[ih] ARPANET and Apollo 11

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Thu Mar 12 07:35:05 PDT 2015

So I was sitting here, not really up to working, and idly watching The History
Channel, and there was a documentary about Apollo 11 on. They had a number of
people (including Walter Cronkite) talking about what they thought it meant,

Several said something about how it was the greatest accomplishment of the
century, etc (it certainly was an amazing accomplishment - looking back on it,
it's completely amazing that they managed to do it with 1960s technology -
although winning WWII was an even greater effort, I'm quite sure), and one
said that when people look back at the 20th Century, centuries from now,
that's the thing they are likely to think was the most significant event of
the century.

It suddenly struck me that something else happened in 1969 - that was the year
the ARPANET was turned on. Given that the ARPANET gave birth to the Internet,
and the impact the computer networking has had on the world (admittedly, in
tandem with the development of the personal computer), I wonder if in the long
run, landing on the Moon will really be seen as more significant than that?

Odd how two such major things, long-term-historically speaking, happened in
the same year!


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