Wednesday, November 02, 2011

From Without the Internet

The motherboard of my nice gaming computer is dead. Totally dead and so my connection to the outside world is all but cut. I'm lying because I own another computer and a smartphone and my girlfriend has her own laptop, so it's not like everything is lost. It does mean that I'm sort of SOL when it comes to gaming, but I'm focusing on writing and school right now, so whatever.

But I did go through a crisis, shortly, about how disconnected I felt without it.
Some people say they don't know how they lived before they had a car, I don't know how I lived before broadband. Seriously, I don't know what I did. I am a child of the Internet (and, thus, Al Gore) and I spent most of my time doing internet related things.

And I don't just mean faffing about: I also do all of my school work online. I am a full time student with one physical class. All of my other classes are through the web. Beyond that I spend a good amount of time learning things like HTML, CSS3, PHP, Python, Java, Java Script and whatever else that has to do with web development. I don't mean to say that I don't faff about, but it's certainly not the only thing.

I can deal with missing a few YouTube videos, but I can't do without the access of information. Some say that we are less intelligent now because we have the all-knowing internet to know things for us. Others say that gives us more room in our limited memory. I say that both those things are wrong. We know just as much as we did before, but now it's easier to learn and remember.

At first, I didn't know what was wrong with my computer. I didn't know why it wouldn't turn on. I did a memtest and it went fine. Then I did a second one and it wasn't fine. And then my computer stopped turning on altogether. The moment I got my hands on the internet, I knew exactly what to do and now I'll never forget what the problem was.

Here's another example: as a training web developer, I'm learning how to use Linux. Without the internet, there is almost no means to learn anything about Linux. It's a constantly developing and changing platform that seems to always get better. If I didn't have the internet, I wouldn't know the command to change my keyboard keymap (which I need to do in order to use Colemak). Ubuntu makes that far easier now, because it asks outright and Colemak is in almost every Linux Distro, but it wasn't that way four or five years ago.

I would take a bullet for the Internet, and so should you.

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