[ih] New Republic Article - "How We Misremember the Internet’s Origins"

Bob Hinden bob.hinden at gmail.com
Sat Nov 2 12:31:15 PDT 2019


From reading this article, it would seem that BBN, who designed and developed the IMP, was located in Cambridge, California, not Massachusetts.   This was, of course, a much bigger effort than just the folks in California, nor was it was it only in the US.  Seems like some of the more recent articles on the history of the Arpanet/Internet are missing that.

Bob (who worked at BBN in Cambridge, and now lives in California)

> On Nov 1, 2019, at 8:42 AM, Karl Auerbach <karl at cavebear.com> wrote:
> This got forwarded to me this morning:
> How We Misremember the Internet’s Origins
> https://newrepublic.com/article/155532/misremember-internets-origins
> This article seems very screedy to me.  Yeah we all knew that ARPA was a branch of the US Dept of Defense.  And we all knew that in at least some minds (especially the group I worked for, the Joint Chiefs of Staff) survivable communications during nuclear war were a concern.
> What rubs me wrong is how this article seems to try to paint people working on network ideas as somehow evil, somehow linked to the bad things such as the treatment of California indigenous peoples by the Spanish missionaries of the 18th century.
> OK, yeah, it is true that some some, and I emphasize only some, of the motivations for the ARPAnet tributary stream that eventually merged with others to for The Internet, were military and not the most politically correct in today's world.
> But there were a lot of other forces, motivations, and ideas at work.
> For example, pretty soon after I worked with the JCS I also started to get ideas coming out of Dave Farber's DCS project.  The idea of restructuring entire computers and operating systems around networks was something revolutionary to me.  And we see that idea now fruiting in the web of APIs now available on the net to build applications.  AWS and Google Map APIs are, to my mind, a direct result of Farber's DCS.
> The article fails to acknowledge those streams as well as the engendering of social networking via things like bulletin boards and Usenet.  And to me, that removes the foundation of credibility from the article.
>     --karl--
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