Happy Birthday to the Internet

Bookmark and Share    Today is the fortieth anniversary of the internet.
InternetBirthdayContrary to claims once made by Nobel laureate and liberal loon Al Gore, it was not invented by him.

Its first recorded use was actually by J.C.R. Licklider of MIT in August 1962 when he wrote about what he called a “Galactic Network”. According to Licklider, there was a capacity to create a network of computers that everyone could quickly access information from.

From this point on DARPA and ARPANET became the biological manufacturing parents of the internet and are two of the most important acronyms pertaining to the internet.

(DARPA) is the central research and development office for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) otherwise referred to as The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The ARPANET is the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network that was created by (ARPA) and it is essentially the predecessor of the global Internet.

Perfection of the American Defense Department’s use of this “Galactic Network” for, by and between it’s individual entities, combined with many innovative scientists and entrepreneurs within the private sector eventually led to what is seen today as not just an everyday part of lives but an essential part of our everyday lives.

In 1983, the continuing growth of the internet community forced an expansion of its development and use and as time passed and the Internet’s popularity grew, competition eventually made the internet affordable and its availability even more widespread. So much so that a child without internet access in America today is considered underprivileged.

The internet combined with the advancement of its all important natural partner, computers, are undoubtedly one of the most valuable manmade systems that mankind has ever known. Neither can never surpass the importance and convenience of a well written book nor can they replace schools or the development of individual thought and skills. But when used properly, the internet and computers can provide for enhancement of education as well as the proliferation of a vast amount and array of information and entertainment.

While one should know how to correctly spell a world, they should not be allowed to let a computer’s automated spell check feature to become an excuse for not knowing. While one should get up and move and do something to promote their physical fitness, they should not let the internet be a reason for not staying physically active. One could do everything on the internet today. They can have sex, order food, buy clothes, Christmas gifts, see movies and communicate to someone on the other side of the world on the internet. While all of this can be, andin some cases, is quite beneficial, it also has it downsides.

We can become lazy, both physically and mentally. We can expand the opportunities for fraud and in many become isolated from the real world as we sit in front of computer screens and log in to only those virtual worlds that we choose to.

Just as the internet can expand our horizons, its addictive qualities can help to lead to a sheltered life. It is like all other advances that man makes.

The creation of nuclear energy was an incredible advancement for mankind. It has the opportunity to provide clean, efficient, safe and renewable energy for those of us who wish to use it wisely. However; on the flipside, those of us with more sinister motives, have the ability to use nuclear capabilities not for the benefit of humanity but to its detriment.

Yes, like anything else, the internet is good and can be bad. But forty years since its inception one can not deny its overall merits. It has connected the world and increased our ties together. It has helped to make us understand that little Azhar in Iran has many of the same feelings and interests as little Andy in Iowa.

The internet has been able to inform the world of atrocities that need to be stopped and benefits that need to spread. It has spread information and offered a diversity of opinion that allows an open mind to assess reality for themselves. It has given us the ability to stay in touch with friends and family and reunite with long lost loved ones.

Regardless of the abuses of the internet that one can participate in, the internets positives far exceed its negatives and on this day forty years after its invention, we should reflect on one of the greatest creations the world has ever known. Some may argue that it is not the “greatest manmade creation” and I don’t know if I will go out on a limb and say that it is man’s greatest contribution to the universe.  Can we live without it?  We did and can. But I will reaffirm my belief that the internet is, one of the most valuable contributions, to our society. In many ways we are better off for it and I for one know that if you are reading this now, were it not for the internet you  probably wouldn’t be reading it.

Happy Birthday Internet. And many more

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