You must be *this* smart to post a comment.

I am 20 years old. I have been using the internet since 1995. I have used the internet as a great source of information and knowledge for many years. I remember using Usenet to follow intelligent discussions and I really appreciated the high quality of the discussions. As time went on, though, more and more average, non tech-savvy people began to access the internet. Unfortunately, with the addition of the masses to the internet, came trolling and the real risk of stupid people feeling the need to contribute their input to any and every discussion -- even if they knew nothing about it -- and the worse: when they thought they knew something about it. Arrogance, you could say. Which, in my opinion, is not the most effective way to portray your intelligence.

I am a frequent user of aggregated, community news sites such as slashdot, digg, and reddit. Unfortunately, I find myself skipping many of the "top articles" on these news sites, experiencing difficulty in finding articles with substance. Of course it is the community that chooses these stories, so I think it is safe to say they are to blame. They won't admit to that though, because who doesn't like to see the following as a top story. The wonderful thing about digg also, is the digging of comments. A plus or a minus. Its nice to see that the 3rd most dugg comment on that article is:

Photoshop>Filter>Fractal OMG SO CREATIVE.

Well, I guess that may be funny to some people. Maybe just not me. Also, commenting on an article showing a Fractal Kitty Pic just doesn't seem very constructive.

Now, it could very well be possible that I just view the internet and use it much differently than most. Fundamentally, I use it for communication and finding/sharing information. Of course there are many other uses as well, such as entertainment, but I don't frequent the internet for that. There is actually a very large group of people who use it strictly for entertainment...YouTubers, anyone?

To be honest, I can't fault anyone for why they use the internet. I personally just get very frustrated when having to continually keep my bullshit meter active. Luckily when I search google I can sift through the results with ease, being pretty accurate at determining the relevance and worthiness of a result.

More information, more people, which has to mean, more BS.

To put it in perspective, I feel that the internet used to be the place where I could escape the amount of BS in my real world interactions. It was a place where people took the time to articulate a thought and contribute constructively to the world. Maybe this was because you had to exercise some intelligence to navigate a computer, get online, and find a place to discuss something before you could post.

I could talk about this topic for quite a while, but I think I would end up on some sort of ramble or tangent, so I won't continue to bore anyone.

In conclusion, all that I can do is share my opinion, and hope that a few people change their old ways of making their wonderful, pointless, space wasting contributions.

And to end this, I'd like to just say how funny it is to me when I meet someone in my day to day life interactions who thinks they know something about computers. They will tell me about some software and how they think it works, with an infinite confidence, while I smile and know that they have no idea what they are talking about. And sometimes, for those cocky bastards, I will shove it in their face and bring their ego back down in check :).

Written on December 25, 2008