Why isn't it on the menu? 
I guess that this is pretty much the point of this entire column, but for some reason it wants to be written here, in a shorter, and perhaps more metaphoric style. The internet can be seen as a vast, even limitless restaurant. We can order any item we want, and it will be served to us. But it's not the same cavernous, amorphous, restaurant that we encountered five or six years ago when the web exploded into popular consciousness. We no longer seem to take pleasure in eating our souvlaki while at an adjacent table someone else is devouring sushi. Instead, we've compartmentalized ourselves to the point where we know all there is to know about eating and ordering souvlaki, but hardly know that sushi exists.

Of course nobody says that pizza lovers have to know anything about tacos. A pizza portal would probably be a lucrative (for a while at least) venture. Imagine a home page that offered the aficionado access to all there is to know about pizza without having to waste time with other cuisine, let alone the news, sports, or anything else that didn't concern him or her. There's more than enough material available on the web in order to stay inside the pizza world for days on end. A specially designed browser (perhaps looking like a pizza) is even conceivable. But the web, and the internet in particular, held a different sort of promise. The promise that clicking on cheese or mushrooms might lead us to a wealth of unexpected information, would start us on an adventure that might even ultimately change our culinary preferences. Today's portals seem more to constrain rather than to invite.

Go to: Different strokes