Chapter 0-01 


A Brief History of the Internet 

Web site by Gifcom.

Introduction


Michael Hart is trying to change Human Nature.

He says Human Nature is all that is stopping the Internet
from saving the world.

The Internet, he says, is a primitive combination of Star
Trek communicators, transporters and replicators; and can
and will bring nearly everything to nearly everyone.

"I type in Shakespeare and everyone, everywhere, and from
now until the end of history as we know it--everyone will
have a copy instantaneously, on request.  Not only books,
but the pictures, paintings, music. . .anything that will
be digitized. . .which will eventually include it all.  A
few years ago I wrote some articles about 3-D replication
[Stereographic Lithography] in which I told of processes,
in use today, that videotaped and played back fastforward
on a VCR, look just like something appearing in Star Trek
replicators.  Last month I saw an article about a stove a
person could program from anyhere on the Internet. . .you
could literally `fax someone a pizza' or other meals, the
`faxing a pizza' being a standard joke among Internetters
for years, describing one way to tell when the future can
be said to have arrived."

For a billion or so people who own or borrow computers it
might be said "The Future Is Now" because they can get at
250 Project Gutenberg Electronic Library items, including
Shakespeare, Beethoven, and Neil Armstrong landing on the
Moon in the same year the Internet was born.

This is item #250, and we hope it will save the Internet,
and the world. . .and not be a futile, quixotic effort.

Let's face it, a country with an Adult Illiteracy Rate of
47% is not nearly as likely to develop a cure for AIDS as
a country with an Adult Literacy Rate of 99%.

However, Michael Hart says the Internet has changed a lot
in the last year, and not in the direction that will take
the Project Gutenberg Etexts into the homes of the 47% of
the adult population of the United States that is said to
be functionally illiterate by the 1994 US Report on Adult
Literacy.  He has been trying to insure that there is not
going to be an "Information Rich" and "Information Poor,"
as a result of a Feudal Dark Ages approach to this coming
"Age of Information". . .he has been trying since 1971, a
virtual "First Citizen" of the Internet since he might be
the first person on the Internet who was NOT paid to work
on the Internet/ARPANet or its member computers.

A Book by Michael Hart