Chapter 0-05 


A Brief History of the Internet 

Web site by Gifcom.

Now that ownership of the basic library of human thoughts
is potentially available to every human being on Earth--I
have been watching the various attempts to keep this from
actually being available to everyone on the planet:  this
is what I have seen:

1.  Ridicule

Those who would prefer to think their worlds would be
destroyed by infinite availability of books such as:
Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Aesop's Fables or the
Complete Works of Shakespeare, Milton or others, have
ridiculed the efforts of those who would give them to
all free of charge by arguing about whether it should
be:  "To be or not to be" or "To be [,] or not to be"
or  "To be [;] or not to be"/"To be [:] or not to be"
or whatever; and that whatever their choices are, for
this earthshaking matter, that no other choice should
be possible to anyone else.  My choice of editions is
final because _I_ have a scholarly opinion.

1A.  My response has been to refuse to discuss:  "How
many angels can dance on the head of a pin," [or many
other matters of similar importance].

I know this was once considered of utmost importance,
BUT IN A COUNTRY WHERE HALF THE ADULTS COULD NOT EVEN
READ SHAKESPEARE IF IT WERE GIVEN TO THEM, I feel the
general literacy and literary requirements overtake a
decision such as theirs.  If they honestly wanted the
best version of Shakespeare [in their estimations] to
be the default version on the Internet, they wouldn't
have refused to create just such an edition, wouldn't
have shot down my suggested plan to help them make it
. . .for so many years. . .nor, when they finally did
agree, they wouldn't have let an offer from a largest
wannabee Etext provider to provide them with discount
prices, and undermine their resolve to create a super
quality public domain edition of Shakespeare.  It was
an incredible commentary on the educational system in
that the Shakespeare edition we finally did use for a
standard Internet Etext was donated by a commercial--
yes--commercial vendor, who sells it for a living.

In fact, I must state for the record, that education,
as an institution, has had very little to do with the
creation and distribution of Public Domain Etexts for
the public, and that contributions by the commercial,
capitalistic corporations has been the primary force,
by a large margin, that funds Project Gutenberg.  The
500 volunteers we have come exclusively from smaller,
less renowned institutions of education, without any,
not one that I can think of, from any of the major or
near major educational institutions of the world.

It would appear that those Seven Deadly Sins listed a
few paragraphs previously have gone a long way to the
proof of the saying that "Power corrupts and absolute
power corrupts absolutely."

Power certainly accrues to those who covet it and the
proof of the pudding is that all of the powerful club
we have approached have refused to assist in the very
new concept of truly Universal Education.

Members of those top educational institutions managed
to subscribe to our free newsletter often enough, but
not one of them ever volunteered to do a book or even
to donate a dollar for what they have received:  even
send in lists of errors they say they have noticed.

Not one.  [There is a word for the act of complaining
about something without [literally] lifting a finger]

The entire body of freely available Etexts has been a
product of the "little people."

A Book by Michael Hart