Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Technology as explained by my mother: The Internet

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

I was lamenting to my mother the difficulty in explaining technical answers to people who have limited experience with technology. She sighed sympathetically and said something along the lines of, “It’s very difficult for people who are used to dealing with a physical object to understand this thing fluttering all around us, breaking all the laws of physics.”
“Wait, where did you think the Internet is?”
She made a fluttering motion with her hands, “All around us. Like God.”

Finland declares Internet access a human right

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I know almost nothing else about Finland except that I’m suddenly filled with love for it. The US Pirate Party, on whose mailing list I first heard this, has the details.

I find it interesting that they declared the minimum speed to be 1 megabit per second (Mbps). That makes dial-up (typically billed as 56k or .056 Mbps) is, by Finland’s standards, a human rights violation. Although I don’t know the first thing about Finland or their legal system, I am curious how it affects any dial-up providers that may still exist there. Will there be follow-up legislation banning the sale of dial-up? Will the infrastructure surrounding dial-up become contraband, or a useful backup in case of emergency?

This prompted me to wonder about my own connectivity speed. You may view the results if you’re curious. Then in 10 years when everybody’s using fiber optic or whatever bests it, we can all look at this and laugh and wonder how we lived with such slow connectivity.

Internet vs internet

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

I’ve previously argued that Internet oughtn’t be capitalized because, essentially, the Internet is the only internet. I made this argument out of a love for the Internet and its ubiquity, and the hope that it would be with us forever.

That same hope and love for the Internet now prompts me to reverse my previous stance. We capitalize proper names to show respect, and there are precious few things more worthy of our respect than the Internet. We must capitalize Internet for the same reason people capitalize God.

I predict that at my next change of opinion, I will argue that we ought to capitalize it circumstantially, the way we do with familial titles, “This is my mom” vs. “This is Mom.” Analogously, “I browsed the internet” vs. “I browsed Internet.” No one says “I browsed Internet”, but it’s perfectly acceptable grammar since Internet is its proper name.