Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Becoming Obsolete

Before there were search engines, there were people like me. "When exactly are the Ides of March?" people would call out of the blue at work and ask. "Do you guys have anything at your house about moths that look like butterflies?" "Does Chernobyl really mean 'wormwood?'"

I should deeply resent Google for pushing me toward obsolescence. But it's people like me who really love search engines, who become addicted to them and devoted to them. How can I resent something that gives me such pleasure? The main reason that my DNA made it through to the 20th C was to keep the repository of human knowledge from being lost. There are hundreds, probably thousands of people like me across the country. In previous eras, descendants of people like me referred back to my sort with pride. My descendants, who will be able to murmur "alligator: size, age, and diet" to the chip in their head and get an immediate readout, will wonder what the fuss was about. "Wouldn't it have been better if great grandpapa had just made money instead?"

2 comments:

akafred said...

Ya, of course, now I zee clearly. Un terminal case of Googleitis. Zat explains much!

Jerub-Baal said...

Somehow, I can't see your DNA getting crowded out of the gene pool, Darwin-style. Love of knowledge is a survival trait, if only for the fact that somebody with their head in a book automatically keeps their head down....