Lady Gaga just came on TV. My lovely lady wife said “I don’t even know her real name”. Obviously, iPad in hand, I had the answer in a gaggle of picoseconds. And then the sagely question was asked by the beautiful one across the room from me “what did we do before the Internet?”.

Well. I thought.

Many years ago, in those tobacco brown days of the 70’s and 80’s we’d be sitting at home watching well, what would it be, Kojak? Starsky and Hutch? You can tell how much the world has changed by how hard it was to get the iPad to accept that Starsky was a word.

The phone would ring. My Uncle Bobby was in a pub in the middle of a heated debate. These things happen in pubs. There is an evangelistic, aggressive embracing of trivia in pubs of which I approve immensely. Trouble is, there was no arbiter. Money would quickly get involved. Maybe 10, 20 quid, maybe more if the contestants were proper jaked. But how do you pay out. No Internet, libraries closed. Well, it seems…

“hang on, I’ll phone my nephew.”

It was assumed that I would know or had a book that could tell. And, crucially, what I said STOOD. Mad as they were, the word of some young kid on the phone who was said, in legend, to know stuff, was enough to hand out cash.

I just realised tonight. I used to be the internet. Which is hugely appropriate. It is very unlikely I always got it right.

Thanks to Chris Lewis for pointing me at this xkcd cartoon which reinforces the point nicely.

Extended Mind - xkcd