Invaluable

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Lots of things can be invaluable, but what’s invaluable to me? This is actually a tricky thing to figure out. Would it be something like my glasses, that help me to see without getting headaches from eye-strain?

Maybe.

Possibly, it could be something much larger, like the entirety of the internet. It’s a vast resource that often allows me to achieve feats of wizardry, as I pick up knowledge that would have been very fuzzy in accuracy back in the days before I had access to it. In those days, knowledge was primarily gained from ancient objects known as books, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias. Those were often bulky or far slower to find relevant information from. Back then, however, they were definitely invaluable, and their importance and continued existence and evolution are an important aspect of the internet.

A dictionary that pronounces words and has hyperlinks to synonyms and antonyms is super-awesome. That was an expensive way to go before the internet, which put it largely out of reach in any practical form for me.

That usefulness extends to my smart phone, an iPhone, and that also makes it an invaluable device to have. I literally have access to any part of the internet whenever I carry it and have cellular service or free wi-fi.

I do sometimes wonder when I encounter a person that actually struggles with finding information and yet, they also carry a similar device. Why don’t they try to use it to answer a question they have. Reliance on “group think” on the small scale (people actually present) can sometimes be error-prone, especially if nobody there has the relevant expertise or experience to properly field the question, so why not try getting the information from a larger, usually first-hand from those that deposit the information? Yes, sometimes bias creeps in, but, for the most part, for information that needs to be factual, with no room for opinions, there’s often no better source at hand than the internet.

I definitely don’t claim that sites like Wikipedia are perfect, but I do believe that sites like Dictionary.com, which pull from their traditional counterparts, can be very solid.

So, if you don’t look up information online first, or you still try to first memorize directions to a location without assistance, why is that so? Comment on that.


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