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By John Naughton

An intimate, gloriously written examine the communications revolution and the way it has unfolded the world.The net is the main amazing factor humans have equipped because the pyramids. A millennium from now, historians will glance again at it and wonder humans built with such clumsy instruments succeeded in growing any such leviathan.Yet whilst the internet pervades our lives, we start to take it without any consideration. we've got misplaced our means for ask yourself. such a lot people do not know the place the net got here from, the way it works, or who created it and why. or even fewer have any thought of what it potential for society and the future.John Naughton has written a hot and passionate e-book that seeks to rescue the net from the condescension of posterity, to have fun the engineers and scientists who applied their desires in and software program, and to give an explanation for the values and concepts that drove them. even though its topic turns out technical, the e-book actually is own. John Naughton writes in regards to the internet like Nick Hornby writes approximately football. a quick heritage of the longer term is an intimate social gathering of imaginative and prescient and altruism, ingenuity and backbone, and certainly the ability of principles to alter the world.". . . a desirable and hugely available heritage of the web choked with exciting anecdotes and stimulating insights." --David Puttnam"At final the net will get the heritage e-book it deserves." --The Bookseller

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Extra resources for A Brief History of the Future: From Radio Days to Internet Years in a Lifetime

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The biggest stones, remember, weighed upwards of 200 tons and were up to 6 A terrible beauty? ) However the data are discounted and adjusted and filtered, though, the inescapable fact remains that the Internet has been growing at near-exponential rates for years and shows no signs of slowing down. We have therefore long passed the point where it was sensible to conjecture that the thing might turn out to be the CB radio de nos jours: this is no fad or passing fancy, but a fundamental shift in our communications environment.

Immanuel Kant once observed that the capacity to 'take in' great magnitudes is ultimately aesthetic rather than purely logical. He illustrated this with a French general's account of how, on a visit to the great Pyramids, he was unsure about how to truly feel the emotional impact of their sheer enormity. Approach too close and you see only stone upon stone and miss the full sweep from base to apex; move too far away, on the other hand, and you lose the sense of awe that something so vast was constructed block by back-breaking block.

I believe they cannot. You may get to know other people through CMC [Computer-Mediated Communication], the Net will provide the means to maintain contact and interconnections between people and organization. But they won't constitute communities because CMC cannot substitute for the sensual experience of meeting one another face-to-face. Trust, cooperation, friendship and community are based on contacts in the sensual world. You communicate through networks but you don't live in them. 18 But, having said all that, there are also groupings on the Net for which the term 'community' does not seem entirely inappropriate.

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