Thursday, May 28, 2009

The last bastion of truth and information.




I was looking after my nephew last week, he is nearly three years old and of Rarotongan, Chinese, Maori and Eurpoean descent. His speech is ok, but mostly he tends to mimic what others say which as you could imagine is very cute.

After an hour or so he told me he wanted to watch "toot toot" on the "puta". For the toddler illiterate that means he wants to visit the Wiggles homepage on the internet. Obviously.

He led me up the stairs, hopped on the 3/4 size computer chair, turned on the computer and waited for it to load.

Feeling a little unwanted I was relieved when he asked me to get "toot toot". Phew...uncle credibility restored.

Unfortunately this only lasted a few minutes because once the site was up and running Tana pushed me out of the way and dominated the website.

I was completely useless.

It was then it occurred to me that people who were born after the year 2000 will never think of technology and information the way we did.

A library for example will never be seen as the go to place for information and research. But merely a quiet room where you can read fiction and magazines.

At high school the library was the first place you turned to if you wanted to find information. Now its google and CRTL F. No more indexes and glossaries. Try key words and tags.

Encyclopedias are also irrelevant, even the word sounds archaic. When was the last time you checked your dusty brittanica to prove that Johannesburg is South Africa's largest city.

The nineties birthed the internet but they also slowly killed the library.

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