27 September 2002
Can you go home again?
Stephanie Losi gauges the distance between Then and Now:
"It has become very clear to me that most of my high school classmates have gone on to do nothing. Not nothing in the sense of sitting around and becoming deadbeats, but they seem to have vanished, disappeared into the vast mass of anonymous humanity, not made a name for themselves. I remember us clearly at 18, filled with delusions of grandeur and ambition. We all would be famous at 25, rich and happy and in love with the person of our dreams. We would travel, we would express ourselves, we would be great. But I search Google now and find very few hints at what my former classmates might be doing. I wonder if using Google to gauge life accomplishment is a foolish pursuit; I strongly suspect it is, but it's the only way to check in on those I no longer speak with. Google selects for Internet savvy; it excludes huge segments of the population who are not online or do not care to leave a record of their being here. I am considering going to my tenth high school reunion. Not sure yet."
I didn't go to my tenth, or my twentieth. Or my thirtieth.
But while I'm easily Googleable, the result of six years on the Web and eight or nine on Usenet, the searcher will quickly discover that whatever my putative Internet savvy, I have gone on to do nothing. And what's worse, I'm damned good at it.