As someone trapped between Gen-X and Millennial I have the unique opportunity to have been mostly educated before Wikipedia, Google, and YouTube - yet as an adult rely heavily on the internet in general for my information. I still have quite vivid memories of having to pore over books in a library to find enough sources to cite in my research papers.
When the Internet finally became ubiquitous enough to be useful the possibilities for learning seemed endless. I was able to find all of Stanford's Computer Science curriculum, chat with people half-way around the world, discover images taken by Russian space probes, and even dig up copious amounts of proof of the paranormal. This unlimited access to global knowledge made the future seem brighter, more advanced, and significantly more educated.
Two-and-a-half decades later we don't seem to have come very far. Oddly, the Internet has morphed into an analogue of society, having different groups with vastly different opinions professing their beliefs as indelible truth. I didn't realize at the time that what I was experiencing all those years ago was a foreshadowing of the Internet to come. As effortless as it was to find a grainy picture of Bigfoot, it was just as easy to find an article debunking Bigfoot. For every image of an orb floating over a grave was a rational explanation about digital photography in low-light situations. Today the breadth and depth of this information well is almost incomprehensible; every belief, every structure, every work of art, every political event, every war has a broad spectrum of opinion and perspective instantly available. And, the best way I've found to deal with all of this is to disconnect, go outside and enjoy the world IRL.
Two doctors are operating on a patient in an operating theater. One looking at the other asks, "Doctor, where did you say you studied at?". The other surgeon responds, "YouTube."
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