Wednesday, June 11, 2008

History of the Internet

Remember Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, the 80's tv celebration of wealthy elites? It was hosted by this man, Robin Leach:

In printed form, the magazine Vanity Fair serves a similar function of the long-gone show, providing a telescope into lives of privilege otherwise barred to scruffies like me. I take guilty pleasure from reading about debutantes and their hair. However, there is more to the magazine than you might expect, and this month it offers a pleasant twist.

The latest edition has a fascinating oral history of the internet, the first history of its kind to address the still-unlimited possibilities of this profound leap forward in communication. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of ARPAnet, the progenitor of what we know today as the World Wide Web, the men and... more men (there's a female investment banker who pops in at the very end) talk about how it all began. I couldn't stop reading, fascinated especially by the goals of free community and universal protocols that these pioneers brought about.

(I might be biased, too; having grown up in the Bay Area where a lot of the early networking was laid out, I have to confess to a bit of hometown pride.)

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