It takes 56 hours of wasting time on the web...

--clicking aimlessly through dumb web sites, trying stuff, and making tons of mistakes and silly requests--before you master its search process. The web encourages inefficiency. It is all about creating opportunities and ignoring problems. Therefore it has hatched more originality in a few weeks than the efficiency-oriented Dialog system has in its lifetime, that is, if Dialog has ever hatched anything novel at all.

The Web is being run by 20-year-olds because they can afford to waste the 56 hours it takes to become proficient explorers. While 45-year-old boomers can't take a vacation without thinking how they'll justify the trip as being productive in some sense, the young can follow hunches and create seemingly mindless novelties on the web without worrying about whether they are being efficient. Out of these inefficient tinkerings will come the future.



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This is a blog version of a book of mine first published in 1998. I am re-issuing it (two posts per week) unaltered on its 10th anniversary. Comments welcomed. More details here.
-- KK