Saturday, May 09, 2009

Momrat takes on the internet

[We're driving in a car. I'm explaining how we can watch the original Abba video for "Take a Chance on Me" on this thing called Youtube, if we like.]

Momrat: Here's the the thing. I just don't understand how it works.

YT: How what works?

Momrat: You know. The internet. Why is there all that information? What is Youtube, and why is it THERE?

YT: It's just like real addresses, Ma. You know, when the mail truck is looking for you, they need to get to Smith Street, then they find #4. Well, think of Youtube as Smith Street, and the Abba video as, like, #87,400. And Google is like the phone book, where you find all the addresses.

Momrat: ...

YT: Does that make sense?

Momrat: No.

YT: Why not?

Momrat: What is it all doing in my HOUSE? Why is it in a little BOX? Did it come in on a WIRE, or something? [Waves hand wildly at windshield.] Why is all the information floating out there? Is there just an Abba video floating out there in the air? Why does that stuff even exist? Where was it before the internet?!

YT: ...

Momrat: WELL?!

YT: I... don't... I don't know.

Momrat: Yeah.

YT: I... I guess I just take it all for granted.

Momrat: Yeah, see? *You* don't know, either. No one knows. It's just all... floating.

44 comments:

iasa said...

I think a floating ABBA may just be the most disturbing image ever.

writtenwyrdd said...

Hahahaha! You know where that stuff was? In data limbo, where all unshrived data goes. And the Internet is data Nirvana/ Heaven. All data thus ends up on the Internet.

freddie said...

It exists so dolts like me can find their way around using Google Maps instead of getting directions that start with, "Okay, so you've locked your front door . . . "

beth said...

omg....can't breathe....laughing too hard....

Dennis Cass said...

Love this. Great scene and so funny.

Re: Abba

I'm okay with it floating around out there, but I also suspect that the Abba is somehow floating through me as well.

Which is not acceptable.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Very funny!

Sort of like flipping a switch and having a light come on? That electricity is floating out there, too. Maybe it'll zap ABBA.

Omi said...

I actually have a comment to make that has nothing to do with your post (which was, admittedly, thought provoking and hilarious at the same time) -

I was reading down the side-bar of your blog, going through the various things you've linked to, and you mentioned that a group of rats was a 'mischief.' This made me think of a 'murder' of ravens, and presented me with an interesting book title: Mischief and Murder. It will obviously be a book about rats and ravens, and will most likely be the short childrens/YA that I'd been considering writing and working towards getting it published (for, in your words, my 'platform' from which I will launch my first full length fantasy novel.)

If I do write Mischief and Murder, you will feature prominently in either the book itself or in the credits, as the progenitor of the idea. ♥ Also, I love your blog. x3

Kristan said...

LOL. Well actually, (to my understanding,) all the information on the internet has to be stored on computer hard drives SOMEWHERE, it's just that we never see these computers, because the information is TRANSMITTED via "floating in the air."

So the internet does, in a way, exist physically, but it's spread out on computers all over the place.

Your mom is hilarious, though. :P

Sara J. Henry said...

This is hilarious. I love your mom. And she has a good point: Why is all that stuff floating out there?

jjdebenedictis said...

Writtenwyrdd:Now I'm getting an image of millions of data servers chained up in hell. Demons prod them with tasers to keep them crunching data as fast as they can. They sit there in the brimstone-and-burnt-plastic scented darkness, grunting and sweating as the internet scorches their mechanical brains.

The Internet: It's like a sweatshop for robots.

Barb said...

You just took me back to the moment when my aunt asked me where all the deleted code goes.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I actually think deleted code is quite fascinating since it's not really deleted, but just sitting there headless on your comupter until the day something new is written over each piece of its body, one byte at a time.

Elle Parker said...

Too funny!! The scary thing is, I can feel myself starting to think that way. I get the internet...but Twitter mystifies me.

Elle Parker
http://elleparkerbooks.blogspot.com/

Litgirl01 said...

It could be worse...she could make an attempt at using the internet. My mom does, and it's not pretty. In other words, I am her own personal help desk. UGH! I tried to correct her email smileys to no avail. They look like this: :=>>. She said it had a double chin and she continues to use it. :-D

PurpleClover said...

Well at least she's older than you. Just imagine how embarassing it is for me when my 3 year old asks "but why?" and I sit there scratching my head. D'oh!


But your mom raises a good point.

PurpleClover said...

LITGIRL! OMG! ROFL!!!!

I'm totally using that one. Tell your mom thanks...she may start a revolution!

:=>>

moonrat said...

Dennis--Abba floats through us ALL

moonrat said...

Omi--can't wait to see it!!!

JES said...

Saw an article on the Premiere Magazine site the other day, on the 40 Greatest Movie Moms. MomRat will SO be on that list when they make a movie about her.

(Er -- or, of course, about you.)

Loved this story. I'd send it to my own mother but her email has been down for a couple months and she's already freaked out that aliens are probably reading it in her absence.

angelle said...

i wonder this from time to time. like WHERE is the internet?

Whirlochre said...

*hovers in like amorphous plankton, wends feeler ratward, feels tingle, floats back off negotiating choice parabola for return...*

Nancy Coffelt said...

I love this! Are you sure we don't have the same mom?

Mine always calls me to tell me she got my email.

At least I think I got her to stop printing them out...

spyscribbler said...

Ohmigosh, I was JUST trying to answer those very same questions this week. I had to go here to figure it out. Or at least, try to figure it out.

But it still feels freaky. I still think it just might be floating. Out there. Somewhere. Everywhere.

Crystal Posey said...

"It's just all... floating."

So cute.

Lafreya said...

Oh my goodness I am laughing so hard. I use to have these kind of conversations with my own mom. I use to just give up.

Sarah Laurenson said...

My mom got a B.S. in Computer Science because she figured computers were going to take over everyday life and she didn't want to be afraid of them when they did.

Gotta love that practicality.

Jo said...

She accepted television at some point in her life, right? No reason to understand exactly how it all works but just acknowledge that it's pretty much a good thing.
It's trying to make sense of it that makes your head spin. Far better to just dive in and coast.

Charles Gramlich said...

I feel like I just went back in time.

Kim Kasch said...

I love Momrat!

:)

McKoala said...

And this is why I love Momrat.

Anonymous said...

jjdebenedictis said...

Writtenwyrdd:Now I'm getting an image of millions of data servers chained up in hell. Demons prod them with tasers to keep them crunching data as fast as they can. They sit there in the brimstone-and-burnt-plastic scented darkness, grunting and sweating as the internet scorches their mechanical brains.

The Internet: It's like a sweatshop for robots.
I've worked in IT. You're not that far off.

Ebony McKenna. said...

It is floating out there, especially when you're in a wifi hot spot. Whatever that is. I have a suspicion they don't really exist.

Juliana Stone said...

OMG your mom is too cute! Sounds like mine!

WendyCinNYC said...

My mom sounds like Litgirl01's. She's on the internet and even wants me to show her how to get on Facebook so she can be my friend.

I'd better watch my language or I'll be eating soap again soon.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

HYSTERICAL!!! Gotta love your mom.

A Writer said...

Youtube is located on Googles data servers. They are actually quite neat. You can learn about them on youtube of course :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRwPSFpLX8I

Melanie Avila said...

ROFLMAO!!

I recently had a similar conversation with mu husband. We decided that there are giant computers "someplace" and that's where all the information is. Not floating. :)

Chris Eldin said...

AHAHAHAHHAH! I LOVE these posts!!
:-)

Kathleen Dante said...

Why is all the information floating out there?
LOL Tell Momrat it's like people decorating for the holidays. They just do. =)

Anonymous said...

It's late to comment but I can't resist telling you that this is one of the funniest exchanges I've ever read. It belongs in a play, although there'd have to be a huge pause for audiences to recover...I don't know what other dialogue could ever top it.

My husband and son and I have been wiping tears off our faces for the last 5 minutes. If they weren't laughing so hard, I might think it was the med's for my root canal, but I don't think...it's just FUNNY. Abba videos floating in the ether...it is hard to wrap your mind around.

Please write more about your mom, she's a stitch.

moonrat said...

Heehee. Anon, I can't help but agree.

Anonymous said...

"What is it all doing in my HOUSE? Why is it in a little BOX? Did it come in on a WIRE, or something? [Waves hand wildly at windshield.] Why is all the information floating out there? Is there just an Abba video floating out there in the air? Why does that stuff even exist? Where was it before the internet?!"

These are simple answers which I have listed below:

1) "What is it all doing in my HOUSE?"

It's in your house because you have a connection to the Internet in your house (through your computer, probably, but also possibly though your cell-phone or other wireless device). Disconnect the "internet connection," meaning the cable from your modem to your PC, or just unplug the device that serves as your modem, and voila, your house is clean.

2)Why is it in a little BOX?

I assume that by "box" you mean computer. it's in the computer so that you can view and work with it. As noted above, however, computers are no longer the only devices which "have" the Internet.

3) Did it come in on a WIRE, or something?

In most cases, yes, it comes in on a wire right to your PC. In some cases there may be a "wireless router" which beams the data through the air (after it is piped to the wireless router via cable) much the same way your TV remote beams data through the air at your TV to tell it what to do.

4) Why is all the information floating out there?

It's not so much that the info is "floating" out there, like with radio and television waves, which truly are floating out there all the way to space where they continue on...but that it is linked or "networked" together from where it lives on millions of individual computers and other data storage devices. Sort of like a hive mind. So when you plug into the Internet (i.e. "network") you are connecting to millions of other computers with whatever they happen to have stored on them.

5) Is there just an Abba video floating out there in the air?

There are Abba vids from the early MTV broadcasts which are now probably jusst leaving our solar system--these are floating out there. The Youtube Abba vids, however, are not floating anywhere but are isntead just data files residing on someone's computer somewhere in the world (which is or was at some point connected to the Internet).

6) Why does that stuff even exist?
It exists because people created it. Files can be created on computers in various ways, including downloading digital video from your own camera, or from another computer via the Internet.

7)Where was it before the internet?!"
It existed in different formats. For example, the Abba video was some kind of 16mm film reel or whatever they shot music videos in the early 1980's with. At some point, after computers becamse more advanced, someone (I'm guessing whoever owned the rights to Abba's music) converted their Abba video into digital format so that it could be viewed and distributed online.

Another example would be your Mom's personal snapshots from when you were a kid, before there were digi cams. They're prints. Supposed you scan one in and e-mailed it to your Mom. It's now on the 'net. "where was it?" before the net? It was a print photo, probably by Kodak.


Hope this helps.

A Writer said...

I'm taking exception with point 5. Youtube isn't a P2P network it's a centralized data model. It's not on someones computer it's on a data server.

Anonymous said...

funny stuff. always fun to hear how people discover and process new things.

does she have the same questions about television? about how the pictures and sounds get into the box?

wonder if something similar went through people's minds when TV was introduced - the mind-boggling thought of waves of sound and pictures being able to be "decoded" into television shows.