A History of the Internet and the Digital Future
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This book explores the trends that are shaping the businesses, politics, and media of the digital future.
A great adjustment in human affairs is underway. Political, commercial and cultural life is changing from the centralized, hierarchical and standardized structures of the industrial age to something radically different: the economy of the emerging digital era.
A History of the Internet and the Digital Future tells the story of the development of the Internet from the 1950s to the present, and explains how the Internet has revolutionized political campaigns; how the development of the World Wide Web enfranchised a new online population of assertive, niche consumers; and how the dot-com bust taught smarter firms to capitalize on the power of digital artisans.
city. The terminals were connected to a computer system that allowed users to leave messages for other visitors to read. This, the hippies believed, ‘harness[ed] the power of the computer in the service of the community’38 and created an ‘an information ﬂea market’.39 Much like the People’s Computer Company a year before, this experiment in social computing was intended to liberate computing ‘from the constricted grasp of the few to its rightful place as the wealth of the information-sharing
by a centralized church and a cohort of highly disciplined monks, suffered the toll of generations of human error. Before the invention of the printing press the reproduc< 138 > tion of information was unreliable and embellishments standard. Thus, even as the Council of Trent made its decree, the scholar Erasmus complained that there were as many different versions of Jerome’s Vulgate as there were copies of the Bible.9 Only the arrival of the printing press with movable type and printer’s ink
discussion list on arpanet decades before, it was science ﬁction that showed how networks could be used in 2005: in this year one of the producers of the science ﬁction series Battlestar Galactica (2003–9) began a dialogue with his audience. The producer, Ron D. Moore, began to produce online commentaries on each episode in which he candidly explained narrative choices and production difﬁculties. This was part of an effort to court the online community, and interaction between the series creators
J.C.R. Licklider. In 1962 arpa’s Director, Jack Ruina, recruited Licklider to work on two areas: command and control and behavioural sciences. Ruina was preoccupied with arpa’s work on ballistic missile defence and nuclear test detection and gave Licklider a wide degree of latitude to direct the command and control programme as he saw ﬁt.11 Licklider told Ruina that improving the usability of computer systems would lay the foundations for improved command and control.12 He established a group of
scuppered the allimportant decentralized characteristic of the future Internet.23 There is a lack of clarity in the historical record about the level of inﬂuence that Paul Baran’s ideas had on the arpa project. Roberts appears to have been unaware of Baran’s conceptual work at rand on packetswitched networking until October 1967 when he saw a reference to < 27> Baran in a paper that Roger Scantlebury, head of data communication research at the uk National Physics Laboratory (npl), gave at a