The Unicorn

Friday, December 13, 2013


Millions of Americans don't use the internet at all. Some don't have access because of poverty, geography, or age. But some just never logged on. OTM producer and TLDR co-creator Alex Goldman goes on a quest to find someone who never made it online.  Programming note: Take a look at TLDR -- OTM's new blog and podcast


Alex Goldman

Comments [7]

Thatwood B. Telling from The Village

JBeek-- I'm pretty sure TLDR is (usually) a stand-alone offshoot of OTM, is done by Alex and PJ without B&B's input and is not edited ... by Brooke. It was included in this week's rundown probably for the dual purposes of giving Brooke and Bob a slightly easier week as well as promoting TLDR for two of their their trusty producers-- happy holidays, dontcha know?

Dec. 16 2013 09:34 PM
Evan from Washington, DC

Heard this on the podcast and again on the radio this weekend. Loved it. Got us smiling as we made breakfast.

Fantastic story and what fun to discover through Mike's eyes how amazing the internet can be. I think it is easy to forget since I have it at my fingertips for most of the day. Keep it up and TLDR forever!

Dec. 16 2013 11:49 AM
JBeek from NYC

My great respect for OtM took a severe beating today when I heard Alex Goldman tell a nice trusting guy that Wikipedia was "like the Encyclopedia Britannica." How on earth did that not get cut out or at least given a follow up qualification when the story was "edited... by Brooke?"

Wikipedia is an amazing project, and like anybody else I use it all the time, but it is a very different thing than Britannica - or even the World Book. The differences are a vital part of what makes today's information environment so unlike the world the unicorn knew. The "crowd-sourced" nature of the project yields vastly different levels of quality in the content, and odd disparities in the quantity of content between different subjects. That, in some ways, is a good thing - the traditional encyclopedia with expert-penned entries commissioned and edited by a core group, reflected a particular world view, while Wikipedia contains multitudes of micro-worldviews.

Without expounding further on the distinctions, I will only say that Goldman failed to promote minimal information literacy in his role as an educator, a responsibility which he assumed when he took it upon himself to introduce this new resource. Failing to stress that information found in Wikipedia, and "in Google" generally as unsophisticated users tend to say, needs to be engaged with more critically than in traditional sources that come backed up with expertise, is to leave out a vital point of what the Internet in all its chaotic glory is.

We expect better from you, OtM.

Dec. 16 2013 01:23 AM
Thatwood B. Lemming from Valley Floor

Not only did you lead another lemming to the edge of the cliff, you even lied about there being a nice, soft mattress at the bottom. Wikipedia is like the Encyclopedia Britannica online? Yeah, except that it's written by random people instead of by vetted academics and experts. Enjoy your fall, Mike!-- but please try to miss me when you land.

Dec. 15 2013 11:25 PM
tamara from Montreal, Quebec (like the unicorn in your piece)

Thought you'd be interested to know that musician Jonathan Richman not only does not use the internet, apparently he doesn't have a computer. And he writes letters. Not emails, but hand-written letters. Love him. Wish I could be more like that.

Dec. 15 2013 05:06 PM
Paul McGowan from

I can't help but feel the journalist was nothing more than the "pusher man" - giving this guy a "taste" of the internet. One little linea". How have you benifited this man? You have encouraged a man who is nothing but physically productive. Physical product for physical service. Now the guy just wants to sit in front of a workstation and surf the net!

Dec. 15 2013 11:12 AM
Dave Swenson from Amesl, Iowa

Re: The Unicorn

You beasts! That man was perfectly happy in his well-managed and sustainable world. He was getting along fine. You may think you opened his horizons, but you didn't. You simply made him like you. He'll now have a short attention span, he'll migrate from reading real books to reading sports blogs, and, horrors, he'll now rely on "I read it on the internet" as his basis of authenticity.

Dave Swenson

Dec. 15 2013 08:11 AM

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