There has to be something for that
A complete regurgitation of the thing I've been thinking about for far too long now, brought on by some guy being excited about shrimp in the fridge. It’s been so long since I’ve written anything at all, so this is...rough. NONformed.
Currently I'm listening to the audio version of Min Kamp, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It’s all interesting in the sort of way finding out about someone’s specifics in life is. (Which is why I love—live for—dates 1-5.)
But then that thing happens that happens all the time: he mentions, offhandedly, that his father left shrimp in the fridge—his favorite. Record-scratching stop: what kind of shrimp. Tell me more. Instantly I'm googling Norwegian shrimp dishes. Is it raw? A shrimp sandwich? A shrimp salad? That sounds interesting — can I buy anything similar here? Maybe at Pike Place? How much are flights to Oslo? Can I get by in the offseason when it’s likely freezing?
The questions go on forever.
So that brings us to the one thing that everybody wants, right? Where is the website that enables the norwegian (who is prodded to this question I've submitted because they are, in fact, from Norway and might have insight into this matter) to provide the insight? Sure, quora. But less of a question-and-answer. I don't want to ask THE question, "Hey, what kind of shrimp dishes are common in Knausgaard’s hometown?" Something far more subtle, but permanent. When the next wanderer encounters that part of Min Kamp vol 1, they think the same, head to dereksveryspecialwebsite.com, and type in
shrimp, norway. Or
When I was on a road trip with a friend, hurtling down the interstate, we stumbled upon thousands of miniscule sites that prompted some other sort of question: what was there?
I already use something for that: V for Wiki, a location-based (GPS coordinates) wikipedia app. It takes your current location, shows all the relevant articles nearby, and boom. Instant gratification for about 2% of the things I want to know.
There has to be more.
Whenever I realize that antique stores are actually places that I enjoy browsing, I go in. Think of all those things that will soon be lost to time, though. Why aren't the postcards being scanned by us. Not the government, but people. Why don’t we have an entity? Humanity Company. Humanity Org.
On the interstate, with that friend, we started talking about the very first use case for Alternate Reality that I've ever been intersted in. Imagine scanning the horizon—the horizon that exists in the flatlands of Montana or Idaho wher you don’t think anything noteworthy has ever existed—with your GoOgLe GlAsSeS or FaCeBoOk OcuLus thing, or whatever—and identifying a hill out in the distance that shares a paragraph of some battle from some week hundreds of years ago. Or the little hut, worn down from the last 150 years, that, turns out, just leads down to a little silver mine that everyone within 100 miles has completely forgotten about.
So who builds the thing? The place where I go to find out about the shrimp of Knausgaard. Where I find the book that I want to read about the islands between Sweden and Finland and how everybody just gets on with life via boats. I mean, I know how people in Scotland do it; how do they? Somebody knows something about that.
It could’ve just been peel-to-eat shrimp, though. That would be disappointing.