The University of Google

Thomas Lifson, the Editor and Publisher of The American Thinker has a great essay today about the Internet, and the many ways it has transformed our culture.

Mr. Lifson's essay is one that I'd thought about writing myself. It's a topic that I regularly bring up at the dinner table with Mrs. FDC and the kids. A question pops up in the conversation that no one knows the answer to, The FDC speaks up with, "I'll go look it up on the Internet." This usually results in a lot of eye-rolling, and "there he goes again" all around the table. But, they are starting to come around.

The kids aren't that impressed, because they are being brought up in this age of instantaneous information. When I was my kids age, and I wanted to know the answer to a question about a subject of interest to me, I'd ask my mom and dad. If they didn't know, I'd ask my teacher. If they didn't know I'd try to remember to look it up in an encyclopedia or at the library the next time I was there. But, I'd usually forget that I wanted to look it up, and I as a result I remained ignorant on that subject.

With the advent of the Internet, that has all changed.

An example:

Years ago, while I was eating lunch, I read a magazine article that mentioned Milton Friedman. He sounded like an interesting fellow, so after lunch when I returned to my computer, I looked him up here. Reading that, I found out he was this. That surprised me. I thought to myself, he couldn't be one of those, because he sounds like one of these. But, I found he was indeed one of those, because to my surprise, those were not to be confused with these. I found all this information almost instantaneously, and the only real time I spent on it was the time it took me to read the information. I'd just expanded my mind to several ideas that I'd never pondered too hard. It lead me to read many new books that I'd never have read otherwise, and helped me to have a better understanding of our economic world.

Now on the other end of the spectrum, if you just want to learn how to play Beer Pong, you can find that too. Instantaneously. It's a beautiful thing isn't it?

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