Thursday, January 18, 2007

A True History of the Internet

A True History of the Internet

Just re-reading Snow Crash for the umpteenth time, and marvelling at various predictions
neal stephenson made in what was the pre-web age (the book was published i think in
1992, which means he was writing it in the late 80s or 1991 latest, which is a year before
mosaic and cern httpd first jiut the streets).

some of the thignshe predicts -
1/ the info-apocalypse hypercard the cic librarian gives
hiro is
a) a version of the web + google, but more specifically
b) a perfect detailed description of google earth

2/ the description of L Bob Rife's cable tv monopoly
and some of the details about comparing it
to the his scorn of the break up of AT&T
(see cingular story)
presages
a) today's net neutrality arguments, but also
b) the near monopoly sky tv is trying to achieve by moving in
to a triple play to own cellular and in its turn to take over broadband

3/ everyone of course knows about the metaverse & the street but
even on the playstation 3 or xbox 360 we still don't quite have anything
for the public yet that good

4/ also the idea of VLBI (very long baseline interferometer) is clearly described and explaiend why there are ulterior motives for it (not least to justify ring aroudn the world fiber, when actually a space based interferometer for radio astronomy would be cheaper and MUCH bigger/better resolution)

5/ and also there's a lovely description of somethign i experienced when one of my kids turned about 5 - the fact that the instructions/design of the avergage VCR leave no imprint/memory on the modern (adult/educated) Mind - when she was 4 she could programme the VCR - once she got to the point of thinking about it, it made no sense and she stopped being able to use it

the En of Enki rocks...

there are numerous other predictions (collapse of nation state and immigration
chaos) which are less precise partly because they are intended as satire
rather than predictions, but are scarily close to being likely...

a cool book and it would make a very very cool film...who to cast as Hiro?
lots of possibilities!




b) contains google earth, completely described.

1 comment:

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