I woke up this morning with this phrase stuck on my tongue. No, actually that’s kind of a lie; I read the word “redolent” in an Oxford American piece this morning and the phrase popped into my head. But either way I spent all day mulling it over and trying to figure out where it came from.
Eventually I cheated and Googled it, but I wish I hadn’t, since I am in the middle of reading through I’ll Take My Stand anyway and I would have eventually come to Mr. Young’s essay, pieces of which I have read before, obviously.
Sometimes I think having the universe at our fingertips courtesy of “Mister Google,” as my mentor here at The Firm calls him, cheapens life. I do know that I have tried to stop immediately going to IMDB every time I see a familiar face I can’t quite place on a TV show. The satisfaction of remembering that person from that bit part in that one Friends episode–you know, “The One Where __________”–is a small pleasure but a sweet one. Being able to find the answer in seconds doesn’t really improve my life in a meaningful way either. That said, I do appreciate being able to look up the safe cooking temperature for pork every single time I cook it because I have always forgotten, but then again, my best friend works for the USDA in DC, so I suppose I could always just call him and ask. Again. He’d roll his eyes (and I would be able to hear it over the phone), but he’d forgive me. I could also just remember. But who needs memory when you have it all stored in the Big Internet External Brain Drive?
Does it have anything to do with time’s sweetness? I’ll think about it when I sit down to hear Mr. Young out.
To be honest (for the second time in one post), I didn’t necessarily intend to take this in an anti-Information Age direction, but that’s just where it went. Not inappropriately, given the bent of the Agrarians’ manifesto that started the whole thing. Unless Oxford American did, in which case the appropriateness, or lack thereof, is not as clear.