Life before the Internet sucked. My life as a kid growing up in suburban Michigan consisted of urban sprawl, shopping malls, and bad television (except 30 minutes of Seinfeld every Thursday). Adults told you that educated people followed the news, but most small towns had one mediocre newspaper, and local TV news had cats stuck in trees and house fires. (Thanks, adults.) To learn anything, you had to drive to a bookstore; subscribe to a stack of magazines; or schlep to a library, go through a card catalog, discover a book that someone had already checked out and was overdue, request the book back from that person or order it through interlibrary loan, and wait a few more weeks for the book to come while watching bad sitcoms (Seinfeld notwithstanding) with loud commercials.
It was barbaric.
Then everything changed. With the Internet, anyone could create any website or digital technology, or spread any message—without having to hire a lawyer, negotiate a deal, or beg to get an editor or TV producer’s attention.
Read the full piece over at Slate.