And Thank FSM for That…

From Manuel Castells’s Communication Power, discussing the regulatory framework of the digital communication system:

“The impromptu evolution of Internet regulation and management parallels the serendipitous maturation of the Internet as the communication commons of the network society (Abbate, 1999; Castells, 2001; Movius, forthcoming). When first deployed in 1969, ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet, was an experimental computer networking program originated in DARPA, the US Defense Department research agency, and largely run by the scientists and engineers who created it. In 1970, the Defense Department offered to transfer its operation and property ATT. After weighing the possibility for a few weeks, ATT did not see any commercial interest in ARPANET, and declined the offer (Abbate, 1999). Thanks to this monumental shortsightedness of ATT’s part, and to the inability of Microsoft to understand the significance of the Internet, the world became what it is today. So much for technological determinism.” (103)

As Todd Krohn would say, LOL. Also, thank FSM (or whichever imaginary friend one may believe in) for corporate incompetence.

Now, just for fun, imagine, if you will, an Internet completely designed and controlled by AT&T. Now, go have nightmares. You’re welcome.

The Visual Du Jour – Visualizing Decline

Through higher education:

As the article notes:

“In the 1970s and 1980s, the US led the world on college enrollment. In fact, since the passing of the GI bill in 1944, America had been forging a path. That bill led to 2.2 million American infantrymen attending university in the 12 years in was in effect.

But a generation later, the US hasn’t changed at all, while the rest of the developed world has more or less caught up with it – and some of its key competitors have overtaken it.

The country could once boast the best educated workforce in the world. No longer.”