Chapter 10-03 


A Brief History of the Internet 

Web site by Gifcom.

If you understand that civilization was based on the new
invention called "the plow," which changed the habits of
"hunting and gathering" peoples into civilized cities...
then you might be able to understand the the changes the
computer and computer networks are making to those using
them instead of the primitive hunting and gathering jobs
we used to spend 90% of our time on.

In mid-19th Century the United States was over 90% in an
agrarian economy, spending nearly all of its efforts for
raising food to feed an empty belly.  Mid-20th Century's
advances reversed that ratio, so that only 10% was being
used for the belly, 90% for civilization.

The same thing will be said for feeding the mind, if our
civilization ever gets around deciding that spending the
majority of our research time in a physical, rather than
mental, portion of the educational process.

Think of it this way, if it takes only 10% as long to do
the work to write a research paper, we are likely to get
either 10 times as many research papers, or papers which
are 10 times as good, or some combination...just like we
ended up with 10 times as much food for the body when we
turned from hunting and gathering food to agriculture at
the beginnings of civilization...then we would excpect a
similar transition to a civilization of the future.

***

If mankind is defined as the animal who thinks; thinking
more and better increases the degree to which we are the
human species.  Decreasing our ability to think is going
to decrease our humanity...and yet I am living in what a
large number of people define as the prime example of an
advanced country...where half the adult population can't
read at a functional level.  [From the US Adult Literacy
Report of 1994]

***

"Now that cloning geniuses, along with all other humans,
has been outlawed, only outlaws will clone geniuses, and
the rest of mankind will be `unarmed' in a battle of the
mind between themselves and the geniuses."

"Have you ever noticed that the only workers in history,
all of history; never to have a guild or a union are the
inventors who live by the effort of the mind?"

We have workers who live by the efforts of their bodies,
whether dock workers or professional athletes who have a
set of established unions, pay dues, have gone on strike
from time to time, and all the related works of unions--
but we have never had a union of those who change worlds
from Old World to New World****

A Book by Michael Hart