence is self-deprecating humor. Many people spend a lot of time online doing a variety of frivolous things (timesuckers) and/or engaging in arguments with people they have never met (and probably never will). When you boil it down like that, how ridiculous it is becomes more obvious. Yet I must admit I do it, too.

On the other hand, access to the entirety of information known to man can be pretty handy, if you know how to find what you’re looking for. A wise friend once told me “Everything is on the internet. But it’s hard to find, because everything is on the internet.” As if wading through all the factual information wasn’t enough, anybody can put anything on the internet. Even stuff that isn’t true.

It makes me wonder what kind of advances you will see in your lifetimes, and how they will affect you and your culture. Your Grammy died before the social media explosion. She was a computer programmer, so at least she would understand it. But how could we explain it to your Great-Grandparents? It’s amazing how much has changed in so little time. I can only imagine what the world will look like when you are my age.

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