[ih] ARPANET and Apollo 11

Bill Ricker bill.n1vux at gmail.com
Thu Mar 12 13:54:51 PDT 2015

On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 2:36 PM, kent <kent at songbird.com> wrote:
> Years ago I took a vertebrate paleontology class.  The professor, in his
> final lecture, spoke about the perspective the study of paleontology gave.
> >From his perspective, the moon landing was on a par with the first
> animal life coming out of the ocean.  Relatively speaking, the Internet
> is barely a footnote -- it's just a phase of the advance of technology.
>  But the moon landing represents something else entirely.

I like his view. But the walking fish and first land-living moss etc
before it wouldn't be remembered if it'd been a dead end. For Apollo
to be *the* achievement in future history, we must expand beyond the
planet (and LEO) permanently, it must be merely the *first* giant leap
for mankind in that direction. If we become Spock's StarFleet, yes
Apollo (and Soyuz/Mercury before it) are the crux (or cusp or
singularity) of history. But if we evolve into StarTrek's the Borg (or
are liquidated by Terminator's SkyNet) instead, the DARPAnet may yet
be *the* crux.
    I'm still hoping Apollo wins the future history relevance contest,
but on current form, since the Moon and Mars colonies are at best
still hypothetical, DARPAnet is currently in the lead.

Brian's comment explaining the coincidence as *both* were enabled by
Stored Program computing and miniaturization and spurred by Cold War /
Sputnik fever is well taken.
    Additionally, each project has several milestones. *We* see their
matching 1969 milestones as meshing. But this is the public's space
milestone and the researcher's 'net milestone that are meshing.  The
'net date seen most clearly by outsiders (public, 'users') is alas not
our 1969 blue-plaque commemorating the DARPAnet's "Watson come here i
need you" moment, but more likely "Perpetual September" & Netscape
making it a *public* utility; thile the space date seen as most
important by insiders/researchers/specialists could be Sputnik &
Gagarin paving the way for Aldrin, or arguably the ISS as the first
*permanent* habitation in LEO (we hope).

Academic point of view matters.  Geologists are proposing (not yet
accepted by governing body but debate is scheduled) that we've left
the Holocene and entered a new Epoch, the "Anthropocene", since the
detritus of our presence will be visible in the future rock record,
however brief the human civilization here lasts, in geological time.
In which case the Agriculture and/or 19thC industrial revolutions
(with the standard manufactured screw John Day mentions) is the crux
- although from a Geological timeframe, that's all still today, as are
the millennia of Mesopotamian ruins ISIL is destroying and everything
imaginable to follow.

Geologists and Historians really don't speak the same language. But
then Cosmologists have yet another timescale. (Which is why i prefer a
log-time view to the Sagan-Tyson "Cosmos" cosmic calendar.)

Bill Ricker
bill.n1vux at gmail.com

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