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MLA Full: "Internetless in Maine." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 15 September 2009,
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Hank, on vacation in Maine, realizes that he's somehow ended up in a place that doesn't even have phones, nevermind internet.

First, that makes him scared...then it makes him think.


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A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
Good morning, John, it's Tuesday, September 14th, and I am hours from the nearest internet connection. [*girly whining*]


I am visiting my great aunt-and-uncle-in-law Joyce and Irving. In the middle of nowhere, Maine. I mean, Montana is one thing, but we have, like movie theaters and art galleries and demolition derbies and coffee shops with internet in them. This place has indoor plumbing and hot water, but that's about as far as it goes. Though, I'll tell you, my phone gets amazing reception here; way better than we ever get in Montana. But my phone does not have 3G; it is not a smart phone. My phone is dumb. My phone is so dumb ...[*exasperated sigh*] and I would put a joke here if I had the internet to look up jokes.


Actually, whenever I spend a lot of time without-- what was that? Thought maybe there was a snake or something. Actually, whenever I spend a lot of time without the internet I end up with colossal amounts of brain crack. I guess when I'm not doing stuff I tend to spend a lot more time thinking about stuff to do. So here are my two brain crack ideas from so far this trip:

1 - Build in vending machines to buses so that when you're on the Greyhound bus or a city bus you can get, like, a coke or a sandwich 'cause I'm always hungry and thirsty on buses.

Or, 2 - A housed camera that you can, like, clamp to a tree or a pole or something that takes time lapse pictures of whatever you want to take time lapse pictures of. So you just screw it in, turn it on, and then come back in a year when whatever you wanted to take a time lapse movie of is done doing its thing that you wanted to take the time lapse movie of.

But that's not what I've been thinking about for the most part. Mostly in these long hours away from the internet what I've been thinking about is how different life is here without really being very different at all.

I've got a friend who's about to go to the Congo to teach digital media to Congolese people (awesome idea!). That is going to be a very different life. This - not that different! This just doesn't have the internet. That's the only real difference, but it's just different enough for me to realize that most of the people in the world live lives that are nothing like the life I live. And I spend literally no time thinking about those peoples' lives or why they love living them, and how they, as people, have been shaped by those lives that I know nothing about.

John, you and I talk a lot about understanding other people complexly, but then we go and we spend, like, ten hours a day in front of the computer screen (and that's the minimum). How do you understand people complexly if you know nothing about them? What we really need to do is spend as much time as possible with people who are as different from us as possible. What we do is the exact opposite of that because it's much more comfortable and much easier to understand people complexly when they are very similar to us, 'cause we can just take us and add and subtract certain things.

So here I am living in a world that might as well be the 1950s with people who sit around and talk about the good 'ol days when people never got abducted and apples tasted better and meat was good for you and we always knew who the bad guys were, and what I know for real is that those days are old, but they aren't any more good than the days we've got today. What they are is something that I will never be able to understand and something that shaped millions of Americans. And that's why I have such a hard time understanding so many of the people in America, never mind the rest of the world. It's also the reason why their way of life is, to me, about as stressful as it is relaxing to them. So, to be honest, how am I ever going to understand people complexly if I don't occasionally spend a few days away from that technological teat that is my home, my work, my fun, my play, and of course, my soapbox.

And thank you for standing around my soapbox for the last four minutes. John, you will see me tomorrow with some decidedly less serious and more internet-inspired stuff in a video that I filmed last week, because I was prepared. Unlike I am now: I totally didn't even bring my FireWire cable which is why I'm on the EyeSight camera proving to you that you can make a good vlog with the EyeSight camera.