I sat at roughly 8:30PM on a Wednesday night working on a client proposal and I decided to open up Internet Explorer. Now, this is a rarity for me being the Firefox enthusiast than I am and I’m honestly not sure what prompted me to do so this time. So rarely does this event happen that the default homepage is still set to MSN. Upon it’s launched I was greeted by the standard page of various news stories, etc. And I’m glad I did.
A headline in the news caught my attention, “He Only Saved A Billion People”. I decided to follow the link and see what they were referring to. As it turns out, Jonathan Alter (the reporter) was referring to Norman Borlaug. Norman who? That’s exactly the question I asked.
As it turns out, Mr. Borlaug – a 93 year old agronomist (they deal with the science of agriculture) was just awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Well good for him I suppose but that’s last week’s news (literally). What else has he done?
On top of that he’s won the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. OK OK, I’m a little bit impressed I suppose but come on, why should this guy get a blog post here when I haven’t even bothered to write one about Brad Pitt, or Paris Hilton – I mean, they’re famous too. Oh wait, Borlaug isn’t famous. Well, Brad and Paris are stars that we all know so Borlaug couldn’t have done too much that’s for sure. We’ll, there’s this one little thing – he is credited with saving a billion people.
That’s right, this person whom I’m writing about, who I only found out about by accident when I landed on MSN, is credited with saving over one billion people worldwide. Now, I can’t get into all the details here however I do know where you can find them, the link will come in a little bit. The point of this blog however is to bring up a very interesting question (albeit unrelated to SEO). What are we doing? I consider myself to be a fairly educated human being (who doesn’t?) and I read a lot (in fact, I read all day at my computer) but it hits me now that the more “connected” I become with the world around me, the more I Facebook, the more I MSN, the more I rely on YouTube and SpikedHumor for my entertainment – the less I know about what’s actually going on around me. I get caught up in the great importance of SEO and spend countless hours watching rankings move a position or two and studying what made it happen and then, when it’s time for a break, I turn to online games, chats, forums and the like to provide my distractions never pausing to consider that there just might be something in this world outside of my computer.
Now, don’t get me wrong; each person has their role and that thing they are best at and that is the task they should do. I’m not about to pack up the family in our mini-van and head for the hills to save whatever might be there – I enjoy SEO and my clients far to much to consider that, however today brought forth a great reminder that sometimes it just might be wise to open the window (goodness the light is sure bright – grrrrr, and it reflects on my monitor) and take a peek around and see what’s going on in the real world. Are we becoming too preoccupied with the existence of the artificial world we have created out of 1’s and 0’s? Are we losing touch with what’s really important? Why do I know the private lives of celebrities but I don’t know the name of an extremely influential scientist who’s saved a billion people? Perhaps it is time that we set aside a moment each day to look into what’s really going on around us, at who’s really making a difference. Or, perhaps I’ll just leave the homepage of Internet Explorer set at MSN and use it, once in a while.
For those of you hoping for some SEO insight, my apologies – I promise you’ll find some below and in our articles archives. If you’re actually interested (and I hope you are) you can read the full story on the MSN site here.