June 10, 2008
What Will Happen to Your Life If There Was No Internet?Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeksWell, if you do some research on the origins of the internet and the TCP/IP protocol that underlies it, you’ll discover that it was originally developed by the US army in the 60′s. They wanted a network which would keep on running even if part of it was knocked out. Basically, if the USSR nuked one site, the rest of the computers would keep on communicating, with communications bypassing the damaged section. So, it was designed, in theory, to withstand a nuclear attack! (Who would have imagined that a massive world of freewheeling joy and chaos could come out of a military invention?)
Various universities got in on the act and linked their computers in the same way, with the same protocols. At first it was just email and FTP, then HTTP was developed, initially text only. In the 90′s the graphical browser was developed, and the net was opened to commercial activity, and it just exploded from there.
The whole thing is SO decentralized it’s not funny. I mean, the entire USA network could just disappear from the map, and the rest of the world would keep chugging along, routing around it. Any computer with network access can potentially become a gateway, allowing other computers to connect through it, and so on.
Thus, in answer, its virtually impossible to “shut down the internet”. Only parts of it. Haha YAY, great news for us!
But for interest’s sake, lets say we were in some kind of Hollywood Armageddon movie, and a band of hackers were working together on a powerful Digital WWW Doomsday Bug with the ability to permanently jam or destroy connections…. and the internet really got shut down….
That would be the end of life as I know it.
To think…. no more banks, complete files & records lost in all departments on all of us, businesses collapse, everything gone, total global pandemonium will ensue… and worse, no more e-mail, youtube, wikipedia, and facebook.
The Internet is so big, so powerful, and so pointless, that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
I won’t be able to get my daily dosage of world news… because the Straits Times would no longer have their sources. Haha.
One of the Internet’s strengths is its ability to help consumers find the right needle in a digital haystack of data. Where once I could do a whole variety of things with a simple click of a button, e.g. addresses, sourcing for biz information, weather updates, receipes etc… Now that powerful tool is gone.
I will actually have to spend money on buying expensive CDs instead of listening to MP3s. It’s tons better to download the 1 or 2 tracks from the album you like. Or just listen (and watch the MTV) on youtube for free! Plus CDs take up space.
Tada. The end of the iPod era.I will become slightly stupider for lack of intelligent stimulation. I cannot imagine returning to crummy outdated encyclopedias or taking out that much time & effort in going to the library/bookstore to research topics of sudden interest to me. ANYTHING, from frivolous pursuits to serious rocket science stuff is all on the information highway. Anything you wanna know about is just a google away. (Does anyone else here besides me like clicking on the “Random Article” button on Wikipedia too?)On the other hand, worldwide office productivity will probably increase by 50%.
Unfortunately for me, part of my work productivity lies in blogging and STOMP, which will *sob* cease to exist!
I would be left depressed at the loss of all my creative and writing efforts of the past few years. However, the good news is that productivity in other areas of my life will increase:
I will get a boyfriend.
I will exercise.
I will read more books.
I will be forced to call friends to meet up and hang out, so that I can poke them and kaypoh through their recent pictures in person instead of online.It may not be that bad in this sense in the long run, for it seems that all of society is going the way of impersonal communication with the rising use of IMs, e-mail, text -messaging, cell-phones etc. to interact with one another, but it does point to an ominous turn on a societal level in that the human touch is slowly eluding us.But besides all the above, life may just return to that place of simplicity and sincerity of a mere 2 decades before. We may start caring more about others around us, about the environment and world we live in, about our self-improvement, rather than glueing ourselves to the computer screens all day long.
Well in the end, I believe the Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect.Oh btw, click below to go watch the first part of this South Park episode…It’s hilarious!!You can try searching for the other parts of the episode online!(this piece was my contribution for Starblog and was also featured in Straits Times’ MyPaper)
She bids farewell & see you very soon once more with the Bali trip photos, as she heads off to indulge in her current snack craze of the past few days - *bananas & a big tub of chunky creamy peanut butter* YUM.