Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I Can See My House From Here!

Last night, I downloaded Google Earth, which is the most awesome way to waste time ever devised by man, and now I will never accomplish anything productive ever again (not that I was ever all that productive in the first place). I knew about Google Earth for a while, but I never cared that much until I read this article in the Times about how various world governments with stuff to hide aren't very happy that any idiot with a web connection can download high-resolution satellite imagery of all their secure government offices and military bases and whatnot. Of course, in this same week, Dubya cockily admitted to ordering the NSA to illegally spy on American citizens, so downloading pictures that the Man doesn't want you to have feels like sticking a middle finger right in the administration's face.

It's hollow, but it's still a vindication for human nature, like I never really cared what the Indian presidential mansion, Rashtrapati Bhavan, looked like until I found out that the Indian surveyor general didn't want me to know. (Uh, yeah, then why do you have a Flash tour of the mansion on your website, dumbass?) I love how the Powers That Be will never get that the more they try to keep the hoi polloi out of things, the more the hoi polloi will want in. It's like these people have never been to high school or anything.

Actually, lame spying aside, all you really do with Google Earth is get an aerial shot of your house and go, "Wow, so that's what my house looks like!" Then you get aerial shots of all your friends' houses, take an aerial tour of your hometown, and spend the next eight hours typing in random tourist destinations and landmarks and fooling around with the various search features, pretending that you actually care where there's a gas station near the Forbidden City. It's like all the tedious guidebook planning of a vacation without the actual fun of getting off your sofa.


Carlo Alberto said...

Best Places in Italy: