The other day I was joking about some abstruse aspect of XML and I said "I happen to have Tim Bray right here", in reference, of course, to Woody Allen's devastating cinema queue put-down in Annie Hall. Now I was only half joking - Tim Bray was on IRC with me working through the Atom Publishing Protocol interop at the time - but the deeper point is that through the web we do have access to people and their works in a way that was pure comedic fantasy in 1977. I can find copious examples of Tim Bray's or Marshall McLuhan's work, searching them for the citation I need, I can talk to Tim, or see how the authors of books I like feel about their movie adaptations.
It seemed as if the joke was on me, as the chap I was talking to had never seen Annie Hall. But I happen to have Mr Allen right here:
Heck, I even have the strange Dada website pitching direct debits I remember from the UK in 1996 here.