Thursday, October 19, 2006

I call bullshit

Oddly enough, one of the things I really miss about working downtown--aside from the great people watching and shopping in the PATH on my lunch hour--is my commute in on public transit because this was my time to read the newspaper...I'd get through the hard news and business on the ride in, and save the features and crossword for the ride home. Now, I listen to 680 News--all news, all the time and traffic and weather together on the ones.

This morning there was a news item on a study in Maclean's magazine about how the internet is a complete disappointment despite all the money that's been invested in it. Well, I call bullshit.

Yes, the internet has opened the door to scam artists, identity theft, and viruses...but what about all the good? Thanks to the internet, we're all connected: we can keep in touch with family and friends all over the world and access resources when we need answers.

Consider this article about Ask Metafilter, a community weblog akin to Google Answers in which members post questions and get answers from the community. The fantastic question cited about the member looking for a Vienna phonebook circa 1938 in the hopes of finding the apartment where his grandfather lived before fleeing the Nazis is here. It gives me the warmfuzzies and wonder about the kindness of virtual strangers.*

On a more personal note: if it wasn't for the internet, I wouldn't have gotten the lovely surprise of an email in my inbox from none other than my crush, Alain de Botton(!) Apparently, a fan of my blog (I have a fan??) at M&S, his Canadian publisher, sent him the link. Eeek! How embarassed am I to know that he's read the gushy ramblings about my school-girl-crush on him? I haven't yet had the nerve to reply back.

So, yes, I call bullshit. The internet is da bomb.

*Speaking of the kindness of strangers, check out the book of the same title here. It's a collection of true stories by travellers who were helped by a Good Samaritan along the way. Some of them are quite exceptional.

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