The Internet

In Misc. on December 27, 2007 by David

The internet is a very useful tool. Very fast, almost limitless storage, and remarkably dynamic – I can see it becoming a greater and greater part of our lives. Incredibly dynamic, incredibly complex, the internet can be a great tool if used efficiently. In the spirit of Christmas, I wanted to share something with the world. Information. Here are some websites I find incredibly useful and powerful.

1. I really like to read. However, either as a matter of convenience or frugality, I don’t like to have to buy and ship books here when I discover a really good book. The following websites, in varying degrees of legality (descending order), provide an alternative. They provide electronic formats of a large variety of books, short stories, and other documents. (It’s in russian, but if you search english titles you can find english texts.)

For example, this winter break, I’ve reread Ender’s Game. Such a good book, I really like the author’s works. I think people like books because they can find a character with which they can relate or understand. If that’s the cause, I’m probably being a little narcissistic thinking I can relate to the characters (The books about really smart kids manipulating global politics. It’s science fiction with aliens, politics, and lots of other good stuff.) I found some of these back when google was actually useful. IE. it actually kept track of a lot of documents, so all I had do to was search for part of the passage in quotations to find electronic copies of the manuscript. Such a time of carefree ease, where I could get all books I want, just going to the book’s official website to copy and paste the sample to find the entire text online. But that doesn’t work anymore – I think publishers probably threatened to sue google.

2. In high school, I really liked to play computer games. I realized they were such tremendous wastes of time, but I couldn’t get myself to stop playing them. As sort of a half-assed compromise to be semi-productive, I ended up listening to podcasts of lectures and other important stuff while playing these mindless games. In hindsight, I was still being incredibly lazy, wasting time, and didn’t focus on the lectures as much as I could. But on the plus side, I can recommend these following websites as great sources of audio information if you’re ever bored. Also, I think I learned more US history from the lecturer at Berkeley than my history teacher.

3. It’s youtube. Except its videos are all about biology/biochemistry. o.O Cool stuff. And TED is awesome lectures by awesome lecturers.

4. Webcomics. They aren’t particularly productive. But they are tons of fun.

5. I like to read blogs. I think this person is particularly cool and interesting.
I hope these websites are as useful to you as they are to me. The internet can be such an amazing place, if only you know where to look. If you know some good websites, share them with me!


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