Friday, September 14, 2012

The Internet - Not Pure Evil At All

There's no shortage of stories (mostly in the Daily Mail) about how the Internet is the Devil's Superhighway full of porn and general depravity.

The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq mostly taught themselves to play their instruments by watching YouTube. They got a lot of their music online and auditioned online. I got to hear about them online and you can hear them play online. If there's any hope for that troubled country it's with the kids and the magical mechanism that got them together to play a symphony is probably the same magical mechanism that will help them organise to rebuild their shattered country and its culture.

Meanwhile the boot lock on my 10 year old Seat Toledo didn't lock. I found a posting online that described how it was probably water gunking up the solenoid and all you need is to remove the plastic cover and squirt WD-40 everywhere. I found another posting that described (with pictures) how to remove the plastic cover and I managed to fix a problem in ten minutes with a screwdiver and zero technical skill that had me seriously considering scrapping the car.

I love the way that the Law of Unintended Consequences continues to apply to the Internet. I love the way that people with skills give their time free of charge to post content for the rest of us to enjoy.

The Internet is a tool - very much like a hammer. You can use it to build a house or you can use it to smash someone's head in. Just because there are evil people in the world, it doesn't mean you should remove anything they might possibly misuse. 

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