Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Online Resources

Online resources are essential for today's student or professional. The web allows information to be disseminated freely. This freedom creates a thirst for more information which results in increased bandwidth being pumped into corporations and homes. As with any new technology we not only find ways to utilize the technology, but also as a means of entertainment. What did we do before books, we told stories. It took longer, but it also doubled as entertainment. When television came along a book that took 10 hours to read could be taken in a 2 hour movie. Where did the other 8 hours go? Obviously it went to sports viewing, rather than reading the box score. It also went to sitcoms, rather than telling jokes. Now the internet, bills can be paid faster, information gathered quickly, no more letters to write, no developing film. What do we do with the extra time? We pay an extra bill for the cable modem, we gather more infomation than we can use, we communicate with more people than we normally would, and we take more pictures than we would normally pay to develop. The point of this execise is to illustrate that the total value of use/entertainment does not increase, we simply do more that is less valuable. A few points to ponder, would you rather receive one letter or 10 e-mails, would you rather see a live game or be simultaneously updated on the scores of 5 games, would you rather flip through a scrap book or go through page load after page load of pictures, would you rather have a reference book or a home page full of links, to information that may or may not still exist? I find myself participating in more hobbies to fill the excess time. Without the internet I would not be able to manage a ficticious fantasy sports team or play poker for fake money with people I have never met. Somehow, I don't feel better off. Of course if I bought my groceries, clothing, and other essentials on line, I would have more time to ...?

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