Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's all my fault

Over at the Wall Street Journal, Gordon Crovitz devotes hundreds of words to answer the question: who invented the internet?

It's a fascinating historical discussion - but you don't really need hundreds of words to answer that question when only one or two will do: I did. And I did it just on the weekend.

It's amazing what a little yeast will do, when you use it in the right way. On the weekend I happened to find, lying around the house, some malted barley, a bag of hops, several staples, a book of the life of Charles Babbage, an empty jar, and a malodorous sock that hadn't been cleaned for a week. On a spur of the moment decision, I harvested some yeast from the sock, and it turned out to be just the sort that I needed.

Within moments, I  had mixed the basic ingredients together with some water on the stove. For flavouring I added the hops, and strained several key facts from the book about Charles Babbage into a sack of cheesecloth I had sitting in a colander, before adding this to the beverage. When it was the right temperature, I added the yeast. By Sunday afternoon they were fermenting in in the jar on the bench.

I checked on them in the evening and already the mixture had started making rudimentary email connections. Several hours later, it had discovered the secret of blogging. By the morning, it was tweeting vigorously amongst itself, and getting into huge arguments with itself on facebook.

Now that I've invented the internet, though, I'm not sure what to do with it. You can't really drink it, can you? I think I'll just go back to making beer, next time.

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