The Power of the Internet

The Internet is an amazing thing. When an influential webcomic by the name of XKCD mentions the number of hits Google returns for “died in a(n) ______________ accident” and lists…

• skydiving (710)
• elevator (575)
• surfing (496)
• skateboarding (473)
• camping (166)
• gardening (100)
• ice skating (97)
• knitting (7)
• blogging (2)

within a week, the new results are…

• skydiving (1,630)
• elevator (702)
• surfing (519)
• skateboarding (497)
• camping (192)
• gardening (202)
• ice skating (84; “died in a ice skating accident” returns 5 results, one of which references the comic itself)
• knitting (1,900)
• blogging (18,900)

Here’s the complicated bit. Those two “blogging accidents” are now so deep in Google’s search list, that no one can know if the author of XKCD made them up, or are really there, without serious research. At the same time, blogging has just gone to being one of the more grisly and dangerous activities of the twenty-first century.

Just think… you are at serious risk to your life and person, right now, just by reading this list. You are are experiencing danger at more than ten times the level you would encounter by jumping out of a perfectly good airplane or by wielding a pair of knitting needles (great gods, you’re engaging in activities a hundred times more risky than using a crochet hook in an airport, where the TSA will be on your case for permitting an Afghan to pass through security).

All because of a comic, people. Isn’t that awesome, and scary?

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4 comments

  1. OK. So this guy writes a webcomic, see? And in the webcomic, he has a picture of a graph, showing various ways that people died, arranged by types, and how many hits you get from Google for various kinds of accidents.

    He says that death from blogging accidents returns only two hits. But a week later, and there are over 18,000 hits. So blogging just got a whole lot more dangerous. 🙂

    Well, not really. It’s just a bunch of people referencing his comic. Still, it’s an awesome comment on ‘Net society, that someone makes a mildly funny reference, and only a week later it’s been re-made and remade, 18000 times.

    • OK. So this guy writes a webcomic, see? And in the webcomic, he has a picture of a graph, showing various ways that people died, arranged by types, and how many hits you get from Google for various kinds of accidents.

      He says that death from blogging accidents returns only two hits. But a week later, and there are over 18,000 hits. So blogging just got a whole lot more dangerous. 🙂

      Well, not really. It’s just a bunch of people referencing his comic. Still, it’s an awesome comment on ‘Net society, that someone makes a mildly funny reference, and only a week later it’s been re-made and remade, 18000 times.

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