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The Internet: Making the Impossible, Possible

Posted on January 16, 2013 10:10 AM by Rob Williams
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Here’s an interesting thought. Long before the Internet, would you have believed it if someone told you that a guy in Germany tried to cannonball into a pool of ice? Probably not. Who could be that dumb? Or what about a story of how a lion, who after years of not seeing the man who raised him, immediately runs up to him and gives him a huge hug at next sight? Bah, that’s absurd.

Alright – I admit that these examples are a bit tame. But the fact of the matter is, long before the Internet, stories we have seen on the Internet wouldn’t have been believed. Many things would have simply become an urban legend… something that sounded too crazy to be true. Today, we have examples of these “impossibilities” happen each and every day.

Big_Nessie_Loch_Ness
Make no mistake – not everything on the Internet is real

This, oddly enough, is something I’ve considered in the past, but didn’t put too much thought into. I’m glad I’m not alone, however, but I do regret being lazier than Kevin Kelly, who did decide to discuss it. He mentions crazy accidents that just have to be seen to be believed, but it goes far beyond that:

The improbable consists of more than just accidents. The internets are also brimming with improbable feats of performance — someone who can run up a side of a building, or slide down suburban roof tops, or stack up cups faster than you can blink. Not just humans, but pets open doors, ride scooters, and paint pictures. The improbable also includes extraordinary levels of super human achievements: people doing astonishing memory tasks, or imitating all the accents of the world. In these extreme feats we see the super in humans.

I am not sure how much value seeing these things adds to our lives, but they definitely help keep things interesting. 


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