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A Brief History of the Internet The Bright Side
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A Brief History of the Internet The Bright Side: The Dark Side by Michael Hart
with Max Fuller

(C)1995, Released on March 8th.

Chapter 00 Preface

The Internet Conquers Space, Time, and Mass Production...

Michael Hart called it NeoMass Production [TM] in 1971...
and published the U.S. Declaration of Independence on the
and no one was listening...or were they?
If the governments, universities or colleges of the world
wanted people to be educated, they certainly could have a
copy of things like the Declaration of Independence where
everyone could get an electronic copy. After all, it has
been over 25 years since the Internet began as government
funded projects among our universities, and only 24 years
since the Declaration was posted, followed by the Bill of
Rights, Constitution, the Bible, Shakespeare, etc.

Why do more people get their electronic books from others
than these institutions when they spend a TRILLION DOLLAR
BUDGET EVERY YEAR pretending their goal is some universal
form of education.

This is the story of the Bright Side and Dark Side of
the Internet. . .Bright Side first.

The Facts:

The Internet is a primitive version of the "Star Trek
Communicator," the "Star Trek Transporter," and, also
a primitive version of the "Star Trek Replicator."


The Internet "let`s" you talk to anyone on the Earth,
as long as they, too, are on the Internet.


The Internet "let`s" you transport anything you would
be able to get into your computer to any Netter.


The Internet "let`s" you replicate anything anyone is
able to get into their computer, from "The Mona Lisa"
to "The Klein Bottle" if you use the right "printer,"
and the library never closes, the books are always on
the shelves, never checked out, lost, in for binding,
and there is never an overdue fine because you never,
ever, have to take them back.

The Bright Side and the Dark Side

For the first time in the entire history of the Earth, we
have the ability for EVERYONE to get copies of EVERYTHING
as long as it can be digitized and communicated to all of
the people on the Earth, via computers [and the devices a
person might need to make a PHYSICAL, rather than VIRTUAL
copy of whatever it might be. . .

Think about what you have just read for a moment, please,

as long as the Information Superhighway is not taken over
by the INFORMATION RICH and denied access to others other
than for a fee they may not be able to pay, and shouldn`t
have to pay. . .since the INFORMATION RICH have had rides
for free for the first 25 years of the Internet.]

From 1969 to 1994, most of the traffic on the Information
Superhighway was generated by individuals who did not pay
tolls to get on the ramps to the Information Superhighway
. . .in fact, ALL of the early users were paid to get on,
except one. . .they were paid. . .BY YOU!

Michael Hart may have been the first person who got on as
a private individual, not paid by any of the 23 nodes, or
the Internet/ARPANet system, for his work; but who at the
time of this publication might have given away 25 billion
worth of Etexts in return for his free network access.

[i.e. Mr. Hart was the first "normal" person to have this
access to the Internet, a first non-computer-professional
for social responsibility; "We should provide information
to all persons, without delay. . .simply because WE CAN!"
Just like climbing Mount Everest or going into space, and
this is so much cheaper and less dangerous.

[For those of you considering asking that his accesses be
revoked, he has received permission from CCSO management,
previously CSO as indicated in his email address, for the
posting of this document and has also received permission
from several other colleges and/or universities, at which
he has computer accounts and/or is affiliated.]

In the beginning, all the messages on the Net were either
hardware or software crash messages, people looking for a
helping hand in keeping their mainframes up and running--
and that was about it for the first 10-15 years of cyber-
space. . .cyber-space. . .mostly just space. . .there was
nothing really in it for anyone, but mainframe operators,
programmers, and a few computer consultants who worked in
multi-state regions because there weren`t enough computer
installations in any single state, not even California or
Illinois, to keep a computer consultant in business.

The Bright Side

Mr. Hart had a vision in 1971 that the greatest purpose a
computer network would ever provide would be the storage,
transmission, and copying of the library of information a
whole planet of human beings would generate. These ideas
were remarkably ahead of their time, as attested to by an
Independent Plans of Study Degree in the subject of Human
Machine Interfaces from the University of Illinois, 1973.
This degree, and the publications of the first few Etexts
[Electronic Texts] on the Internet, began the process the
Internet now knows as Project Gutenberg, which has caught
fire and spread to all areas of the Internet, and spawned
several generations of "Information Providers," as we now
have come to call them.

It is hard to log in to the Internet without finding many
references to Project Gutenberg and Information Providers
these days, but you might be surprised just how much of a
plethora of information stored on the Internet is only on
line for LIMITED DISTRIBUTION even though the information
is actually in the PUBLIC DOMAIN and has been paid for in
money paid by your taxes, and by grants, which supposedly
are given for the betterments of the human race, not just
a favored few at the very top 1% of the INFORMATION RICH.

Many of you have seen the publicity announcements of such
grants in the news media, and an information professional
sees them all the time.

You may have seen grants totalling ONE BILLION DOLLARS to
create "Electronic Libraries;" what you haven`t seen is a
single "Electronic Book" released into the Public Domain,
in any form for you to use, from any one of these.

The Dark Side

Why don`t you see huge electronic libraries available for
download from the Internet?

Why are the most famous universities in the world working
on electronic libraries and you can`t read the books?

If it costs $1,000 to create an electronic book through a
government or foundation grant, then $1,000,000,000 funds
for electronic libraries should easily create a 1,000,000
volume electronic library in no time at all.

After all, if someone paid YOU $1,000 to type, scan or to
otherwise get a public domain book onto the Internet, you
could do that in no time at all, and so could one million
other people, and they could probably do it in a week, if
they tried really hard, maybe in a month if they only did
it in their spare time. For $1,000 per book, I am sure a
few people would be turning out a book a week for as long
as it took to get all million books into electronic text.

There has been perhaps ONE BILLION DOLLARS granted for an
electronic library in a variety of places, manners, types
and all other diversities; IF THE COST IS ONE THOUSAND OF


Anyone who wants to stop this process for a Public Domain
Library of information is probably suffering from several
of the Seven Deadly Sins:

Pride, covetousness, lust, anger, greed, envy, and sloth.
Merriam Webster Third International Unabridged Dictionary
[Above: Greed = Gluttony, and moved back one place]

[Below: my simple descriptions of the Seven Deadly Sins]

1. Pride: I have one and you don`t.

2. Covetousness: Mine is worth more if you don`t have a
copy or something similar. I want yours. I want the
one you have, even if I already have one or many.

3. Lust: I have to have it.

4. Anger: I will hurt you to insure that I have it, and
and to insure that you do not have one.

5. Envy: I hate that you have one.

6. Greed: There is no end to how much I want, or to how
little I want you to have in comparison.

7. Sloth: I am opposed to you moving up the ladder: it
means that I will have to move up the ladder, to keep
my position of lordship over you. If I have twice as
much as you do, and you gain a rung, that means I can
only regain my previous lordship by moving up two; it
is far easier to knock you back a rung, or to prevent
you from climbing at all.

Destruction is easier than construction.

This becomes even more obvious for the person who has
a goal of being 10 or 100 times further up the ladder
of success. . .given the old, and hopefully obsolete,
or soon to be obsolete, definitions of success.

"If I worked like a fiend all my life to insure I had
a thousand dollars for every dollar you had, and then
someone came along and wanted to give everyone $1000,
then I would be forced to work like a fiend again, to
get another million dollars to retain my position."

Think about it: someone spends a lifetime achieving,
creating, or otherwise investing their life, building
a talent, an idea, or a physical manifestation of the
life they have led. . .the destruction of this is far
easier than the construction. . .just as the building
of a house is much more difficult, requires training,
discipline, knowledge of the laws of physics to get a
temperature and light balance suitable for latitudes,
etc., etc., etc.

But nearly anyone can burn down a building, or a pile
of books without a fraction of this kind of training.

People are used to lording it over others by building
and writing certain items that reflect their lordship
over themselves, their environments, and, last/least,
over other people. If they were not engaged in power
over themselves [self-discipline, education, etc,] or
over their environments [food, clothing and shelter],
then they have only other people to have control over
and that is the problem. The don`t want other people
to have it easier than they did. "If _I_ did it with
the hard ways and tools of the past, then _YOU_ would
threaten me if you use some easier ways and tools the
present has to offer, and _I_ don`t want to learn the
new tools, since I have invested my whole life to the
mastery of the old tools." I have literally met very
highly placed souls in the system of higher education
who have told me they will quit the system on the day
they have to use email because it removes the control
they used to have over physical meetings, phone calls
and the paper mails. It is just too obvious if a big
wig is not answering your email, since email programs
can actually tell you the second it was delivered and
also the second the person "opened" it.

This is why SOME people fear the new Internet: other
people fear it NOT because they lose the kind of lord
position that comes with OWNERSHIP; rather they fear,
in a similar manner, they will lose the CONTROL which
they have used to achieve their position of lordship,
such as one kind of professor mentioned below.

*****As Hart`s DOS prompt sometimes states:*****

"Money is how people with no talent keep score!"
"Control is how others with no money keep score!"

These Seven Deadly Sins, while named by various names and
by most civilizations, have nonetheless often been actual
laws; in that certain people were required, by law, to be
victims of the rest of their populations in that a person
might be legally denied ownership of any property, due to
racism or sexism, or denied the right to a contract, even
legally denied the ability to read and write, not just an
assortment of rights to vote, contract and own property--
there have even been laws that forbade any but the "upper
crust" to wear certain types of clothing, a "statement of
fashion" of a slightly different order than we see today,
but with similar ends.

You might want to look up laws that once divided this and
other countries by making it illegal to teach any persons
of certain races or genders reading, writing, arithmetic,
and others of the ways human beings learn to have a power
over their environments.

Power over oneself is the first kind of power...if you do
not control yourself, you will find difficulty in control
of anything.

Power over the environment is the second kind of power...
if you do not control food, clothing and shelter, you are
going to have a hard time controlling anything else.

Power over other human being is the third kind of power--
described above in the Seven Deadly Sins, a third raters`
kind of power. Those who cannot control anything else...
must, by definition, have others control things for them.
If they don`t want to depend on the voluntary cooperation
of others, then they must find some way to control them.

We are now seeing the efforts by those who couldn`t BUILD
the Internet to control it, and the 40 million people who
are on it; people from the goverment to big business, who
feel "Freedom Is Slavery" or at least dangerous; and, who
feel the Internet is the "NEXT COMMERICAL FRONTIER" where
customers are all ready to be inundated with advertising,
more cheaply than with junkmail. Fortunately some of the
other Internet pioneers have developed ways of preventing
this sort of thing from happening BUT I am sure we aren`t
far from lawsuits by the cash rich and informattion rich,
complaining that they can`t get their junkemail into "my"
emailbox. We will probably all be forced to join into an
assortment of "protectives" in which we subscribe to such
"killbots" as are required to let in the mail we want and
keep out the junkemail.

These same sorts of protectives were forming a century or
so before the Internet, in a similar response to the hard
monopolistic pricing policies of the railroads which went
transcontinental just 100 years before this Internet did.

I suggest you look up Grange in your encyclopedias, where
one of them says:

"The National Grange is the popular name
of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry,
the oldest general farm organization
in the United States. . .formed largely
through the efforts of Oliver Hudson Kelley,
a Minnesota farmer who was deeply affected
by the poverty and isolation of the farmers
he saw will inspecting farm areas in the South
for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1866.
In the 1870`s the Grange was prominent in
the broader Granger movement, which campaigned
against extortionate charges by monopolistic
railroads and warehouses and helped bring
about laws regulating these charges. . . .
Although challenged, the constitutionality
of such laws was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court
in Munn v. Illinois (1877).

[1994 Grolier Electronic Enyclcopedia]


The Internet Conquers Space, Time and Mass Production /... /

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