[iDC] The internet that is not one

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Jul 13 17:16:26 UTC 2009

It seems to me that the utilitarian logic implied in numeration here is 
misplaced, particularly when one is dealing with fuzzy concepts to begin 
with. The protocols are there, but there were bbs and Fidonet etc. 
parallel to tcp/ip, and the historical precedents are everywhere, from the 
so-called 'Victorian internet' (telegraph systems) to cb radio to early 
crystal radio clubs - all with accompanying lingo, culture, technologies, 
hardwares and softwares, codes, etc. One can go back to the messenger 
system in Sumeria, Babylonia, Assyria, as well (see The Messenger in the 
Ancient Semitic World by Meier). In any one of these systems, one/many is 
moot and problematic - for that matter distributions of technologies bleed 
into one another as telegraph and pony express interact, crystal radio 
dxing and spark transmitters interact as well. Recently I was at a hamfest 
in West Virginia, watching someone on portable shortwave connect with a 
repeater in Tennessee which was connected to the Internet while he was on 
a cellphone after having driven to the site of the fest at an airport with 
its own interacting communications systems. For me, that's the hearts of 
the matters.

- Alan

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