Archive for November, 2007

Living in the Internet

25 November, 2007

This mass of computers and electrons that we think of as the internet is an odd thing.  I often think of it as something to be consumed (in the sense of TV and books — not like cake and sandwiches).  Because I fundamentally interact with so little of the internet, and that interaction mostly as consumer, I forget how much someone, anyone, can affect the course of online events.  I’m impressed and gladdened by how Desert Bus for Hope has galvanized so many people to do good, and how every individual contribution really matters.

I also forget, sometimes, that there are people behind all the webpages — and even that I know some of them.  I’ve been busy enough over the last month that I haven’t been regularly checking the websites that I normally read every day.  So, I’ll take the opportunity now to say thanks to Chad for this.  It means a lot to see written down the feelings of friend like Chad (not that they need to be written down — but that sentiment is).  So, I’ll try even harder to keep up with the Middle Name blogging, and try to use the comment feature more regularly.  I do both want to affect (that is, encourage) and effect (that is, make a difference to) Chad’s webpage and life as much as he has for mine.

It’s sad that we’re not on the same coast, Chad.  But at least we are on the same internet.

Hollywood Hills and New England Fog

25 November, 2007

To those not from Los Angeles, Hollywood movies can seem to take place in an otherworld, unknown geography.  The most striking example of this isn’t the presence of palm trees, but the hilltop vista overlooking a city of twinkling lights.  Such a view does not exist for many people in the country (especially those in the less densely populated and flatter Midwest).  Hollywood movies end up having an air of unreality about them – as if they can’t ever fully relate to the everyday world of the viewer.

I wonder if there’s a similar effect for denizens of desert climates and video games.  The nigh ubiquitous fog that limits players’ view of the world makes sense to me, as a New Englander.  Fog that clouds the edges of the world is frequent, and heavier fog is not unheard of.  But, for someone who hasn’t experienced such severe haze, I wonder if video games have an extra sense of unearthliness that I don’t sense.