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Old 12-03-2010, 06:38 AM   #4
arete
If All Else Fails, Play Dead
 
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Waterside, South Africa
Posts: 3,137
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I like that, I really do

But don't forget mmorpgs and such putting us into Skinner boxes and feeding us useless rat treats.

And Wikipedia will tell you about Trafalgar, and youtube will show you a clip from Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander, and you can discuss it on an erudite listserv such as the one I subscribe to (along with hearing other people's cat stories and recipes for marmalade, and the fact that it's called marmalade because the Portuguese made it from quinces).

In sum, the Internet is an excellent reference tool, if you need to find something quickly. But it doesn't have the gravitas of the Bodleian, I will say. However, the chances of me visiting the Bodleian today are a million to one, so I'll have to stick with Google, for now.

Nevertheless, going out for coffee trumps irc big time. Food and friends can't compare to comments on your Facebook status. So the internet isn't real life; you can't have an Ethiopian professor with a lazy eye and and an inferiority complex teaching you wonderful things in a terrible accent that sounds like gargling with gravel; you'll never see an african sunrise in the flesh. But at least you can find out exactly when your friends are planning to visit the beach on Saturday
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