Daily Archives: October 6, 2011

What’s more important?

So today’s suggested topic is “What’s more important, electricity or the internet?”

Ay yi yi.

The only hard part about answering this question is thinking up good analogies. For example, “What’s more important, the wheel or the car?” or “What’s more important, learning to read or getting an A in freshman English class?”

If you can’t have thing #2 unless you already have thing #1, Then Thing Number One Is More Important.

Yes, the Internet is new enough that most adults remember when we didn’t have it, so we know how much things have changed. (In 1995, newspapers were secure and popular. In 1995, if you wanted to look up information about something, you went to the library and used an encyclopedia. In 1995, if none of the stores in your area sold a particular item, you did without…and you probably didn’t know there was any such thing, anyway.)

But try just a tiny thought experiment. Have you ever gone tent camping? Carrying ice with you to keep food from spoiling, cooking over a campfire, relying on a propane lamp for light after dark? Okay. This is how everybody lived for thousands and thousands of years, except that the propane lamp is high-tech modern – you wouldn’t have had an equivalent in your house until the middle of the 1800’s. Or what about air conditioning – you know, that stuff that makes your electric bill so much bigger in the summer? Without electricity, you sweat. Without electricity – well, it’s easy to explain how basic and important electricity is to life as we know it.

Without electricity, no Internet.