Monday, December 22, 2008

The Google Street View Function

I discovered something amazing last night. I don't remember why, but I googled my home address. Then I clicked on the map, which took me here. In the little prompt window, I clicked on "street view ." Amazingly, I found myself looking atthe picket fence in front of the side yard of my house. I hit one of the sideways direction-buttons on keyboard and saw Deborah's gray toyota parked accross the street. Turning again and going left (in relation to the original position), I see Nat's maroon Cadillac in the driveway. My Jeep is missing. Hm. I must be at work. So I go to the University looking for my car, but the robot picture-mobile (or whatever it is) won't go into the parking lot. Darn!

Someone has created a staggeringly huge array of panoramic images of many of the streets of the US, enabling you to travel, pleasantly but pointlessly, while sitting at your desk. For the moment, the people who did this are to me like the mound builders of the midwest, or the pleistocene cave painters. I wonder how the heck they did this but even more I wonder -- what the heck for? What's it supposed to do?

As civilization teeters on the brink of destruction, as the industialized world contemplates suicide in the shape of monstrously stupid governmental policies, I pause for a moment in amazement at the wonderful things humans can still create -- in some cases for no apparent reason.


Anonymous said...

I think you just figured out what millions of Americans do every day at work.

Lester Hunt said...

Yes, it is a miraculous time-waster. Last night it kept me awake until about 4:30 am. Employers must hate it.