Thursday, August 2, 2012

All the Internets

On Wednesday I finally began moving out of my near-campus apartment to a lovely studio in downtown Minneapolis, a two-and-a-half-mile move that will cut my daily commute by about half an hour each way. (The laws of geometry get jumbled up when you commute by bus) As I'm not using any of my precious vacation days on this, moving all of my things over should take the rest of today, to say nothing of cleaning my half of my old place!

In other news, I am still in the process of getting internet service at my new place, a maze of phone menus, hold times, and conflicting information all from the same company. I hope to get it figured out tonight after getting home, but apparently it took two weeks for one of my coworkers so I'm not too hopeful. Luckily, I will be living a few blocks from Minneapolis Central Library which has free wi-fi.

The point is, I spent last night and this morning without any internet access, which doesn't even sound that bad when I write it now. I didn't go into withdrawal shock or anything, but sitting around kind of bored I realized how much of what I do is dependent on the internet. (Of course, I hadn't brought any books or other distractions over yet, but still) I guess I thought since I don't have a smart phone I had escaped the urge to always be "connected", but it's still a pretty ingrained habit when I'm at home. I think sometimes I even see the world in my computer as deeper and richer than the real world. (Being a CSci graduate doesn't help with this)

Of course, I realize that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It seems like the internet is so vast and consumable (tied into our consumer culture) that it's easy to see spending time on it as an end in itself rather than as a means for something else that's only been around for about 20 years, like planning events with friends or ordering things. Even when I've studied how it works and know it's a bunch of servers connected by a web of data routers and built on a stack of increasingly complex protocols (try pulling that out next time someone calls it a "series of tubes"), I find myself falling into this frequently.

I'd encourage you to think (or even comment!) about ways you think the internet has influenced your everyday life and habits. In situations where you were forced offline for a while, did you react better than I did?

Oh, and if you are wondering why I'm blogging at work (besides the fact that, at the moment, I can't blog at home), I'll answer with another xkcd:

(Or, since Python is interpreted, I'm running a capacity test on my program and writing while monitoring its memory usage)

Theology update: my outline on Calvinism, Arminianism, God's sovereign election, and providence is over 2,000 words and six pages; I think I'm almost ready to start writing. Expect at least ten posts out of all of this thinking, and thanks for your patience.

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