JANET ABBATE INVENTING THE INTERNET PDF

Even generally measured business publications like The Economist can be caught recounting the activities and ventures of scientists, technologists, and digital entrepreneurs in biblical, epic, and heroic terms. For the professional historian, this is important ground. The digital technologies being developed, and their social, political, economic, and cultural impacts deserve wide and serious historical investigation. The new digital mythologies of the twenty- first century will also be an significant area of investigation in coming years.

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Even generally measured business publications like The Economist can be caught recounting the activities and ventures of scientists, technologists, and digital entrepreneurs in biblical, epic, and heroic terms. For the professional historian, this is important ground. The digital technologies being developed, and their social, political, economic, and cultural impacts deserve wide and serious historical investigation.

The new digital mythologies of the twenty- first century will also be an significant area of investigation in coming years. This exciting terrain is as dangerous for the historian, however, as it is important. In a period of hyperbole about the Internet Revolution, the attraction of writing the Great Internet Creation Myth can lure scholars like fragrant flowers draw bees in summer.

This is one reason why Voltaire counseled that the historian should not pick up his pen until all his subjects were dead. Janet Abbate deserves high praise for writing precisely such an account with her new book— Inventing the Internet. Like Ceruzzi, however, Abbate does not examine simply the machines and technical minutiae. Her first chapter focuses on the creation of packet technologies and the ARPANET, and it immediately signals that she will not follow the typical narrative of great male creators or technologies created amidst fear of nuclear annihilation.

Important figures are discussed and given their due. The importance of the Cold War and military concerns is clearly articulated, but Abbate also stresses that the history of the Internet is "a tale of collaboration and conflict among a remarkable variety of players" and that it provides a case study for "how technologies are socially constructed p. Instead, the book presents teams of researchers struggling to justify their continued funding—until email was serendipitously introduced, creating the demand and use needed to support sustained research and funding.

With the example of email, Abbate also proves convincingly that it is wrong to regard the Internet simply as a creation of the military, industrial, university research complex. The academic and commercial users of the Internet took the technologies in unanticipated and uncontrollable directions from the start.

Their ends were often personal and social, and they occasional ran directly counter to the interests of the institutions funding their efforts. It places the development of the Internet and networking technologies in a global context, countering the perception that the Internet was a uniquely American creation. From the beginning, the Internet drew people, technologies, standards, and views together in powerful synergies that transcending boundaries, according to Abbate.

The concluding chapter looks at the commercialization of the Internet as the World Wide Web in the s. Each perspective and instant lends new understandings. The Internet cannot be frozen in time. Inventing the Internet is a metaphor for continual creation, and historians are fortunate to have such a well-told creation analysis at a time when creation myths abound.

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INVENTING THE INTERNET JANET ABBATE PDF

Library Journal Small Arrow This sophisticated history is the best account so far published of the unpredictable and turbulent evolution of the Internet. With its broad international context, the book will be of value to makers and users of the global communications network, as well as to science and technology policy makers. Since the late s the Internet has grown from a single experimental network serving a dozen sites in the United States to a network of networks linking millions of computers worldwide. In Inventing the Internet, Janet Abbate recounts the key players and technologies that allowed the Internet to develop; but her main focus is always on the social and cultural factors that influenced the Internets design and use. The story she unfolds is an often twisting tale of collaboration and conflict among a remarkable variety of players, including government and military agencies, computer scientists in academia and industry, graduate students, telecommunications companies, standards organizations, and network users. It ends with the emergence of the Internet and its rapid and seemingly chaotic growth. Abbate looks at how academic and military influences and attitudes shaped both networks; how the usual lines between producer and user of a technology were crossed with interesting and unique results; and how later users invented their own very successful applications, such as electronic mail and the World Wide Web.

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Inventing the Internet

Since the late s the Internet has grown from a single experimental network serving a dozen sites in the United States to a network of networks linking millions of computers worldwide. In Inventing the Internet, Janet Abbate recounts the key players and technologies that allowed the Internet to develop; but her main focus is always on the social and cultural factors that influenced the Internets design and use. The story she unfolds is an often twisting tale of collaboration and conflict among a remarkable variety of players, including government and military agencies, computer scientists in academia and industry, graduate students, telecommunications companies, standards organizations, and network users. It ends with the emergence of the Internet and its rapid and seemingly chaotic growth. Abbate looks at how academic and military influences and attitudes shaped both networks; how the usual lines between producer and user of a technology were crossed with interesting and unique results; and how later users invented their own very successful applications, such as electronic mail and the World Wide Web.

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