The 'Net Doesn't Know Everything!
Some answers are much more than a few mouse clicks away.
I like to bet, not exactly Las Vegas high-roller style, but little wagers that
prove I'm smarter than the person I'm betting against. I've learned two things.
Google can settle a bet tout de suite
, and when I bet against my best
girl, I always lose (at least I can tell myself I planned to buy her dinner
As a parent I get asked a lot of questions, and when I don't know the answer
(which is pretty much always) I go straight to Google, or maybe Wikipedia. The
most obscure answers are always two or three clicks away.
I'm not one to criticize today's youth, complaining about video games and TV
rotting their brains, with no sense of literature and art -- that old chestnut.
These new forms of media make today's youth smarter, and most of 'em work way
harder than I did back in school.
The Internet gives instant gratification for all our curious youth's questions.
The only problem (for young and old) is that we overly rely on the 'Net.
Here's what I mean. I was driving to Guitar Center with my two sons and they
got all metaphysical, as kids who listen to too much '60s rock often do.
David, my 13-year-old, started talking about how the weight of the soul is
21 grams, then musing that "everything that moves has energy, and energy
can't be created or destroyed. What's leaving your body, that weight you lose,
might be energy. Religion may see it as the soul; scientists see it as kinetic
energy. Who knows what happens to that energy or the soul after you die? Maybe
it floats around or travels to a higher state of existence, which would explain
I'm too old and weak-minded to think so profoundly, so I asked a question I
had as a teen. Everyone with a near-death experience reports the same thing
-- a soothing white light, maybe seeing folks you've lost. But is this experience
heaven or just the mind protecting you, keeping you comfortable?
And if this is a transition of consciousness to another state, does your initial
state of consciousness change the outcome? If you drive a car and are run over,
is that experience different than being in a coma and then succumbing? David,
hanging in the backseat of the Volvo, said "Google it!" But I knew
all along the answer could only be found one place -- Yahoo!
Dilbert Stole My Ziggy
I am a shallow man, and this month I spent far more time thinking about Dilbert
than the afterlife. That's because Dilbert's creator somehow managed to take
all the credit for the idea of Bill Gates for President. So when did Adams come
up with this blockbuster? Nov. 19, 2006, a mere six weeks after the Barney's
Rubble column ran titled, "Bill
Adams may or may not be funnier (he gets paid a lot more!), but yours truly
is clearly quicker on the draw.
Send your thoughts my way -- I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.