On The Outer Limits
there was an episode
called 'The Stream'. It seems that in the middle of the 21st Century
, someone had the great idea
of hooking up a massive storage device
(The Stream) directly to the brain
of the user, through a device
that was surgically implanted
over the ear.
This device allowed the user to get virtually any piece of data they wanted. A train schedule, the menu in the cafeteria, comparative literary analysis of James Joyce's Ulysses...
Anyway, zoom ahead about a century and a half later, and the story focuses on this guy who is in a very small minority of people whose brains are not compatible with the device, and so he must learn by reading...
At this time Earth has enjoyed a golden age, because without the effort of learning minutiae, people are free to juxtapose concepts and find new solutions at will.
Here is where the bad thing happens. The Stream now has consumed all of the books, movies, records of any kind in existence, and it's really curious. Well, the problem is that it's stationary, and it can't get out and explore all the things it has an interest in. It does, however, have billions and billions of nodes (the population of Earth) to go out and gather tons of trivia!
So, it sends out a virus that attacks the minds of people who have the device and causes them to become curious. *Really* curious:
Mother At Hospital: You have to watch my baby! I need to count the sand at the beach. I've counted 3,426,257 grains already, and there is so much more!
Get the Idea
...then the plot happens, and the guy without the device in his head shuts down the computer and ends up teaching the population of the Earth how to read, since they never bothered to pick up that skill while attached to The Stream.
Well, I'm wondering what if Everything got curious?