“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Much like poor Alice, I find myself wandering down the rabbit hole that is “The Internet” from time to time. It’s really easy to do, we even coined a phrase for it back in the early 1990’s when the web was brand new (yes, that’s right kids, there really was a time when there was no world wide web, no Amazon, no Yahoo, no Google… we had K-Mart and newspapers and encyclopedias): web surfing. You would go to a site, find a link to some other site, which would lead you to a link to another site, and you were off and running, exploring the vast fifty or sixty websites that existed in those first few months. In 1994 I bought a book called (I think) The Encyclopedia of the Web, which listed all known websites at the time. Try making that book now, you’ll need the library of Congress to house it and you still won’t have enough room. Plus it would be copyrighted for the next 140 years, and no one could afford to buy a copy, let alone the yearly updates that would have to be created, and think about the poor trees cut down to create all the paper! Ah, but I digress…
With so many websites now, surfing isn’t really a thing any more, not as far as I can tell. There are plenty of content aggregators who pull together all those millions of links for us, neatly organized into nice little categories. One of my favorite sites is Boing, Boing, which pulls together news, culture, arts, society on topics that tend to appeal more to my sensibilities. I’ll read an article, perhaps click through to the site mentioned if one is connected, and then return to Boing, Boing for another offering. It serves its purpose, though, so I’ve no complaints that I no longer surf. I was pretty sucky at it anyways, remind me to tell you the Corpus Cristi story someday soon. Waves and I have an understanding: I stay out of your way and you don’t crush me.
Today Boing, Boing led to me to Internet K-Hole, a collection of photos, some songs, and other bric-a-brac from the late 1970’s through early 1990’s. Nostalgia for me, this is my time, when I was in my teens and twenties, and looking through the collection of photos (warning: some are very NSFW, not safe for work) was like looking at my life back then, or at least the life of some of my more punk rock friends. Check it out for a glimpse of what coming of age in the 1980’s often seemed like.
There’s a ton of great stuff out there. Reddit is another place I use to try and keep up to date with information. Getting your content from a handful of locations is the best way I can imagine now to keep up with the swiftly changing world around us. Heck, I’ve even given up on listening to the radio in the car. There are few music stations that play much I like to listen to, the news isn’t that thrilling in the world these days, I’ve weened myself off the rabid fanaticism of the NFL I once had, so I’ve taken to listening to books on CD, which makes my long commutes that much sweeter these days. Which I can order online from the local county library system and have delivered to my home library for pick up in a day or two.
So what sites do you folks like and read regularly to keep up with what’s newest and coolest (or brings back nostalgia for you)? Suggestions in the comments below are welcome, I’m always interested in what’s current.
“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland