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Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Love Affair with the Information Superhighway

I am a huge fan of the internet; this was not always true. When the World Wide Web was first described as a possibility (yes, I am that old), I was not sure that it was going to offer anything that wasn’t already available. In other words, I planned to keep updating my encyclopedias. I wasn’t even sure who was going this computer phenomenon. While the World Wide Web promised to revolutionize our world, I was not sure it was going to be relevant to my thinking or my world.
When I am wrong at a proportion as enormous as I was about the internet, I have to take ownership of my idiocy.
As a writer, I have had a close relationship with the reference desk librarian in the past. Over time, she grew accepting of my often bizarre questions. She found it challenging to come up with an answer, and if not an answer, at least a lead on an answer.
How many diamonds were mined in 1963?
What is longest traversable road in the world?
When did the United States first start using kumquats?
In the event a woman murdered her husband in 1865, was the death sentence used in Massachusetts?
The questions pertained to whatever article I might have been writing at that moment.
Occasionally, I slipped in a few questions that piqued my curiosity for no other reason than.... I wondered. I also found myself asking people I would meet specifics about their professions. To an emergency room doctor, “Could you kill someone with epinephrin?”
To a plumber, “Do trees really grow into the plumbing of houses?” To a zoologist, “How did zebras evolve, do you suppose?” I gained a small amount of legitimacy when I would say I was a writer.
All of that has changed.
Any time I have a question (and cable), I can Google it. Google is a Verb. I mean even that amazes me! I feel like the world is my oyster. SInce I am the kind of person who actually enjoys the exercise “Compare and Contrast), I like sorting out relevancy and authenticity of answers. I feel a freedom I never imagined to allow my curiosity free-range to wonder Who, Why, What, When, Who and How.

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