Monday, February 6, 2017

Blog 5: Phase 1 of the Internet

In the preface of "A History of the Internet and the Digital Future" by Johnny Ryan, Ryan discuss what he plans on covering in the upcoming chapters and the power that an individual can possess when harassing the Internet properly. He also talks about the impact that the Internet will and has had on many different aspects of everyday life (ex: businesses, politics, and society).

Phase 1 talks a lot about the struggle for innovation and wanting to push boundaries through governmental experiments, but the constant fear of failure or not being complete secure. In chapter 1 Ryan talks about World War II and the development of RAND (Research and Development Corporation) which focused on the nation's need for development in technology and allowed researchers freedom to pursue projects that would strive to further the country.

In chapter two Ryan talks about the space race and the major developments to technically that came along with it. This was a very competitive time for the united States as we competed with the Soviet Union to get to the moon first, develop our computers, and ultimately be the greater nation. Ryan introduces J.C.R. Licklider who was hired by the ARPA to work on command and control program as he saw fit (Ryan, p. 25). Licklider worked on developing computer networking and seeing the big picture of computing and strived to develop it. While these developments were groundbreaking they didn't quite add up to the internet we know now.

Finally, chapter 4 talked about the relationship between human and computer. Many people never thought that we would have the technology we do today right at our fingertips that was affordable and, for lack of a better word, "casual" for day to day use. Computers allow us to advance our lives and the way we interact with the world. These kinds of computers were once thought of as magic, but we know them today as expected resources for our everyday functions.

The questions I have after reading this is:
1. My project focuses on social networking. How has the definition of social networking and social media changed from when Licklider started working on it? Is this what he imagined it would come to?
2. People from my generation don't know a world without technology. What would happen if it was hypothetically all taken away from us? In Ryan's opinion what would happen if we lost this relationship we have developed with our machines?

Ryan, J. (2010). A history of the internet and the digital future. London, UK: Reaktion Books. [Phase 1: 1, 2, 3, 4]


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