I was doing some research on Google and I came across this article that spelt out four different scenarios of how Google could grow. One of them talked about how Google could launch Google TV. It said that since Google already knows its users likes and dislikes, advertisements could be based on what you already like. Nothing could sound worse to me. Although advertisements can sometimes be annoying but its great that we can see totally random ads about things we don't even think about. If everything is 'tailor made' to our choices, it means the system assumes that we are static. How will anyone discover new likes, dislikes, if the information we are given is limited to certain subjects? And what if this spreads to other things- what if the television you watch is tailor made for you? Like TiVO. Chance disappears. You won't ever accidentally catch something on TV. No "I caught this crazy/interesting/disturbing movie on TV last night" or "I saw this wierd ad about the wierdest thing!".
It made me think of this poem by Philip Larkin which I'd read in high-school. Its called 'The Whitsun Weddings'. The poet is in this train, watching people on the station and in the train. As he describes the view he keeps saying 'we saw this, we saw that'. What always struck me that because they were in the same train together at the same time, those people shared a moment in their lives, this railway journey- this "frail traveling coincidence". The same can be said of television. It unites us; we share these common experiences that we can talk about- it connects us. We share moments in a way which is different from actually being at the same place at the same time.
And so I'd like to share something with you. A joke. A hopefully funny moment in your life too. This is something I read on the Internet posted by someone on a forum:
"I submitted a request to my local library to hold a book and audiobook for me as all copies were checked out.
The book? Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity.
The irony? All three copies of the audiobook and two of the three copies of the book are overdue."