Thursday, 7 January 2010

Deep thoughts about the internet

To everyone who's ever Googled "Paris Hilton", this message from 140 years before the World Wide Web may have some resonance:

We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate. Either is in such a predicament as the man who was earnest to be introduced to a distinguished deaf woman, but when he was presented, and one end of her ear trumpet was put into his hand, had nothing to say. As if the main object were to talk fast and not to talk sensibly. We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the Old World some weeks nearer to the New; but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad, flapping American ear will be that the Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough. (Walden, Henry David Thoreau, (1854),p.43)

Bloggers, beware! Memorise this; "As if the main object were to talk fast and not to talk sensibly." Think on that, as they say in Lancashire.

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