Early CBC Clip: Beginnings of the Internet

It’s interesting to look back to early reports of the Internet, and to see what people first thought of this emerging global network. Here’s an early CBC report I found on Ebaum’s World which reports on the “growing phenomenon of Internet.” Much of the report is very positive, and I would dare say “techno-utopian”. However, it’s interesting to see how early reports like this reflect our initial understandings of networking technologies which have grown tremendously, and collectively, have evolved into something very few could predict.

  • You can also find the clip at its source in the CBC archives at http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-75-710-4205/science_technology/computers

    Its an interesting clip. It puts me in mind of what Arthur C. Clarke said (at least I think it was him) is that we always tend to overestimate the effect of new technologies in the short run, and underestimate the effect of new technologies in the long run. Certainly the description in the clip is a bit utopian, but would anyone have predicted wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org) 11 years ago when the clip was aired?

  • Thanks for the comment Rob. The paraphrase of Clarke totally helps make sense of some of the things I was thinking around this clip. And you’re right, innovations such as wikipedia and other wikis, RSS, etc. would have been impossible to predict, and impossible to measure the impact, even 10 years down the road.

    By the way, the clip URL you sent didn’t seem to work for me … I am wondering if it’s a specific session ID from the CBC website? Hmmmmm.

  • Alec, I’m having the same problem now with that link. Try going to http://archives.cbc.ca then to Science and Technology, select the link to “Computer Invasion: A History of Automation in Canada”, then “A Network called the Internet”

    BTW – did you notice the error message from CBC was generated by Microsoft IIS? To think that the mother corps is using IIS as server software – sigh!