Some smarty-pants winner of the Nobel Prize in literature has offered the learned opinion that the Internet could have prevented Hitler’s rise to power. In his lecture to the Swedish Academy on December 7, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio remarked, “Who knows, if the Internet had existed at the time, perhaps Hitler’s criminal plot would not have succeeded – ridicule might have prevented it from ever seeing the light of day.”
Monsieur Le Clezio obviously has a higher opinion of this here Internet than yours truly, but his comment does raise an intriguing hypothetical question:
What Other Historical Catastrophes Could the Internet have Prevented?
Could have prevented the assassination of President Kennedy by — well, that’s a good question, isn’t it, who killed Kennedy, because if you believe that load of self-contradictory whitewash handed down by the Warren Commission then you’re a bigger fool than I thought.
Could have finally convinced the so-called “scientific community” to take my Hollow Earth theories seriously before it became too late to mount an expedition to save my beloved SheeRa, the savage yet beautiful princess from the Inner Dwelling tribe of the Ne’Epo.
Could have allowed the Donner Party to Mapquest the California Trail, thus saving everyone a lot of indigestion.
Could have resolved once and for all the age-old question: Kirk or Picard?
Could have organized a boatlift to evacuate Atlantis before it sank beneath the waves forever.
Could have prevented many of history’s greatest financial bubbles, from Tulipmania in 1637 to the South Sea Company of 1720 to the railroad stocks of the 1840s, because everyone knows that irrational financial speculation is a thing of the past in today’s hyper-efficient, information-driven economy.
Could have provided a venue for fan fiction based on Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks, thus preventing a wave of copy-cat suicides among overly-sensitive Prussian youths.
Could have prevented a lawless band of Republican thugs from subverting the US Constitution and the Geneva Conventions, bankrupting the US Treasury, eviscerating environmental laws, installing incompetent cronies at all levels of government, and systematically destroying the reputation of the world’s last superpower.