Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Big Chunk of My Life's Solidity is Vaporware

View out the porthole

An embarrassingly-long time ago, a fellow student in university was making money designing websites for people. He remarked to me one day that as soon as you got high speed access (as opposed to using a modem), it changed how you used the internet.

Suddenly the internet was a tool you could work with more or less constantly, instead of something you got in touch with only when you needed it. Easy access changed how you thought about the internet.

Just a few days ago, I made the marvelous discovery that I could read a programming book I needed from the library online. This was particularly wonderful because the library was actually closed that day, and I didn't have to wait--I didn't even need to change out of my slippers and bathrobe.

Today, the library's website is having difficulties. I can't get to that book.

And it's such a weird feeling. Yesterday, I had that book. Today, it's not there. This feels like having your cutlery evaporate or something. I am so used to the internet--and all its candy--simply being there.

All its candy and all its resources, I should say. If my email provider lost my address files, I couldn't contact a whole mess of really important people in my life. I don't have their email addresses memorized; I rely on someone else's server instead of my own brain or even a scrap of paper kept in my own home. It's so easy to think that it's just there. Where I left it.

Like that book I was reading yesterday.

Author website: J. J. DeBenedictis

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