I get a bit annoyed when I hear people say what a challenging time we live in. They cite the economy, and terror threats, and people doing bad things to each other. I have a news flash, about this. There are always going to be problems. Humans will always do bad things to each other (though I think they are more likely to do good). Every time period has its issues and everything will always seem on the brink of destruction. People look back on the 50’s as some type of utopia, but it surely was not a utopia for everybody. That’s not really my point here.
My point here is that we actually live in extraordinary times. Never before has so much information been at the fingertips of the common person. Without leaving our chairs we have history, and music, and images, and information. There has never been anything close to this in human history.
Consider yesterday. I came across a link via Boing Boing to a new website called Public Radio Exchange (prx.org), which is really a massive library of public radio content, all available for free. I listened to an awesome hour long program yesterday titled A Spin Down Abbey Road about the Beetle’s Abbey Road.
It was mentioned in the program that John Lennon was inspired by Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata while creating the song Because. Off to wikipedia I went. Not only is there an entry on wikipedia for the Moonlight Sonata, but they even have full recordings of it (I especially recommend the 3rd Movement).
You see what I’m getting at. It would have taken me days to gather all the information I gathered in that hour on the web, and probably cost me some money too. Maybe I could’ve gotten it all from the library, but maybe not. What exciting times we live in.
Sure there’s bad stuff on the Internet, and sure it is the bane of my writing life. As with anything in life, you take the good with the bad. It’s all how you look at it, really.