Thursday, 20 May 2010

The Internet occasionally reminds me of how different life is because of it. I noted on Facebook that, from a statistical perspective, what makes baseball such an amazing sport is that you can watch it your entire life and still see, on a daily basis, something you’ve never seen before. (It’s a truism, I know, but it has the benefit of actually being true.) In this case, the something in question was watching the wonderfully named Angel Pagan hit an inside-the-park home run and initiate a triple play in the same game. John Emerson responded with some humbug about it not being an inside-the-park grand slam, which made me remember that I had seen an inside-the-park grand slam at some time in the remote past. I remember being six or seven years old and watching the Mets play the Cardinals in an afternoon game at Shea Stadium, and thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I can definitively say that at approximately 4:30 p.m. on 9 June 1985, I watched Terry Pendleton hit an inside-the-park grand slam off Joe Sambito in a game the Cardinals would go on to win handily. The fact that I can verify vague memories of events that occurred twenty-five years ago astounds me in a way I sometimes forget the Internet is capable of doing. This realization is obviously not of world-historical importance, merely a reminder that this thing whose existence we take for granted daily represents a fundamentally weird complement to human memory. The fact that at some point in the future I can know who I rode in an elevator with on 28 December 2005 is less weird because I chose to write about riding in an elevator with Grimace. That I can access detailed information about events I have no right remembering in detail is another matter entirely.

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