In 1969, the first message was successfully sent over the ARPANET, the predecessor to the internet. Four and a half decades later, the internet has developed into one of the greatest advances in human history, freeing up human capital wasted on actual labor and diverting it to fantasy football leagues and cat videos.
Before the internet came into our lives, U.S. husbands and wives would often quarrel, holding back American scientific progress that allowed the Russians to launch space satellites before us. Here is actual, post-dinner dialogue captured on a reel-to-reel tape recorder in 1954:
WIFE: Put away the Franco-American spaghetti leftovers, would you sweetie?
HUSBAND: Sure, hon. Let me just get a convenient plastic food storage container out of the pantry here.
WIFE: Don’t forget the lid!
HUSBAND: You and your joshing!
[SOUND OF CRASH]
HUSBAND: Dad blast it! Why are our food storage containers and lids always in such an uproar!
WIFE: I wish somebody would hurry up and invent the internet!
The internet allows scientists and intellectuals to share news of developments without having to attend boring conferences with cash bars and listen to white papers with titles like Threat or Menace: Is America’s Love Affair With Plastic Food Storage Receptacles Endangering Our Standard of Living? With the internet at their fingertips, food storage scientists can now log onto http://www.wikihow.com/, search the index for “How to Organize Empty Food Storage Containers and Lids”, and enter a magical world where ideas are exchanged freely and openly, as if by telepathy, generating new and exciting concepts in food-storage-container-and-lid-technology twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
An eleven-member team of food storage receptacle scientists and engineers, generously donating their apparently ample time, has posted a ten-point food storage container organization protocol at this “wiki” website. “Wiki” refers to software that allows multiple users to collaboratively create, edit, link and organize content on a website. The term “wiki” is a reduplication of the Hawaiian word for “goof off.”
While users are cautioned that the protocol has not yet been peer-reviewed by independent specialists in the field, it appears to represent a breakthrough in container-organization comparable to the realization during the Italian Renaissance that it is easier to fit small containers inside large ones than vice versa, a discovery that helped bring the Dark Ages to an end.
That historical breakthrough forms part of the canon of modern plastic food container thought, and appears as principle no. 6 in the new world-wide web protocol on food storage container organization, as follows:
6. Nest and stack. For the containers, nest them in stacks that are as tall as your space. Start with the largest on the bottom and work upwards to the smallest.
Note the citation of an important ancillary principle of food storage container organization: stacks should only be as tall as the space you have to put them in. If you stack them any higher, you risk breaking through the ceiling into an upstairs bathroom!
I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of trenchant, insightful, hard-hitting plastic container news I’m looking for when I log on to the internet in the office every morning.
Right after I watch a few cat videos.