One thing I find particularly interesting about the history of the internet is the transition from it being mainly for breaking codes in the military, to being part of everyone’s everyday lives. You could even suggest that it is somewhat surprising that it took as long as it did for this transition to be made; now the idea of the World Wide Web ‘for everyone’ seems so normal that the original idea of a similar thing only being used by a few military professionals seems absurd.
Such changes happened so rapidly that it is hard to believe that less than 70 years ago the internet was non-existent.
Indeed – when these changes came into play, certain counter-cultures emerged who were in many ways part of a virtual community. These people viewed the internet as leading to a more complete and authentic self.
I find it particularly interesting how in such a short space of time the internet went from Alan Turing cracking the Enigma Code to a series of counter cultures who used the internet as almost a form of expression and a pathway to getting your voice heard. – In the same way we utilize social media today.
I think the changes the internet has undergone are perhaps most clear in this quote:
“Governments of the Industrial world, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”
– John Perry Barlow