By John Naughton
An intimate, gloriously written examine the communications revolution and the way it has unfolded the world.The web is the main striking factor people have equipped because the pyramids. A millennium from now, historians will glance again at it and wonder humans built with such clumsy instruments succeeded in developing this sort of leviathan.Yet while the web pervades our lives, we commence to take it without any consideration. we've got misplaced our skill for ask yourself. such a lot people do not know the place the web got here from, the way it works, or who created it and why. or even fewer have any suggestion of what it capability for society and the future.John Naughton has written a hot and passionate e-book that seeks to rescue the web from the condescension of posterity, to have a good time the engineers and scientists who carried out their desires in and software program, and to give an explanation for the values and concepts that drove them. even if its topic turns out technical, the booklet in truth is own. John Naughton writes concerning the internet like Nick Hornby writes approximately football. a short background of the longer term is an intimate party of imaginative and prescient and altruism, ingenuity and resolution, and exceptionally the ability of principles to alter the world.". . . a desirable and hugely available historical past of the web filled with interesting anecdotes and stimulating insights." --David Puttnam"At final the net will get the background booklet it deserves." --The Bookseller
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Additional resources for A Brief History of the Future: From Radio Days to Internet Years in a Lifetime
Then it was a cosmic failure because it turned out that Internet commerce was - shock! horror! - insecure. And so it went, and goes, on, an endless recycling of myths from newspaper clippings, ignorance, prejudice, fear, intellectual sloth and plain, ornery malice. Myths about the evils of the Internet are invariably leavened with some hoary staples. The first concerns children - and the dangers that lie in wait for them in Cyberspace. Yet the minute one begins to probe into this phobia, strange contradictions appear.
He talked about the importance of 'bringing the Net into every school in America', as if it were a kind of plumbing which was revealing because it showed how little he understood the nature of the thing. For the Net is not a pipe (nor, for that matter, a fire-hose) from which children drink, but a beanstalk up which they can climb, like Jack of the fairy tale, into other worlds. In fact, it was subsequently claimed that Clinton had never used a computer in his life. If so, he was in good company: around the same time President Chirac of France was overheard in public asking an aide what a computer mouse was called!
As in biology, evolutionary pressure provides the drive: what works survives; what doesn't gets deleted. Thus Dyson treats operating systems - the programs which govern the operations of a functioning computer - as 'complex numerical symbioorganisms'. The most successful such 'organisms' - the operating systems like MS-DOS and Windows and UNIX which run the types of computer that have dominated the market-place - succeeded in transforming and expanding the digital universe so as better to propagate themselves.