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The Wonder of Internet

My interests range far and wide. I’m a classical generalist, or scanner for those familiar with Barbara Sher, and a bit of a speed reader. I’m not a trained or anything, I just naturally process information faster than many people.  This naturally translates into prodigious web surfing since so much information is found exactly there. Here’s just an example of some sites I visited yesterday:

http://2009.bloggies.com/ – to see which software to use to start a blog with
http://www.90dayreview.com/ – because I’m starting the P90X program on Monday, and it’s nice to follow in someone’s footsteps
http://www.ablithepalate.com/ – it’s one of the first food blogs I stumbled across way back when, and I wanted to see if it’s active again
http://www.amateurgourmet.com/ – a current food blog I enjoy
http://answers.yahoo.com/ – I was trying to disprove a stupid factoid that came in those forwards we all hate
http://www.bonsaigardener.org/ – trying to find some info for my mother who received a bonsai tree
http://calgarypolicenews.typepad.com/cps_recruiting/application_forms/ – just to see what exactly ARE the requirements to be a Calgary cop these days?
http://www.dailycoyote.net/ – to see what updates are around on my favorite coyote
http://dictionary.reference.com/ – I used the word ‘salient’ in a comment and wanted to make sure I used it correctly J
http://foodosophy.wordpress.com/ – where I left the comment above – a great restaurant review site spanning Alberta, BC and hints of the world
http://gardening.about.com/od/gardenprimer/ss/SeedStarting_4.htm – to learn about starting seeds for my first garden that’s going in this summer
http://www.greengate.ca/aboutplants/ – to visit the local store that will provide equipment to all the above
http://www.the-compost-gardener.com/soil-testing.html – one of the few local blogs on gardening
http://thepioneerwoman.com/confessions/ – to get my daily dose of happiness and sunshine
http://www.wikipedia.org/ – where would my life be without looking up some useless factoid or another as they come to mind?

Now, this is a small sample only, heavily edited for similar content and non-interesting content. It doesn’t include news sites both conventional and alternative, or massive blogs like dooce, dlisted and steve pavlina which require no intro. It does not include the few dozen sites which did not fulfill their search function despite being on top of Google’s lists. As thoughts travel through my brain, my hands automatically go to my keyboard and I find myself googling the item in question. And I have a great deal of thoughts – even if they’re completely silly. But our brains seem happy to harness the power of the ‘internets’, so I’m just glad and grateful to have this vast resource to draw on.

Which leaves me with the question, what DID people do at work/home/school before the internet? And how much exactly is our society being shaped by this amazing tool? We no longer have to know the dewey decimal system, although I’m sure many still do. We don’t have to rely on yellow pages, which they should really stop sending to my house. Google is now a verb, and wikipedia is a household name. I love books and read prodigiously, but order them exclusively online and read reviews online as well.

Yet at the same time I’m glad I am just old enough to have grown up in a time and country without widespread video games and computers.  Atari was brand new and super exotic when I was old enough to remember such an item, and very few had access to it. I’m very glad to have grown up without instant messaging and cell phones because it allowed me to be a kid in full use of my imagination. I know this subject is beaten to death, yet kids need activities that are without adult supervision, mildly dangerous, shady and spontaneous for optimal development. Building crazy forts (with actual toods pilfered from dad’s garage), building our own tire swings (which sometimes fell spectacularly), riding bikes all over the place (not just the park in front of the house), with the only rules to be home by supper made childhood magic, unique and fun.  I wonder what someone fifteen years younger than me would recall of their childhood days.

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