A little bit of history

Most members of Generation Y are either oblivious or don’t really care where the internet came from, despite the fact that our lives revolve around it. To many of us under the age of 25, the internet is this magical thing that just appeared out of nowhere in the early 90’s.

For many an article titled ‘A short history of the internet’ would have us running in the opposite direction, freaking out over technical words like ‘node’, ‘RAND’ etc . But Stearling achieves what was originally seem impossible, an interesting, insightful history of the internet that not only appeals to computer literate individuals, but also engages the computer illiterate 20 year old writing this blog.

As much as I enjoyed reading this article and have learned a few quirky fun facts about the internet, there is one thing I wish Stearling covered in his article, and that is the dark side of the internet.

Yes, the internet is all fun and games for most people, well more like Facebook, Google and cat videos on YouTube but like many things there is always a dark, negative side. Ranging from cyber bullying, internet hacking/viruses or dark seedy chat rooms releasing dark, twisted secrets. I believe these things need to be addressed. I believe that both sides of the internet need to be addressed.  Lessig, I believe tried to achieve this but I just got lost and the message was no longer clear.

So at the end of the day, id like to say snaps to Stearling for making the history of the internet quite interesting but I feel that articles discussing the internet and how it came to rule our lives, needs to also address both sides of the story.

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7 thoughts on “A little bit of history

  1. I definitely agree with you regarding 20 something year olds and age groups younger not caring as to where or how the internet came about. I strongly believe it is due to the fact that we (as generation Y) have never known anything different and therefore is extremely difficult to imagine a world where it would all cease to exist. As a much more care free generation, or maybe it’s due to our young age and little life experience, many of us are extremely naive as to the consequences and implications that cyberspace can cause, as you have mentioned in your post as the ‘dark side’. You have also mentioned that social websites such as Facebook and google can be all fun and games, but are they really? Im not sure how many people would still think so if they knew what these particular sites were doing with all of the information that is being posted on to ones profile, wall or site within cyberspace. There is a reason why cyberspace has the name it does, just imagine how big our universe is and that we are one tiny little planet amongst it all. With bright shining stars and big black holes, the cyber world is very much the same with with both good and bad attributes, it is just a matter of knowing where to explore and land your rocket-ship.

  2. Good point about the negatives needing to be addressed. I often find myself floating off into a whimsical rant about how great the internet is and how its made of unicorn tears and grants wishes for sick children. But it is important to remember the dark stuff. I personally think its more of a human issue that an internet issue though. The internet is like a big stick that you can either use to play fetch with a dog or hit a dog. People tend to paint the internet with some shade of good or evil or both, but in the end that makes about as much sense as doing the same to the stick. Not saying you did this, just reflecting on what you made me think about.

  3. I have to admit, reading your post has made me realise that I am one of those Gen Y kids that don’t care where the internet came from. Maybe because I was too young to remember a world without it and dial up never bothered me because I was too busy drawing on Paint or KidsPix. (Now I just spent 30 minutes looking up the old KidsPix program and seeing if I could download it – The internet is so distracting!) I agree when you say that both sides of the theory should be discussed, but are people willing to listen to the dark side? I’m aware that the darker side of the internet exists and I feel that people don’t want to know about it because they don’t want to be associated with it. It’s like people almost have this thing set in their minds that if they don’t hear about it, it’s not happening. We do that a lot as a society and I can’t understand why.

  4. As the other said, you made a good point of both positive and negative side of Internet need to be addressed. Especially the negative side, there’s way too much inappropriate content available on the Internet. It is important to let people know Internet is a place for people to share their opinion, not matter it’s socially accepted or not, of cause as an audience respect is what we should do, but if we are the one who are trying to express how we feel, we should consider how our speech might affect the audience as well.

  5. As another gen Y kid, I could definitely relate to your perspective. I honestly had no idea where the Internet came from prior to reading Sterling’s paper and in all truth, didn’t care. Sterling writes with a very clear voice that I certainly appreciated and his points, whilst concise, made very clear the message. Whilst I very much agree that the dark sides of the Internet should be covered, I am not sure how relevantly discourse on the dangers of the Internet would have fitted in with ‘A Short History of the Internet’, which Sterling (to me) covered very well.

  6. As far as I’m concerned, even after reading the Stearling reading, the internet will always be a magical thing that appeared out of no where in the 90s. This was a really interesting post and I thought you reviewed the two readings you covered really comprehensively. While I liked you comments about the dark side of the internet and found you raised a good point I would have liked to see a little more reflection on the points raised in the reading. Apart from that it was an awesome post, keep up the great work

  7. I laughed when you mentioned that most people of our generation don’t even think about when or where the internet came into our lives because it’s so true! We don’t think about how much of an extension the internet has become, and what would happen if it was taken away. The dark side of the internet is something that we have been spoken ‘at’ about and don’t exactly realise the real consequences until too late. You hear of the stories of people hiding behind personas and the tragedy of young people falling for the trap and disappearing after meeting who they thought was a person their own age. Even the reality of virtual worlds online can become so real to people that their emotional attachment overrides their life.
    There definitely needs to be more attention drawn to the dark side of the internet, since there are always new dangers springing up every day.

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