The Straits Times, on 19 February this year, republished an article written by Adam Cohen of the New York Times. Cohen’s article reminded me about some of the benefits of the Internet which many often overlook in view of the tremendous upwelling of “junk” (for instance, rag and gossip made more accessible online) on the Internet.
Cohen argues that some feel the Internet may be “driving culture ever lower”, but it is also allowing “a wealth of serious thinking”. He uses the example of a BBC podcast “In Our Time” which delves deep into history to examine “arcane topics from history, literature, science and philosophy”. This certainly would be the other side of the “Internet coin”, the benefits that could be accrued to laymen and academics alike. Albeit one needs to be interested before one can actually be open and be exposed to such “high-brow” knowledge, but at least it provides avenues for those interested to be enlightened.
While I admit I am not in the least interested in the “arcane topics” listed above, I am myself a beneficiary of the Internet in terms of exposure to “serious thinking”. TED.com is a good example. Short-form for Technology, Entertainment & Design, the website devotes itself to “Ideas Worth Spreading” by broadcasting presentations relating to these spheres and more, allowing netizens access to a more interactive / interesting showcase of what might be normally deemed inaccessible and arcane, meant only for academics and to be showcased in libraries and institutions. I have watched lectures / presentations that have amazed and enthused me about issues that interest me but would not propel me to borrow books from the library about it, such as on HIV/AIDS.
So… if you are bored, dont just watch paint dry on Youtube, watch something educational on TED.com and dont let your brain rot and idle.