[iDC] The internet that is not one

Dmitry Strakovsky dima at shiftingplanes.org
Mon Jul 13 06:03:43 UTC 2009

Andreas' comment here refers to "proper technological" definition of a  
network he is describing. TCP/IP (the underlying protocol) works  
pretty much the same if you have two machines connected or two  
billion.  On top of this protocol you can design an incredible variety  
of network scenarios i.e. twitter with centralized servers or  
bittorent's p2p scheme.

I believe that most discussions has been focused on mobile phones +  
several of these higher level networks/services (like e-mail.) What is  
rather interesting in this thread is the fact that the folks who came  
up with the term "internet" or "internetwork"  (strictly referring to  
TCP/IP based communications,) no longer control the use of the word.  
It simply became synonymous with "connectedness" regardless of  
technological means of delivery which themselves disappeared from our  
social space. What I think might be worth further investigation is  
this promise and need for invisibility that has been a part of the  
development of digital communication technologies.

I suspect that this is due to the process of abstraction which is at  
the core of software development-> we build computer language  
libraries on top of libraries in order to shorten certain tasks,  
effectively rendering the core technologies invisible (anyone here  
programs in assembly?) Interfaces (APIs, GUIs) complete the task: both  
the programmer and her audience are always removed from the object  
they are manipulating.  The discursive constructs do not, and I  
believe cannot,  mirror the underlying technologies because there are  
multiple layers of abstraction between them. Here is where we really  
get to the multiple internets :) or multiple discursive threads that  
all claim the lineage under the guise of different interfaces.


On Jul 13, 2009, at 5:09 AM, Zbigniew Lukasiak wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 8:45 AM, Andreas
> Schiffler<aschiffler at ferzkopp.net> wrote:
>> Hi Jodi,
>> Definitely many many!
>> Technology can be used to build as many physical networks as one  
>> wants - a
>> cross-over RJ45 cable between two computers is considered a network  
>> with two
>> nodes.
> If someone connects two computers with RJ45 cable it can be a net -
> but it is not inter-net.  It is important to note the etymology of the
> word - internet is something connecting many networks.  I don't think
> anyone would put the name of internet on any network disconnected from
> the global internet (even if it was running the Internet Protocol) -
> and everything that is connected in any way is a part of the internet.
> -- 
> Zbigniew Lukasiak
> http://brudnopis.blogspot.com/
> http://perlalchemy.blogspot.com/
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Dmitry Strakovsky
Assistant Professor of Intermedia
University of Kentucky

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