Appendix 1-06 

A Brief History of the Internet 

Web site by Gifcom.

[The most minimized estimates of the length of the period
approximate about 400 years from the latest possible date
of the fall of the Roman Empire sometime in the 400's AD,
to Charlemagne in the 800's.  Of course, most believe the
fall of the Roman Empire was much earlier, as the empire,
such as it was, was "neither Holy, nor Roman, nor Empire"
for a long time before 400 AD and things tended to return
to the way they had been before Charlemagne after he died
with estimates of the end of Dark Ages ranging as late as
the Renaissance in the 1400's.  Thus the longest estimate
would be no more than 1500 years from the birth of Caesar
until the Renaissance was truly underway, with a shortest
possible estimate being somewhat under 500 years.  Thus a
medium estimate of 1000 years would be sure to antagonize
both end of the spectrum, and is therefore certainly more
accurate than either.]

It would appear that the effort to reproduce books with a
perfection that refuses the corrections of errors because
of a misplaced loyalty to previous editions, looms again,
this time over the electronic libraries of the future, in
that a significant number of Etext creators are insisting
on continuing the practices, policies and precepts of the
Dark Ages in that they insist on the following:

1.  Copies must be exact, no corrections can be made.

2.  Any differences between copies must be decided in an
    ethic that honors the oldest over the newest.

3.  The authoritative copies must be held in sacred trust
    in the sepulchres of the oldest institutions, and not
    let out into the hands of the public.

Of course, these are totally belied by the facts:

1.  Digitial ASCII reproductions ARE exact by nature, and
    thus no errors can creep in.

2.  Any differences that DO creep in can be found in just
    a single second with programs such as comp, diff, cf,
    and the like.  Even a change as unnoticeable as blank
    space added to the end of a sentence or file is found
    and precisely located without effort.

3.  Holding books in sacred trust in this manner does not
    allow them to do their work.  A book that is not read
    is a book that is dead.  Books are written for people
    to read, to hear, to see performed on stage, not so a
    sort of intellectual GESTAPO/GEheimnis STadt POlizei/
    Home State Police could come to power by holding book
    power in secret.

A Book by Michael Hart