Before 1877 there were many people who succeeded in astonishing feats and changing the United States, as we know it such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Andrew Jackson and so forth. Even after those years and into the twentieth century we most likely, in many people’s opinion, had the greatest men of all time to walk the homeland. These people include Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt and many more. I think that some people become overlooked with so many extraordinary people that we have had in this country. Just because they were not a president, vice president, or even a senator does not mean they did not play a bigger role then anyone else in the United States’ history.
The most influential group, person, or event in the United States since 1877 is actually a group of four people. The two main people and the one’s who started it all are: Robert Kahn of BB&N and Vinton Cerf of Stanford. These two people are a couple of the most influential persons to come out of the United States. They laid the groundwork for the Internet explosion. The two computer scientists, who joined forces at the Advanced Research Programs Agency (the ARPA), spent most of the 1970’s developing the transmission system for sending data between different networks of computers that were running incompatible operating systems. The system they developed is the technical achievement that is still used today in many countries, called TCP/IP (for Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol).
At the time the two men’s achievement was, at first, practically scoffed at and was not viewed as life changing. The system was used just for a couple huge university and research computers. No one in the world foresaw what was about to unfold. Nowadays when one thinks of the Internet two things come to mind: e-mail and the World Wide Web, which came much later then the 1970’s. Until 1991, the only ways to use the Internet, other than for sending e-mail, were to use programs such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This allowed you to “log on” to another computer, and then to download files. But first, you had to know the exact “domain name” or address of the computer you wanted to access. You also had to have an account name and password for that specific computer. Nowadays this whole process seems somewhat nauseating.
Bringing the third person in the picture of the four, Tim Berners-Lee, a computer programmer at the European Center for Particle Research or CERN in Geneva. He designed the system in which people can click a link on a document or some other sort of file, and be redirected to the desired web page. This made no difference if it was coming from a computer down the hall or some one half way across the globe; no longer were domain names and passwords required! This brought the Internet to a viable worldwide phenomenon and ultimately was only in need of one thing to up lift it the billions of people across the world, for legislation to be passed.
Al Gore was the blunt of many humorous jokes in the late 1990’s because of his statement saying he created the Internet and in a way he did. He was the last of the forefathers of the World Wide Web. We actively supported and urged congress to pass a bill uplifting commercial and residential use. Finally in late 1991 it was done. Congress gave in and the Internet is what we know it today.
The Internet is one of the most important things in this world today. It is the main source of entertainment, news, knowledge, and most importantly- it’s the future. The Internet revolutionized how the world accessed information and communicated through the 1990’s, the ongoing development in speed, bandwidth, and functionality will continue to cause fundamental changes to how our world operates for decades to come. Some of the major trends shaping the future of the world provided by the Internet are: Globalism, Communities, and Technologies (including bandwidth, virtual reality, and wireless capabilities).
Globalism is the most important part of Internet. With the continuous revamps of the way one another communicates the world can become a lot more uniform and closer. Countries can dissolve and unravel problems and differences easier with better communication. Problems and disagreements will not have to escalate to a level where war is inevitable. Obviously, there are countries out there that cannot be reconciled with just like there always has been, but with a better way to convey the information the better a chance to repeal the possible disaster. A better-informed humanity will make better macro and micro level decisions. Continually working together will drive relations among all countries to a global standpoint. Attachments people have with their single countries they reside in will largely decrease. While attachments to the planet, as a whole, will increase greatly. This, with hope and time, will hammer the fact that everyone is created equally into people’s minds.
Communities will expand their knowledge at the neighborhood level. People will better themselves in their own online communities and become essentially, smarter and stronger. These communities will organize online and take advantage of the Internet’s tools such as mailing lists, newsgroups, and web sites and overall become more empowered. People that were once isolated in their town or city will be unshackled from their isolation and they will gain the ability to easily establish relationships with others that have the same interests and hobbies. Local communities will not be a sense of whose within a couple miles but more like who is online. People overall will not be bound to their geological location but to how far they manipulate the Internet.
And lastly, technology will and continues to double in power every few years. The ability to contact people in long distances, since roughly 2002, has greatly decreased in price due to Voice over IP, also known as VOIP. People will increasingly be able to call one another in video form. Over the years the resolution of the video will increase the amount of communication that can be transferred from a simple sentence like, “I really like apples”. Not only will voice inflections be noticed like using a normal phone but also deductions will be made via body gestures. Bandwidth and wireless capabilities continue to snow ball. These technologies continually give one the ability to send more data and send more data on the go. Making it easier to access communications. The better the access the better one’s knowledge of a desired object or thing can be. There have already been stories of people using the Internet site that uploads data in text in real time, Twitter, to find out if their house is the one on fire down the street. This knowledge could save lives and it came from the Internet on the go via cellular telephone.
Overall, nearly two billion people of about seven billion people have some way they utilize the Internet. These numbers are growing rapidly. The Internet is the future. It will give us the capabilities and means to send information to others across the world and eventually I believe that this magnificent way of communicating will give the world the ability to cure diseases and poverty. Communication is key with nearly everything we have in life from marriages to football teams. And no matter who you are you communicate with something whether it is an animate or inanimate object every day. With knowledge of others and other things across the world, thanks to the four fathers of the Internet: Al Gore, Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, and Tim Berners Lee, we not only as a country but as the planet Earth can come together and better understand one another, which in turn, will demolish segregation of ethnic groups. We are in the middle of this technological renaissance and we will eventually find the means via communication to nullify the countless problems we have with one another as a world. I believe that war will never cease, but with better communication we can prevent a lot of pointless wars.