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Sci Tech

What Would "Bloggers" Twain and Franklin Think of the Web?

By       Message Martha Rosenberg     Permalink
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When Ben Franklin advised Americans to, "Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with a few; friend to one; enemy to none," over 200 years ago he clearly was not anticipating the Web.

But when Mark Twain warned against "modern inconveniences" he clearly was.

What would the nation's first bloggers have made of spam?

Would they open "Make Your Girlfriend Scream and Holler"?

Answer the dying woman in Nigeria who wants to leave them her inheritance?

Contact the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Great Britain with a check for a million dollars?

Would they have fallen for "Your Email Has Won," spam or--an even bigger stretch--"Buy A Home With No Money Down"? (see: current recession)

Would they have considered hypertexted content that tells readers a pear is "a pale green pome fruit," after they read "a pear shaped design"--useful? Or an insult to the intelligence?

Would Franklin and Twain have had the patience to stare at the speed bumps before the content they were seeking known as "welcome screens?

How many times would they honor "required field missing" when buying a new quill pen online and return to the original order before questioning the authority of the pseudo human shopping wizard?

Would their inventive minds have tolerated a technology that can reject illegal and maxed credit cards in five seconds but not glean the state someone lives in?

Forcing someone to scroll through all the US states and territories for two letters?

What would the early democracy advocates have thought of the stereotyping known as Web profiling?

The unsolicited newsletters that arrive from ski trip packagers because you bought running shoes?

Once?

Two years ago?

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

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