The Navigator from Computer Parables

I wsa just looking through my old copy of Computer Parables. Even though this book was published in 1989, well before the dot-com era, it seemed to understand what the Internet would one day become:

"A programmer once built a vast database containing all the literature, facts, figures, and data in the world. Then he built an advanced querying system that linked that knowledge together, allowing him to wander through the database at will. Satisfied and pleased, he sat down before his computer to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

After three minutes, the programmer had a headache. After three hours, the programmer felt ill. After three days, the programmer destroyed his database. When asked why, he replied: “That system put the world at my fingertips. I could go anywhere, see anything. Because I was no longer limited by external conditions, I had no excuse for not knowing everything there is to know. I could neither sleep nor eat. All I could do was wander through the database. Now I can rest.”

Looking back at the dot-com era, it might be no coincidence that this parable was called "The Navigator."

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