Monday, September 1

It’s early in the morning, but I’ve been awake for hours. Some time after 2 I realized I wasn’t going to fall back asleep and started reading the internet again.

The internet considered as a book is a huge volume, and new pages are being written at an impossible clip. On the other hand, I remember a question framed something like this: What was the last year in which it would have been possible for a single person to read everything published? That was almost certainly centuries ago. Even a standard-issue public library in a mid-sized American city of the middle 1980s probably contained more interesting text than I’m liable to consume in the rest of a reading life.

Which is to say that right now I’m choosing to see the internet as something which was already old long before I was born. If the augmented memory footprint of civilization can be considered as a kind of thing, then the internet is a thing at least as old as cave paintings and clay tablets.