Thursday, February 04, 2010

If It's Not On The Internet, It Doesn't Exist & Other Things I've Learned--Mostly About The Internet

1. The website for Dick's Sporting Goods is NOT dicks dot com.*

2. A friend recently joined Facebook and texted me a few hours later: "I just found the girl who told me in 8th grade that my legs looked like sausage links." Just think, before the internet, we only had the echoes in our heads and hearts to remind us of all those great moments from middle school.

3. Judging from his effect on my teenaged daughter and her friends, Bo Burnham, has embedded subliminal hypnotic messages in his YouTube videos.

4. During a conversation too complicated and, well, boring, to repeat here, Hubby said, in defense of a point he was trying to make, "There is not a book that has been published that is not referenced somewhere on the internet."

At first, I thought (and said), "Wow! Seriously? You really believe that every single book ever written is mentioned somewhere on the internet?" It's absurd, right? I mean some dude in 1465 borrowed money from his brother-in-law to print 100 copies of his collected love poems and one of those copies somehow survived and was read by GeekyBookDude786 who posted about it on his blog, right? And that happened for every single book ever published?

And, then I thought, surely he's exaggerating for emphasis. But, no, turns out, he really, really means every book published is mentioned somewhere on the internet. (Later, he did admit that he would not include "some book written by some guy in a hut in 1357 or whatever" but stood by the basic principle.)

We finally agreed to disagree on the subject (a euphemism for getting sick of telling each other to shut the hell up) but just before that breaking point he said those immortal words (you'll recognize them from every argument you've had since third grade): "Prove it."

And that's when it hit me that the argument which had on its surface seemed so ridiculous and simple-minded was, in fact, quite diabolical in its brilliance. When he said, "Prove it," I thought, "No problem. I'll just go to the library basement, grab the dustiest, most obscure book I can find and Google it." Great! Except...the Google search would return (even if nothing else) the card catalog listing of the damn book. And as certain as I am that there were lots and lots of books written and published over the centuries that aren't mentioned online, I would have no idea what any of them might be named (and this is the most delicious part) because they're not listed online.

*Similarly, if you want a recipe for popcorn balls, I don't suggest indiscriminately clicking any old link that pops (ha ha, get it?) up when you Google "popcorn balls." And, in the never-would've-seen-that-one coming (ha ha, get it?) department (with thanks to Youngest Sister and her husband, Lou B.) the phrase "feeding the ducks" will yield more from your search engine than information on sustenance for the abandoned duckling you found on the golf course near your house.

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