Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘berners-lee’

To appreciate the incomparable communications value of the Internet (or “internet” as it’s known to its close friends) we must be familiar with the significance of Web content, which serve as the building blocks of the Web in much the way building blocks serve as the building blocks of building.

Those who understand nothing often mistakenly use the Web as a synonym (I’ll explain those little grammar buggers in a later blog) for the Internet. In fact, the Web is a subset of the Internet. (I won’t explain “subset”. That’s too close to math.) Think of the relationship as one of those annoying SAT analogies that kept you out of an Ivy League school: “Web” is to “Internet” as “Something Small” is to “Something Bigger that has a Gun.”

The term “Internet” is an abbreviation for “international network of computers,” while the Web is often referred to by its anagram, “WWW” which, as the letters imply, stands for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The development of the Internet is a fascinating, yet historically recent story much appreciated by students because they have fewer dates to learn. It is a chronicle wrapped in scientific achievement, political intrigue and apocryphal tales. One such is that former Vice President Al Gore claimed to have invented the Internet. In fact, that reference which Gore made during his presidential campaign in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was taken out of context and misconstrued for political gain. Yes, Gore took some credit, but what he claimed, in fact, was not that he invented the Internet, but had stolen the technology from alien space pirates during a rescue mission he lead to save a group of abducted orphans and their puppies.

The idea of a global information and communications system is hardly new. It was first introduced by two of the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin and Monroe Doctrine, because one was deaf and the other spoke in such a soft voice. However, the technology did not exist to pursue development, so the notion was sent to a Senate subcommittee to be explored for more than 200 years.

The Internet as we now understand it (and we don’t) gained its biggest boost throughout the 1980s thanks to the efforts of physicist Tim Berners-Lee, a contractor with the European organization of nuclear research CERN, an anagram for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Berners-Lee later explained in a message posted to a forerunner of the Web, “The WWW project was started to allow high energy physicists to share data, news, and documentation.”

While “porn” was not cited, it was probably implied. They don’t get out much at CERN.

###

Next: What is HTML and why is he saying those terrible things about me?

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, http://www.davejaffecomm.com is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: