Just look around you — at the people crouched over their phones as they walk the streets, or drive their cars, or walk their dogs, or play with their children. Observe yourself in line for coffee, or in a quick work break, or driving, or even just going to the bathroom. Visit an airport and see the sea of craned necks and dead eyes. We have gone from looking up and around to constantly looking down.
If an alien had visited America just five years ago, then returned today, wouldn’t this be its immediate observation? That this species has developed an extraordinary new habit — and, everywhere you look, lives constantly in its thrall?
— Andrew Sullivan, "I Used to Be a Human Being," New York Magazine, September 19, 2016.
[T]he first visitors to the web spent their time online reading web magazines. Then came blogs, then Facebook, then Twitter. Now it’s Facebook videos and Instagram and SnapChat that most people spend their time on. There’s less and less text to read on social networks, and more and more video to watch, more and more images to look at. Are we witnessing a decline of reading on the web in favor of watching and listening?
Is this trend driven by people’s changing cultural habits, or is it that people are following the new laws of social networking? I don’t know — that’s for researchers to find out — but it feels like it’s reviving old cultural wars. After all, the web started out by imitating books and for many years, it was heavily dominated by text, by hypertext. Search engines put huge value on these things, and entire companies — entire monopolies — were built off the back of them. But as the number of image scanners and digital photos and video cameras grows exponentially, this seems to be changing. Search tools are starting to add advanced image recognition algorithms; advertising money is flowing there.
But the Stream, mobile applications, and moving images: They all show a departure from a books-internet toward a television-internet. We seem to have gone from a non-linear mode of communication — nodes and networks and links — toward a linear one, with centralization and hierarchies.
The web was not envisioned as a form of television when it was invented. But, like it or not, it is rapidly resembling TV: linear, passive, programmed and inward-looking.
-- Hossein Derakhshan at Medium.com
Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity. Priceline. Mobissimo.com searches airfares across online quote providers, including airline ticket consolidators. Consolidator links. Tips on using frequent flier programs at frequentflier.com and howstuffworks.com. Ticket upgrade tips at upgradebuddy.com. Much advice at Edward Hasbrouck’s The Practical Nomad. A guide to sleeping in airports. A Monkeyfilter discussion about cheap plane tickets.
Google searches mail-order catalogs. JC Whitney, the online version of the magnificent old paper catalog for automobile parts. Edmund Scientific. The Estes model rockets catalog, present-day, and the Estes catalog from 1973. Campmor and REI.