A Conversation for Ask h2g2

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Post 21

pauh, still writing

The instantaneous availability of information has made some people a lot less patient. I've observed this over the last twenty years.

"The internet changed EVERYTHING." Discuss.

Post 22

deb - I'm in love with my soup maker & I don't care who knows it

Years ago my husband & I used to spend Sunday afternoons doing a general knowledge crossword from one of the Sunday papers. For anything we didn't know we'd look through the pile of reference books we'd accumulated over the years between us, and very pleasant it was too. Since I met him in a chat room this was obviously during the internet age, but early on.

At some point, I don't know when, something changed and it seemed so silly to spend half an hour looking for an answer when you could just basically type the question into a search bar. The crossword habit didn't last long after that. Although we both missed those Sunday afternoons, we didn't seem able to go back, and I think that ties in with the impatience mentioned by paulh.

Whilst I love having information so easily accessible, I do miss the fun of the search.

Deb smiley - cheerup

"The internet changed EVERYTHING." Discuss.

Post 23

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - aliensmile

" After a time, you may find that 'having' is not
so pleasing a thing, after all, as 'wanting'. "
- Mister Spock on Star Trek*

smiley - martiansmilesmiley - ufo

*but not an original idea.
3 points to anyone who can find
the original source of the idea

"The internet changed EVERYTHING." Discuss.

Post 24


I used to know stuff. A LOT of stuff. Random, eclectic, stuff, and in quantities other people found... odd. And sometimes a bit intimidating. I didn't specialise - I wasn't a mechanic, or a history buff, or a cricket stats geek. My knowledge was broader.

People were glad when I turned up for the pub quiz, as long as there was already someone who knew about soap operas and sport (two of my blind spots). People told me that if they ever got on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire", I was going to be their "phone a" friend. Not just one or two people - every single person I knew. Unless they were simply flattering me (which I doubt, but have no way to confirm since another of my blindspots is anything to do with telling when people are joking), nobody I knew could think of anyone they'd rather call at that point. My bestest friend at school, when someone turned to him in my presence and said "how does he KNOW all this stuff?" simply replied "He reads. He reads everything. And remembers all of it." An ex-girlfriend, some months into knowing me, said "It's like going out with Google."

Except now everyone has Google in their pocket. And those of us (and we are more numerous than you might think) who have spent a lifetime accumulating an unfeasible amount of general knowledge are now faced with the depressing realisation that not only was it a waste of time (we knew that already, obviously - we know everything), but more disappointingly any yahoo that can type can now pretend to our god-like omniscience simply by fiddling with their bloody phone.

All that said... if my knowledge was broad before the internet, when my resources were limited to the books I could get from the library and the bookshop (oh frabjous day when I discovered the *university* library! and the library at British Nuclear Fuels was a corker too...), now it is positively ridiculous.

I was amused when someone scored a five pointer in "Only Connect" by recognising the "connection" between the phrase "Pugachev cobra" and three other, still concealed clues. I knew the answer, obviously, but when the delicious Miss Coren asked how he could possibly have known the answer, the contestant responded that he'd been clicking "random" on Wikipedia and read the entry on this rather impressive aerobatic manoeuvre. I chuckled, because that was exactly how I'd heard of it, too.

"The internet changed EVERYTHING." Discuss.

Post 25


There is a difference between 'knowing stuff' and being able to look it up. If only from a personal point of view in being able to a) have a good conversation in talking about stuff like that b) being pretty good in quizzes c) just having a richer view of the world around us.

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Post 26

john fulton

smiley - bigeyes
>> another of my blindspots is anything to do with telling when people are joking) <<


smiley - zen

"The internet changed EVERYTHING." Discuss.

Post 27



It depends on what you are searching for: I still enjoy trolling(in the nice way) around the interweb looking for something...or maybe that just shows what weirdo stuff I try to find out on the net. There's also the fun of going off at a mad tangent when trying to find something and never actually getting back to where you were.

"The internet changed EVERYTHING." Discuss.

Post 28

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

I want to comment on Hoo's observation that you can't make any big movies at home even with the Internet. I believe this is not true anymore.
I currently follow a project by some guys on youtube. They are making parody films about video games for a while now. Their newest project is called 'Super Mario Warfare', basically an action movie about Super Mario topics. This may not be everyone's taste but I personally find it a lot better than many things they show on TV. The whole project is backed by a kickstarter and they already got more money than they need as far as I saw, so they will make another film too.

While it is true that this is not exactly The Lord of the Rings (or other movie of choice) in technology and world-class acting, I can imagine that more projects like this are done in the future. All in all kickstarters are now making a lot of projects possible which are done by people who would usually not have the money and would probably also not find for instance a publisher who would fund it.

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Post 29


Did the Internet change everything?

Back in April 2001 a popular Science Fiction writer by the name of Douglas Adams wrote and presented a radio series called the Hitchhikers Guide to the Future. You can still listen to it here:


In this, he looks at and interviews people within the different broadcasting industries about the effect that the Internet will have on them. It's *very* prophetical, including predicting iTunes, the "red" button on interactive television, iPlayer, ebay and pretty much everything that we now associate as "normal internet activity".

I'd really recommend downloading and listening to this, then looking again at how you do these things. You'll then realise that 12 years ago we couldn't have done them that way.

Also, I'm a web developer by trade. Without the internet I'd probably be running a pub somewhere.

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Post 30

Icy North

I thought you *were* keeping a pub afloat somewhere...

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Post 31


Only indirectly dude smiley - winkeye

Talking of which, when you next due up here?

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Post 32

Rudest Elf

The link to 'Hyperland' is now dead - Could the BBC have ditched the programme?

Still available here: http://archive.org/details/DouglasAdams-Hyperland

smiley - reindeer

Ps I came upon this, http://www.toplessrobot.com/2012/02/7_awesome_things_that_douglas_adams_did_besides_th.php , during the search.

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Post 33

Icy North

I'll get up there soon, I hope. I want to visit our shiny new office.

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Post 34


Come up mid-week, or any night other than Mondays as Port Street is shut Mondays smiley - winkeye

"The internet changed EVERYTHING." Discuss.

Post 35

pauh, still writing

"another of my blindspots is anything to do with telling when people are joking" [Hoovooloo]

That makes two of us, Hoo. I grew up with a father who was a master of deadpan humor.

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Post 36


This is why emoticons are very important. Smilies is a nice name for them, but it's very hard to tell whether someone is being humourous on the internet as you can't see their expressions.

But, being able to add a smiley - winkeye to the end of a sentence can really help.

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Post 37

Icy North

I like the {SPACE} smiley. It's important to flag up when I'm using dry humour.

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Post 38


don't think I've learned yet

re hoovooloo's post 24: I used to be rather that way too - but I got old.
Standby, hoo, your turn will come.

now, where's that smiley list?

No Subject

Post 39


"He doesn't allow computers in his day classes, but since us night students have limited time what with jobs, families, and responsibilities, he let's us use them. He suggested that part of the reasons that our grade distribution was slightly lower was due to the laptop rule."

It strikes me that there is another, at least equally likely, explanation for slightly lower grades, which you have given right there...

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Post 40


Students have less confidence to write and think for themselves. There is a tendency nowadays to cut paste and edit. Personally I use the internet to order rhino horn and tiger penises as it does wonders in the bedroom department, or that's what the advertisers tell me. Still I get a lot of complaints from the neighbours about the noises.

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