Saturday, August 18, 2007

up in the night

I remember way back in the dark ages (like 1993 or thereabouts) of the internet i would sometimes get caught up, wrapped up, taken away, whatever, by the many possibilities~the many linkages, for lack of better words (here and above)~but it was oh-so-different then. My computer was a monochromatic laptop (well, i did have a colour monitor i could hook it up to but it would have just been a blue screen full of text then...)
Anyway, back then linking was a much different thing than it is today~you could click on links, but they were all text based (not that there was much visual stuff going on yet anyway~except for some early experimentation with Mosaic) and once you clicked it was rather difficult (at least for me) to find your way back. I often found myself heading down "alleys" and winding up lost on some "dead end"~it wasn't the best distraction for insomnia/migraines (though the migraines didn't need quite as much distraction back then).
I didn't seem to waste as much time on the internet in the middle of the night then as i do now (or at least not following links). In some ways the ease of internet research and hyperlinking is a librarian's nightmare come true. All that research at the literal tip of your fingers. And it truly is endless.
When i was a kid (even further back in the prehistoric past) i used to love looking things up in the encyclopedia set we kept in the living room, one reference would send me to the next reference (or two, or three,) and so on, and so on... At some point i would tire of pulling books and flipping pages, back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. Things are so much, ahem, easier, in the computer age.
And it just plays right into the hands and heads (or is it the other way around?) of we insomniacs who can't quench the knowledge thirst. Tonight i was doing just a quick survey of "What's New?" over at Snopes and somehow here i am, about four hours later, with multiple tabs open, full of knowledge about the history of the AIDS epidemic (as well as a number of other pandemics~and when something is determined to be a pandemic) the difference in meaning between zoophillia, bestiality, and zoosexuality; what methemoglobinemia is; as well as many other incredibly useful tidbits (and who knew that there was such a thing as a cuddly little Ebola toy you could have for your very own? I certainly didn't, until now that is.) Now, you may ask, what the relationship is between these things. Perhaps there isn't a visibly direct link, but somehow or else each one of them led to the next (or quite a few others i've left out for the sake of some brevity.)
Sometimes i long for those dead ends.

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