February 13, 2011

The Web: It’s Amazing and We’re Not Amazed

Humans are inherently curious. This doesn't mean you have to be a PhD candidate in biophysics to be interested in finding answers. Our curiosity brings ideas which can often turn into bigger ones if we allow them to flourish.

The earliest ideas for a computer network intended to allow general communications among computer users was formulated by a dude named Joseph Licklider who was a computer scientist. He had this idea in the early 1960s he called it the “Intergalactic Computer Network”.

By the late 1960s, the U.S. Department of Defense hired Licklider to lead the Behavioural Science Command and Control initiative at the Advanced Research Projects Agency or Arpa. He convinced some influential people on the project that his idea of building a network of connected computer had some merit. That was the creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network or the Arpanet.

The Arpanet becomes the Internet

Now we can click here, tweet there and spend far too much time complaining that it’s just not this enough or that enough. As Louis CK says, everything is awesome and nobody’s happy. We are tripping over technological breakthroughs every day and we still complain. I loaded a software upgrade yesterday and was complaining how slow it was within about two minutes. Case rested.

What now seems like a lifetime ago, back in 2007, Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly did a review of the first 5,000 days of the Internet as we know it. So add another 1,000 or so since then and see if our predictions can possibly keep up with advancements and reality. Feel free to make some predictions and we’ll see if you’re right in another couple thousand days.


visual credit: TED
Other TEDTalks by Kevin Kelly.
Also published on Social Media Today
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