[ Arthur C. Clarke predicts the Internet and PC - Wikimedia Commons]
Predicting the Future
One of my favorite Internet stories is an interview done by ABC News in 1974, where Arthur C. Clarke predicts the Internet, in a room full machines, which together probably held less data than a small USB stick today.
The idea is, to me at least, very mind-boggling. In 1974, Clarke predicted that in 2001:
- We would have a console that has all the information we need, such as bank statements and theatre reservations
- It will be in compact form in our own house
- We will take it as much for granted as they (in 1974) took for granted the telephone
Then the reporter comes up with a very intriguing question, whether we become a computer depended society, to which Clarke responds:
"In some ways, but It'll also enrich our society, because it will make it possible for us to live anywhere we like. Any business man or executive can live, almost anywhere on Earth and still do his business, through a device like this"
In some ways, his predictions have already come through, in others, it still is a dream for the future.
According to Wikipedia, 26 countries in the world now enjoy a coverage of over 90% of the population having access to the Internet, whereas 13 countries still have a coverage of below 10%. This list, of course, does not tell the full story. For instance, the Falklands Islands top the list, but complaints of the quality of the Internet there by locals are huge, because the Islands uses a Satellite Internet connection, which is shared with the entire population. This however, is still a much better situation than in Eritrea, a country where the government considers the Internet as an enemy and Internet at home is not allowed, with an Internet Usage Percentage somewhere around 1.31%. In Suriname, we enjoy a coverage of just below 50%, earning us spot 130 on the list.
So how did we get here? In the age of Netflix and Twitch, with almost 50% of the World population born after the launch of the World Wide Web, Internet fights over the dangers/importance of 5G and the never ending fight between Google and Facebook for Internet supremacy being disrupted by Chinese companies such as Bytedance and Tencent, we tend to forget that the only thing we could do with a telephone 30 years ago was just... call.
I decided to call upon the Internet to find out. The best way to find out about the History of the Internet, is the Internet, right? Well, I quickly found out a couple of things:
- Sources disappear. Not necessarily from the Internet, but definitely from the first page of Google. The first time I did my research on the history of the Internet, I found most of my information on a website of a University in California. That page is nowhere to be found.
- You tend to gravitate towards sources you trust the most. I learned my lesson for fully trusting Wikipedia, but at least, articles get fact checked, which for me is the most important thing, as I do crosscheck for multiple reliable sources.
- Most online articles tend to be very technical, which is not my intention at all, since I'll focus on the side of Internet history that made Social Media possible.
So, again, where do we start? Searching for that old website with Internet history facts led me to the UCLA website that talks about one of the origin stories of the Internet. A message between a computer at UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute in 1969. On the side of the UCLA computes was Leonard Kleinrock, together with a small group of students and researchers, as they tried to sent the message to the computer at Standford, watching how to network crashed after sending 'Lo', the two first letters of 'Login'. Kleinrock, who wrote a paper "Information Flow in Large Communication Nets." in 1961, is often credited as the person who created the initial concept of what we now call the World Wide Web.
The message between the two computers was part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, more commonly known as the ARPANET, which started in 1966. Between 1969 and 1977, the ARPANET grow from a network between 4 computers to 111 computers, mostly owned by Universities, Research Centers and the US Military.
[...to be continued...]
About Social Media in Suriname
This story is part 1 of my #Maynia goal to write a book in the month of May. The topics I'll be writing about from May 1st until May 31st, 2020:
(Want to read them all? The chapters will become clickable as the month progresses)
The history of the Internet according to the Internet
1 - Predicting the Future
2 - The origin of the online community:
3 - The birth of the World Wide Web
The World Wide Web
4 - Endless opportunities
5 - For education and entertainment
6 - Social Media before Social Media
The Rise of Web 2.0
7 - In Search of the first online Empire
8 - User Generated Content
9 - Let’s Get Connected
The Golden Generation
10 - From friends and relatives to personal interest
11 - The birth of the like button
12 - Being number 1
The Battle for the internet
13 - Socialnomics and the fight for online supremacy
14 - The features and takeovers that shaped the landscape
15 - It’s more than just Social
The Mainstream and The Alternatives
16 - The rise of the creator and the influencer
17 - The comeback of traditional media
18 - The age of information overload
The Marketeer and the Community
19 - Can’t we all have a little fun?
20 - Is age really just a number
21 - The Dangers of Dopamine and Instant Gratification
Suriname: From Dail Up to Tik Tok
22 - Getting connected
23 - Before Facebook Conquered the World
24 - The Growth of Social Media minded Suriname
25 - The Rise of Social Media Entertainment
26 - Twisting The Rules
27 - Free Facebook
28 - The diversification of Social Media
29 - From Brand Ambassadors to Social Media Influencers
30 - The Fight against Fake
31 - What’s next?
Learn more about Maynia by reading about it here.
Today's word count: 725
The word count is a little lower than expected, but I needed to do a lot of research and the first chapters will be harder to write because it talks about a time period from before I was born.
This month I'll post a daily question on which you can comment. Everyday I will give away a Hive SBI to my favorite. 😉
What is your favorite 'predicting the future' story?