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True or False: The Internet is Magic

Pretty much since IBM made its first personal computer, the movies have loved glamorizing computers and the Internet. Computers provide a great opportunity to do all sorts of crazy stuff in a movie. What happens if the computers don't make sense or do stuff that is impossible? Who's going to complain? Only nerds! As far as the movies* are concerned, computers are gold and the Internet is Magic.

* - When I say 'the movies', I'm referring to producers, directors and hack-writers.

Luckily, I'm here to sort it all out for you. What's true and what's not.

1. In real life the Internet looks really cool when you use it:

Besides the computers in Wall Street, all movie computers look super-awesome when you use them. The software is the most graphically intensive for the era, the buttons are big and obvious, and chirpy sounds accompany everything.

Okay, this one is getting more true with the passage of time. The latest operating systems are pretty hip, and that iPhone thing has a pretty sweet GUI (graphical user interfun for all you n00bs). But still, movie computers are still miles beyond our current real life selection. Remember Minority Report? Those screens were transparent and you could move stuff with your hands! That's awesome. That's why I have to rule this one: FALSE

2. With the power of the internet, you can hack everything and anything:

In Hackers, a group of rag-tag teens use computers and a modem to hack the sprinklers in their
school. In Sneakers, a group of rag-tag men (with the help of River Phoenix and a woman) hack with a computer chip into the National Power Grid. And in The Matrix, a group of rag-tag hipsters hack the very fabric of reality! Whoa.

From this I can conclude two things. A. The Internet is connected to everything. Your chair, that piece of bread you ate, your boss' chair, the airport, clouds, and even your boss' clouds are all connected magically to the Internet. B. Hacking is awesome!

Too bad neither are true. Hacking is actually super-lame in real life. And who on earth thinks it's a good idea to connect the power grid up to AOL? Come on! This is an obvious: FALSE

3. The Internet is a limitless mirror of all human acheivement and has no perceivable limits:
In the recent summer blockbuster, Wanted, James McAvoy searches for his character's name on Google and finds no results. His quest for self-discovery and understanding is entirely summed up in the lack of search results found on a search engine. Clearly, his impact on the human race is nothing as he doesn't even appear on the wondrous Internet. An Internet where everything is documented and anything is possible.

In the real world, however, the Internet really IS full of stuff. Anything you could ever want is out
there somewhere, on a message board, or in someone's e-mail (that you have to hack). There' s even some creepy rule about the statistical likelihood of there being any possible pornography a person could want to be existing somewhere out there on all those winding tubes. It's called "Rule 34" and I wouldn't recommend searching for that on Google Image Search. Unless you want to ruin your childhood memories of Alvin and the Chipmunks not having sex with each other. Or perhaps the cast of M*A*S*H not in a cartoon orgy. Yeah, the Internet is full of weirdos. I'm going to have to rule this one:


Don't say I didn't warn you.

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  1. Blogger DoktorPeace | 8:19 AM |  

    Didn't Minority Report take place in the future, though? Krazy komputers are fair game at that point.

  2. Blogger Brigitte | 11:05 AM |  

    Yes, I think Minority Report did take place in the future--when technology is scary advanced!! I am always annoyed when the internet means anyone can hack into anything. At least movies are getting better about that. Remember when Ferris Bueller was able to change his grades from home, and the only explanation he offered was "I asked for a car, but I got a computer" or something?

  3. Blogger Brigitte | 11:06 AM |  

    wait, not his grades...his number of absences. that's it.

  4. Blogger Sean | 11:31 AM |  

    i'm a big fan of huge download progress bars. oh, and that countdown program in independence day. look at the numbers getting smaller! we need to fight back!

  5. Blogger Adam | 12:41 PM |  

    After reading your last true/false question, I have two options: (1) Look up my name on Google to see how important I really am, or (2) Go crazy and pull all the hair out of my head wondering what would happen if I typed my name in on Google. Thanks.

  6. Blogger Lady Amy | 1:02 PM |  

    I always love in movies where people are able to basically type questions or commands onto a blank screen and then the computer analyzes or computes or something and solves the puzzle for them.

    Also, I've kind of always wondered from watching these movies, if I were to "hack the internet," where would I even start? Google?

    How come they always seem to have mysterious software installed that allows for hacking but seems incredibly east to use?

  7. Blogger chris | 1:19 PM |  

    In this summer's X Files movie, Scully googles a disease a patient of hers has, prints out the first several pages of search results, and finds the cure while reading through a manila folder full of them. As if printing out google results and putting them in a manila folder makes the information somehow more medically valid. Worst part of the movie, which was otherwise a good time.

    Great concept post Sean!

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