Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I've Discovered My Newest Time-Waster

It started so innocently.

Well, that's not exactly true. It started with me websurfing. You never know what's going to happen when you start websurfing. Websurfing is not innocent--never was, never will be.

At any rate, I was over at the Instapundit, when I saw a post with no text--just a title and a link:
John Tierney: A Beautiful Math.
Sounds mildly intriguing, I thought. So I clicked over and found myself at John Tierney's blog at the NY Times. It turns out, it was a review of a recent episode of the PBS show NOVA.

The "Beautiful Math" he was referring to, was Fractals. Ah! I love those. Not only are they intellectually satisfying--in that a simple formula can be used to generate very complex, chaotic structures--but they are often very, very beautiful to look at.

And I've always enjoyed the NOVA program. But, of course, my wife and I don't have a TV, right? While this means we aren't tempted to fill our lives with all that Hollywood dreck--a circumstance that we feel justifies our decision--it does mean that we miss out on the good programming that's out there. It's a justified sacrifice, we feel--but we do recognize it's a sacrifice.

But then I read the following:
[UPDATE, Wednesday, Oct. 29] If you missed the show last night, you can watch it by clicking here. You’ll see a beautiful explanation of how patterns of static in phone lines led to the Mandelbrot set pictured above — and much more. I agree with Xanthippe’s critical verdict on the show: “Brilliant.”

So this evening, after the kids were all in bed, my curiosity got the better of me, and I clicked on it. Sure enough, the entire PBS episode was available, free in streaming Quicktime format. So I watched it as my wife fell asleep on the couch.

You know, this streaming video on demand thingy may have some promise....

But out of curiosity, I started poking around the PBS/NOVA website, and saw that they have a whole bunch of other episodes available, as well.

So this raised the question in my mind... What other free TV is there available? Let me look around...

Oh, no. CBS has put up the entire original Star Trek series online, available for free download.

Even worse: South Park. This show, truly, is one argument in favor of not having a TV. No one should be watching this show ever, ever, ever. Don't even think about clicking on that link.

I suspect that many of my readers are laughing at me about now: You're only now figuring this Internet/TV stuff out? You are, like, so 2005.

Yeah, go ahead and laugh. I was happy before, and now my life has just been turned upside down. All this means, of course, that unless I'm really careful I'll start spending all my free time watching TV on my computer! Our desire to Kill the TV and live simple, wholesome lives is being thwarted by the March of Technology and our society's pursuit of the Convenient!

What a bunch of Herberts.

1 comment:

Alison said...

In case this finds its way to you, I suppose you got caught in precisely the internet addiction you suggested. Or you are enjoying your family. I enjoyed your blogs - I spent awhile on the Weird Al article, history, and watching his videos, and am currently watching his movie, UHF, online. I'm only a few minutes into it, so can't rate it yet. Anyway, I hope your life is going well!