Friday, September 21, 2007

Signs of (and in) the Times

Two quick notes on this Friday:

Andrew Sullivan links to this post by Jason Kottke, which looks back at some significant moments in the New York Times archives. (This is in celebration of the fact that the Times just made access to the archives free of charge.) Here's what's creeping me out a little. The paper's first mention of the World Wide Web came in February 1993. Here's a taste of the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer-like tone:
The Internet is a web of networks with shared software standards, allowing users on one network to reach anywhere into a global thicket.
One businesswoman interviewed for the piece proclaimed:
"I'm an electronic mail addict," she said. "People can find me wherever I am. I have negotiated several business deals recently without even using a telephone."
Without using a telephone? Wha?!

It's crazy to think that 1993 -- the year Pearl Jam released Vs., the year Clinton was sworn in, the year I wore too many flannel shirts and made the dreadful decision to grow my hair long -- was the first time the web was mentioned in the Times, and now, 14 short years later, that businesswoman who was so happy to be found wherever she is can be found in her shower through the bathroom window by anyone with Google Earth.

Unrelated, except not...I saw this handwritten sign taped to the cash register of a local pizza place today:
Please no talking on cell phones while ordering.
Not even while in the restaurant. No. While ordering. In other words, stop finding each other so often that you become a mob of rude jackasses.

Oh, too late?


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