Sometimes the Internet really freaks me out. Not in that “anyone who has an opinion is suddenly given the forum to express it no matter how dangerous it may be” sort of way. I mean in a general fashion. In the “oh my God, Skynet is self-aware” sort of way. Sure the Internet is amazing. I mean without the world wide web it is very unlikely you would be reading this at all. All corners of the world have been accounted for, photographed and stitched together on Google Earth.
The wealth of human knowledge has been cataloged, stamped and stored in a central location, and that location can be accessed through a device that most of us carry in our pockets (and what I hope are a shrinking few carry in a holster on their belts). Fantastic and exciting technology is now a part of our everyday lives. Gone are the days when a bar bet about a sports statistic or the name of a movie would wear on for hours. It takes only seconds to silence a barroom with the perfect recipe for a mint julep, or a correct recalling of the last five Nobel laureates (I know. I drink in a weird bar).
The acquisition of information is not what concerns me. Well, at least not my acquiring knowledge. It occurs to me that in order for this crazy machine to work information must be collected about us and all of our habits. The Internet is like a big tape recorder that is always running. In order to fully assimilate the information that is out there, we must give up small bits about ourselves.
Perhaps the vastness of our modern Library at Alexandria is a bit exaggerated. According to The Royal Society , a scientific organization established in 1660, despite the billions of pages on the Web, you can get from one page to any other in about 19 clicks. (or the number of clicks I preform at rapid fire when my laptop locks up) Think of that, any two items on the Internet are only 19 clicks away. You are only 19 clicks away from your worst enemy or best friend. Peanut Butter 19 clicks away from jelly or pickles. Ron Swanson is only 19 clicks away from the IRS.
So as we examine the whole of human knowledge, think of its size in relative terms. Keeping in mind its applications, we have access to everything that everyone has ever known. We use that knowledge in the only way possible: to gamble, post pictures of cats, and steal music. The only question that matters is have you backed up your files on the iCloud? The network in the sky? BETTER KNOWN AS Skynet?!
The Internet is scary. We are all a little too connected for my taste. Yet, I use it every single day. Even if I see the Internet as predator lying in wait…I still need my IMDB…and Facebook…and Twitter…Oh, who am I kidding; I love you Internet!!