Before the Interwebs

Not to sound too cheesy here, but it really is hard to remember life before the internet…a time when the only way to learn about people/place/things was to go to the library and scramble through the card catalogue system…sometimes ending with a siting in front of a giant microfiche machine scrolling through film to get to the information you seek. Wow, those were the days.  

micrfischeAnd I hate even typing that because it makes me sound like some old-timer that says things like “i remember when…” What a nerd.

I’m immersed in this digital/networked/connected world deeply. Maybe sometimes, too deep. I work in this world, I play in this world, I’ve studied this world. I have a Masters degree in this world. I’m always thinking about the endless possibilities of intersecting technology-based and human networks. But sometimes, it takes a day like today to really think about the fact that this world wasn’t always this way. And sometimes reflecting past is needed. 

Why today? Because today is my dad’s birthday. But he’s dead and has been for 14 years. But today, for the first in a long time (maybe ever? don’t recall), I googled him. He died well before the Internet really transformed into this super connected, social behemoth that most of rely on every day for information, images, videos, music…anything really.

So needless to say, there isn’t much on the Interwebs about him, Niranjan Rasik Bhatt. But one of this top links was this: Apparatus for Measuring 

Who knew he had a patent? Or, apparently, several. What is an apparatus that measures erosion? Woah.

Thank you Google, for trying to get every piece of information in the world online. I realize this mission to digitize everything is riddled with issues, but in this particular (completely selfish) case, I just learned something new about my dad. 

I wish there was more I could find out about him through an internet search. But even this gigantic global resource at my fingertips has its limits. At least for now. Strange to think that when I’m “gone,” there will still be wealth of information out there about who I am, what I did, etc. 

So a random reflection really. I’m going to have to go analog today: give my mom a ring and ask her to tell me something I never knew about him. Maybe I’ll write a post about what I learn and start over-taking the search results of the living Niranjan Bhatt’s that are out there with memories of someone dead. Now that would be creepy. 

Funny to remember life before the internet. Funny, indeed.