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Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon
air freight, Bill Duvall, computer age, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, fault tolerance, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, natural language processing, packet switching, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy
Chapter Four The description of the building of the Interface Message Processor was based on interviews with Dave Walden, Ben Barker, Severo Ornstein, Bob Kahn, Frank Heart, Alex McKenzie, and Will Crowther. We also relied on ARPA’s request for proposals and on BBN’s proposal. Chapter Five The description of UCLA’s preparations for and receipt of the IMP Number One is based on interviews with Len Kleinrock, Steve Crocker, Mike Wingfield, andVint Cerf. The description of the Network Working Group’s early work in layered protocols was based on interviews with Steve Crocker, Jon Postel, andVint Cerf. The description of the first log-in session between UCLA and SRI was based on interviews with Len Kleinrock and Charley Kline. The description of the gridlock tests conducted in early 1970 was based on interviews with Bob Kahn, Dave Walden, andVint Cerf. John Melvin helped us in our unsuccessful search for whoever might have been at the other end of the initial log-in session between UCLA and SRI.
When Barker brought the machine back up, loaded in his diagnostic code, and looked in the scope, the ghost traces were gone. While Barker and Ornstein were reasonably certain that the problem was fixed, they had no way of knowing for sure unless the machine ran for a few consecutive days without crashing. And they didn’t have a few days. Heart had already approved shipping the first Interface Message Processor to California the next day. IMP Number One was almost out the door. 5 Do It to It Truett Steve Crocker and Vint Cerf had been best friends since attending Van Nuys High School in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. They shared a love for science, and the two spent more than a few Saturday nights building three-dimensional chess games or trying to re-create Edwin Land’s experiments with color perception. Vint was a wiry, intense, effusive kid. He joined his high school ROTC unit to avoid gym class. On the days he didn’t show up at school in his ROTC uniform, Vint wore a jacket and tie.
From an early age,Vint aspired to match the accomplished track record of his father, who had risen through the ranks to become a senior executive at North American Aviation (now Rockwell International). Both of Vint’s younger brothers played football and took turns as president of the student body.Vint was the bookworm. His literary tastes tilted toward fantasy. Well into his adult life, he regularly set aside several days to reread The Lord of the Rings trilogy.Vint did particularly well in chemistry, but his passion was math. When Steve Crocker started the math club atVan Nuys High,Vint was one of the first to join. As a result of premature birth, Vint was hearing-impaired. Although hearing aids in both ears later corrected much of the deficit, he grew up devising clever strategies for communicating in the hearing world. Years later, after they became friends, Bob Kahn brought some of Cerf’s aural tricks to his friends’attention and Cerf eventually wrote a paper called “Confessions of a Hearing-Impaired Engineer,” in which he shared some of his secrets.
The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us by James Ball
Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, Chelsea Manning, cryptocurrency, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, packet switching, patent troll, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Crocker, Stuxnet, The Chicago School, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, yield management, zero day
noredirect=on&utm_term=.e7adba67bfe6 3https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42745853 1 THE ARCHITECTS 1US broadband speed taken from http://fortune.com/2017/06/02/internet-speed-akamai-survey/ 2The narrative of the first internet message is taken from this (charming and very readable) transcript: https://archive.icann.org/meetings/losangeles2014/en/schedule/mon-crocker-kleinrock/transcript-crocker-kleinrock-13oct14-en.pdf 3https://www.internethalloffame.org//inductees/steve-crocker 4https://ai.google/research/people/author32412 5Wired have a great feature with much more detail on ‘the mother of all demos’ here: https://www.wired.com/2010/12/1209computer-mouse-mother-of-all-demos/ 6This was the recollection of Bob Taylor, who secured the funding (https://www.computer.org/csdl/magazine/an/2011/03/man2011030004/13rRUxly9fL), but was disputed by Charles Herzfeld, who said he had agreed the funding, but had taken more than twenty minutes’ persuasion (https://www.wired.com/2012/08/herzfeld/). 7Full video and transcript: http://opentranscripts.org/transcript/steve-crocker-internet-hall-fame-2012-profile/ 8This is also from Kleinrock’s 2014 transcript: https://archive.icann.org/meetings/losangeles2014/en/schedule/mon-crocker-kleinrock/transcript-crocker-kleinrock-13oct14-en.pdf 9https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc0675.txt 10ARPANET had operated as a packet switching network from its inception – TCP is just a specific implantation of the concept, and the one which came to be the standard. 11This paragraph borrows key dates from https://www.webfx.com/blog/web-design/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/ 12Everything from Steve Lukasik comes from his paper ‘Why the ARPANET Was Built’, published online here: https://www.academia.edu/34728504/WHY_THE_ARPANET_WAS_BUILT 13This is from the Crocker/Kleinrock discussion. 14https://webfoundation.org/about/vision/history-of-the-web/ 15These are sourced to the Internet Services Consortium, but most easily viewed on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Internet_usage 16https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-32884867 17https://www.statista.com/statistics/471264/iot-number-of-connected-devices-worldwide/ 18This stat comes from TeleGeography (https://www2.telegeography.com/submarine-cable-faqs-frequently-asked-questions) – their map of the main undersea internet cables is well worth a look: https://www.submarinecablemap.com/ 2 THE CABLE GUYS 1http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/17/AR2007101702359.html?
The network transmitted that, but it was more than the receiving computer expected, and caused a crash. While it might not look good, that was the network working as intended – in theory, at least. After around an hour of hasty recoding, the researchers were ready to try again, and this time the full ‘login’ message was sent. The internet was off to a start, even if it was an awkward one. ONE OF THE men in the room at that very first test of the internet was Steve Crocker. I meet him, now a sprightly man in his seventies with close-cropped grey hair, in Bethesda, a small town in south Maryland, not far from Washington DC. He elects to meet in La Madeleine, a chain ‘French bistro’ down the road from the offices of Shinkuro, his online research and development company. Over filter coffee, we talk about Crocker’s life and career. He has the eye for detail, bordering on pedantry – he doesn’t tolerate any inaccurate or sloppy phrasing – of the trained software engineer, tempered by a friendly and easy manner, an enjoyment of a chance to tell some of his stories.
Instead, like a construction kit, they were building a foundation that could be built upon, or altered: an open network. Another consequence came about essentially because of bids to avoid fights: if no one is in charge and everyone has different ideas, how do you document what you’re doing and why, or set your standards? You certainly can’t just proclaim a new rule without provoking a backlash. It was Steve Crocker who hit on a solution – the main reason for his inclusion in the Hall of Fame. And it’s not a revolutionary piece of code. It’s not code at all. It’s a piece of office politics. ‘We were just graduate students,’ he said in his speech to the Internet Hall of Fame.8 ‘Nobody put us in charge. We had no authority. And it fell to me to organize these notes that we had decided that we were going to write, and I found myself extremely nervous that as I said the act of writing these notes might trigger a negative reaction.
The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop
Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process, zero-sum game
His allergies had long since crossed the line into asthma-he never went anywhere without an inhaler-and his hands had a noticeable tremor. "Although he was extremely well motivated," says Steve Crocker, "it showed through: he just didn't seem to have the energy anymore." Happily, though, that was one problem Lick's boss could solve. Reaching down into ARPA's nuclear-monitoring research office, Lukasik brought up an army colonel named David Russell to serve as Lick's deputy. The mild-mannered but very capable Colonel Russell soon had everything quietly under control. And Lick, now blessedly freed of doing any but the highest-level paperwork, was able to do what he did best, which was set the tone and direction of the office. Of course, notes Steve Crocker, to people who were used to the hyperener- getic, do-it-all-myself style of Larry Roberts, their new office director looked sus- piciously like a figurehead-honored, respected, and listened to, to be sure, but not really in charge.
And the master-of-ceremonies role had fallen to the twenty-four-year-old Barry Wessler, an electrical-engineering student who had come down from MIT in the fall of 1967 to serve as Taylor and Roberts's assistant in IPTO. ("I said I wouldn't go [to Allerton] because I was over thirty!" jokes Taylor, who was then an old man of thirty-six.) The grad-student conference started in July 1968, with no one knowing quite what to expect. "It turned out to be a really amazing group of people," recalls Steve Crocker, who was just in the process of returning to UCLA after eighteen months in Minsky's AI Lab. "It was probably the smartest, most intense group of young computer scientists who had ever gotten together up until that time. We just cooked for about three days. We sized each other up. We got to know who was working on what. And at the end of those three days, we all knew each other very well." Vinton Cerf, Patrick Winston, John Warnock, Danny Cohen, Bob Balzer-the roster of that meeting would eventually read like a who's who of modern com- puting, and many of the friendships they forged in the cornfields would endure down to the present day.
That was the spirit that made the ARPA community work. And that was the spirit that was fostered by the grad students." Indeed, by all accounts, it was there in the cornfields of Illinois that the young hotshots of this rising generation first began to feel that they were part of something larger than merely this or that research group. They were part of a na- tionwide community-the ARPA community. Certainly the twenty-three-year- old Steve Crocker thought so. Before that meeting, he says, "I had been keeping track of where I thought the hot research was: BBN, MIT, CMU, Stanford-I had my tastes and biases, and I thought I knew it all. But then I walked into this room, and I was struck very forcefully that there was a nearly hundred-percent match between where I thought the good work was being done and the people and the places represented-which meant that somebody else had figured this out, too.
Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway
Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor
I have been inﬂuenced and assisted by many people including Steve Cisler, Ricardo Dominguez, Anne Ellegood, Ken Goldberg, Branden Hookway, Jon Ippolito, Natalie Jeremijenko, Thomas Levin, Geert Lovink, Lev Manovich, Milton Mueller, Jonah Peretti, and McKenzie Wark. Friend and collaborator Eugene Thacker graciously agreed to write the foreword. Rachel Greene coauthored several texts with me in 1998, scraps of which reappear, however transformed, in various parts of chapter 7. The following people agreed to be interviewed by me: Bernard Aboba, Fred Baker, Bob Braden, Vinton Cerf, Steve Crocker, Stacy Leistner (ANSI), Tony Rutkowski, and Stefaan Verhulst. Kristen DelGrosso provided invaluable research assistance for portions of this book. I would also like to thank Doug Sery at the MIT Press and series editor Joel Slayton for their support and assistance. I thank my family for their love and support, especially my brother Munro Galloway, who has, over the years, generally been ﬁrst to introduce me to the more interesting areas of culture.
For example, many of the protocols used on the World Wide Web (a network within the Internet) are governed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This international consortium was created in October 1994 to develop common protocols such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets. Scores of other protocols have been created for a variety of other purposes by many 8. The expression derives from a memorandum titled “Host Software” sent by Steve Crocker on April 7, 1969, which is known today as RFC 1. 9. Pete Loshin, Big Book of FYI RFCs (San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann, 2000), p. xiv. 10. “Internet Society Mission Statement,” available online at http://www.isoc.org/isoc/ mission/. Introduction 6 different professional societies and organizations. They are covered in more detail in chapter 4. Protocol is not a new word. Prior to its usage in computing, protocol referred to any type of correct or proper behavior within a speciﬁc system of conventions.
But, to be sure, because of the technical sophistication needed to participate, this loose consortium of decision makers tends to fall into a relatively homogenous social class: highly educated, altruistic, liberal-minded science professionals from modernized societies around the globe. And sometimes not so far around the globe. Of the twenty-ﬁve or so original protocol pioneers, three of them—Vint Cerf, Jon Postel, and Steve Crocker—all came from a single high school in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley.6 Furthermore, during his long tenure as RFC editor, Postel was the single gatekeeper through whom all protocol RFCs passed before they could be published. Internet historians Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon describe 5. Jake Feinler, “30 Years of RFCs,” RFC 2555, April 7, 1999. 6. See Vint Cerf ’s memorial to Jon Postel’s life and work in “I Remember IANA,” RFC 2468, October 1988.
Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini
Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog
In fact, Roberts organized the network implementation around three different teams with various contracts and links between them: the NWG itself; 6 Leonard Kleinrock and his team of graduate students (in- cluding Steve Crocker, Vint Cerf, and Jon Postel) at UCLA, which was to be- ARPANET, E-matl, and est 185 come the Network Measurement Center (NMC); and finally, Douglas Engel- bart and his staff, which was to become the Network Information Center (NIC). Early in the history of the NWG, Elmer Shapiro insisted that "the work of the group should be fully documented." Steve Crocker, one of the members of Kleinrock's team of graduate students, volunteered to write the first meeting note, which he labeled "Request For Comments" in order "to avoid sounding too declarative," according to Hafner and Lyon (1996, 144).
Second, there is a natural hesItancy to publish some- thing unpolished, and we hope to ease thIs InhibItIon" (S. Crocker, RFC 0003). At the time of the wrIting of RFC 3, accordIng to Crocker, the Network Working Group "seemed to consist" of Steve Carr (Utah), Jeff Rulifson and Bill Duvall (SRI), and Steve Crocker and Gerard Deloche (UCLA). The distribution list of the RFCs also Included Bob Kahn (BBN), Larry Roberts (ARPA), and Ron Stoughton (UCSB). At the end of July 1969, the constitution of the NWG had changed slIghtly. It con- sisted then of Steve Carr (Utah), Elmer Shapiro and Bill English (SRI), Steve Crocker (UCLA), John Heafner (RAND), and Paul Rovner and Jim Curry (Lincoln Labs). The distribution list of the RFCs also included Ron Stoughton (UCSB), Bob Kahn (BBN), Larry Roberts (ARPA), and Jerry Cole (SDC). RFC 0010: "Documentation Conven- tions," by S.
During the initial ARPA NWG meeting at SRI in October 1968, the group, "already in agreement about the underlying notions of a DEL-like approach, set down some terminology, expectations for DEL programs, and lists of proposed semantic capability." A second round of meetings was later held in a piecemeal way: Crocker meet with Rulifson at SRI on November 18, 1968, and Stoughton meet with Rulifson at SRI on December 12, 1968 (Rulifson, RFC 0005, 1969). Steve Crocker gave an account of these meetings ("The Origins of RFCs") in RFC 1000 ("The Re- quest for Comments Reference Guide" by Jon Postel, August 1987): The first few meetings were quite tenuous. We had no official charter. Most of us were graduate students and we expected that a professional crew would show up eventually to take over the problems we were dealing with. Without clear defini- tion of what the host-IMP Interface would look like, or even what functions the IMP would provIde, we focused on exotic ideas.
The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, desegregation, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Terrell, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
Pelkey, “A History of Computer Communications,” http://www.historyofcomputercommunications.info/index.html, 2.9; Hafner and Lyon, Where Wizards Stay Up Late, 1528. 95. The tale of Steve Crocker’s RFCs has been told in many variations. This account comes from my interviews with Steve Crocker, Vint Cerf, Leonard Kleinrock; Hafner and Lyon, Where Wizards Stay Up Late, 2192 and passim; Abbate, Inventing the Internet, 1330 and passim; Stephen Crocker oral history, conducted by Judy E. O’Neill, Oct. 24, 1991, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota; Stephen Crocker, “How the Internet Got Its Rules,” New York Times, Apr. 6, 2009; Cade Metz, “Meet the Man Who Invented the Instructions for the Internet,” Wired, May 18, 2012; Steve Crocker, “The Origins of RFCs,” in “The Request for Comments Guide,” RFC 1000, Aug. 1987, http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1000.txt; Steve Crocker, “The First Pebble: Publication of RFC 1,” RFC 2555, Apr. 7, 1999. 96.
He had left BBN, where he had helped develop the IMPs, to become a project manager at ARPA’s Information Processing Techniques Office. Having worked on the ARPANET and then PRNET, he made it his mission to create a method to connect them and other packet networks, a system that he and his colleagues began calling an “internetwork.” After a while, that word got shortened a bit, to “internet.” To be his partner in this endeavor, Kahn tapped Vint Cerf, who had been Steve Crocker’s sidekick on the group writing Requests for Comments and figuring out the protocols of the ARPANET. Cerf was raised in Los Angeles, where his father worked for a company that made engines for the Apollo space program. Like Gordon Moore, he grew up playing with a chemistry set in the days when they were delightfully dangerous. “We had things like powdered magnesium, powdered aluminum, and sulfur and glycerin and potassium permanganate,” he recalled.
The leaders included an icon of rectitude, George Washington; brilliant thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison; men of vision and passion, including Samuel and John Adams; and a sage conciliator, Benjamin Franklin. Likewise, the founders of the ARPANET included visionaries such as Licklider, crisp decision-making engineers such as Larry Roberts, politically adroit people handlers such as Bob Taylor, and collaborative oarsmen such as Steve Crocker and Vint Cerf. Another key to fielding a great team is pairing visionaries, who can generate ideas, with operating managers, who can execute them. Visions without execution are hallucinations.31 Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore were both visionaries, which is why it was important that their first hire at Intel was Andy Grove, who knew how to impose crisp management procedures, force people to focus, and get things done.
Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell
American ideology, animal electricity, barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust
AT&T’s executives may look silly in hindsight for turning down the chance to take over the Arpanet, but if we look at it from their perspective in the 1960s, their decision was undoubtedly correct. It was clear from the start of the Arpanet in 1969 that a digital, packet-switched communications system would require new institutions to coordinate the informal and geographically dispersed community of researchers who were building it. Several ARPA researchers began to meet regularly and named themselves the Network Working Group (NWG). At first, the NWG was led by Steve Crocker, a graduate student at UCLA, and consisted mostly of graduate students at other ARPA-funded computer research projects at UCLA, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Utah, and MIT. The group also included representatives from ARPA contractors in Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN); RAND; and the Stanford Research Institute. The NWG’s chief technical objective was to create technical specifications to connect mainframes – known as “host” computers – to the network.
Their objectives, articulated in the notes of their first meeting on October 24, 1972, include commitments to collaboration such as “select a design philosophy,” “design the Host-Host protocol,” and, most ambitiously, “agree to implement the protocol design by a certain date.”26 Both subgroups acknowledged they would have to frame their technical work in a way that could inform the ongoing efforts of the “official protocol designers” that Steve Crocker anticipated when he created the Arpanet Request for Comments series in 1969. Their desire to design protocols that would connect private and public networks – that is, telecommunication networks that, in most countries, were operated by national monopolies – represented a major departure from the NWG’s interest in protocols for one private network, the Arpanet.27 Private and experimental networks could afford to develop standards informally, but formal standards for public and international networks fell under the jurisdiction of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Since no other INWG members had advanced any proposals, the long-awaited vote was simply an up-or-down referendum on the “synthesis” that Cerf, McKenzie, Scantlebury, and Zimmermann created back in July.74 The results of the vote, distributed to INWG in March 1976, were 25.8 in favor, 7.5 against, and 8.7 abstentions.75 The split within the group indicates the diverging strategic agendas of INWG participants. Support for INWG 96 included Pouzin and Zimmermann from Cyclades, Cerf from Stanford, McKenzie from BBN, Scantelbury from NPL, and Steve Crocker from the University of Southern California. Notable votes against were cast by Rémi Déspres, the representative of the French PTT who was drafting the X.25 proposal in CCITT; Jon Postel, the ARPA-funded researcher at the Stanford Research Institute; and Jerry Burchfiel and Ray Tomlinson, two researchers at BBN who were working on an ARPA contract for packet radio networks. More compelling, perhaps, were the nonvotes of Robert Kahn, the director of ARPA IPTO who had funded and coauthored with Cerf the first TCP specification; and Larry Roberts, the “Arpanet’s father” who was, by 1975, working with Déspres on the X.25 design so that his company could grow more quickly from the establishment of an international standard.
What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
The first four planned sites of the network were UCLA, SRI, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. Eventually, it would expand to satisfy Bob Taylor’s concept of a single network that would permit information sharing and remote computing among a diverse community of computer users. Meetings had begun the previous summer between representatives from the four initial sites, and they continued into the fall. After the March 1969 meeting, Steve Crocker, a member of the UCLA group, had drawn up a preliminary set of notes he referred to as “Request for Comments 1.” Such RFCs would become a rich Internet tradition and a simple and efficient way to produce technical standards for the network. The first RFC was based on the group’s discussions and outlined a set of understandings about how the host computers at the four sites would communicate through intermediate data processors known as IMPs, which had been developed for the new network at Bolt, Beranek and Newman in Cambridge.
Shortly before he started his new job, he had been invited by Engelbart to attend a meeting with visiting ARPA officials, which left him shocked. On January 24, 1972, the day before the invitation to the first PODAC meetings went out, Watson entered his assessment of ARC’s relations with its largest backers into the Augment journal: On Jan 6 72 I had my first chance to check out my hypothesis about relations with ARPA when Doug invited me down to be around when Larry Roberts visited ARC with Steve Crocker. The visit frankly stunned me. The communication between ARC and ARPA about goals was nonexistent. Larry communicated clearly his displeasure with where he thought ARC was at…. In all my five years of selling research and development and interfacing with buyers of various kinds, I had never been in such a tense session; further my experience indicated that unless such a relationship could be reversed it was just a matter of time until funding was cut.15 It was clear to Watson that Engelbart simply viewed ARPA as a source of financing for his larger Augmentation scheme, while Roberts wanted a functioning service organization for his new network.
Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens
4chan, airport security, AltaVista, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, twin studies, union organizing, wealth creators, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law
The document, simply called "RFC001", says: During the summer of 1968, representatives from the initial four sites met several times to discuss the HOST software and initial experiments on the network. There emerged from these meetings a working group of three, Steve Carr from Utah, Jeff Rulifson from SRI, and Steve Crocker of UCLA, who met during the fall and winter. The most recent meeting was in the last week of March in Utah. Also present was Bill Duvall of SRI who has recently started working with Jeff Rulifson. Crocker, Carr, and Rulifson are not household names. Steve Crocker and his team invented the Requests for Comments, or RFC series. These documents became the laws of the Internet, specifying every standard in a clear form that was freely usable by all. These were spectacularly successful standards by any measure. They were implemented in hundreds of thousands of products and have survived for forty years with no sign of decay.
Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum
air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, Donald Davies, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game
“It was amazing, this group of really smart people collected in the same time and the same place,” Kleinrock said. “It happens, it’s sort of periodic, when you get this kind of golden era.” Indeed, the group assembled in his lab that fall formed a core group of Internet hall of famers, notably Vint Cerf (now “Chief Internet Evangelist” at Google), who cowrote the Internet’s most important operational code—what is known as the TCP/IP protocol—with Steve Crocker, also Kleinrock’s student, and Jon Postel, who managed the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority for years and was a key mentor to an entire generation of network engineers. The museum would be built in room 3420, where the IMP had been installed from Labor Day 1969 until it was decommissioned in 1982. We walked down the hall to see it. “The IMP was against this wall here,” Kleinrock said, slapping the white paint, “but the room has been reconfigured.
Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase
Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar
Sure, proprietary systems can evolve, but the speed of evolution depends entirely on competitive pressures. No competition, no evolution. Most government contracts come with long lives: three-, five-, ten-, and even ninety-nine-year terms (to an Australian and Spanish consortium to operate and maintain the Chicago Skyway in exchange for keeping all the toll revenue). Why bother to innovate during the first seven years of a ten-year contract? Steve Crocker, one of the Internet’s founding fathers, wrote a really wonderful piece for the New York Times that describes how the Internet’s open standards were able to evolve over time. As he told me, “We had no idea when we started [forty years ago] that this is where we’d end up.” Of course, who among us can predict the future? Open standards invite and encourage participation, variation, and evolution.
Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, online collectivism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks
Two years earlier, the New York Times had nicknamed her “the decider”: Jeffrey Rosen, “Google’s Gatekeepers,” New York Times Magazine, November 28, 2008, www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/magazine/30google-t.html (accessed June 27, 2011). 101 In a January 2010 op-ed in the New York Times: Bono, “Ten for the Next Ten,” New York Times, January 2, 2010, www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/opinion/03bono.html (accessed June 27, 2011). 101 exactly what Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said: “Chinese Government’s Management of Internet Is Sovereign Act, Says FM,” Xinhua News Agency, May 19, 2011, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-05/19/c_13883854.htm (accessed June 27, 2011). 102 Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011, otherwise known by its acronym, PROTECT IP: For the legislation’s full text and status, see www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-968. 102 degrade “the Internet’s value as a single, unified, global communications network”: Steve Crocker, David Dagon, Dan Kaminsky, Danny McPherson, and Paul Vixie, “Security and Other Technical Concerns Raised by the DNS Filtering Requirements in the PROTECT IP Bill,” May 2011, www.redbarn.org/files_redbarn/PROTECT-IP-Technical-Whitepaper-Final.pdf. 102 Civil liberties and free speech groups argued that the bill lacked safeguards: See, for example, Declan McCullagh, “Senate Bill Amounts to Death Penalty for Web Sites,” CNet News, May 12, 2011, http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20062398-281.html; and David Sohn, “Copyright Bill Advances, but Draws Plenty of Criticism,” Center for Democracy and Technology blog, May 26, 2011, www.cdt.org/blogs/david-sohn/copyright-bill-advances-draws-plenty-criticism. 102 “If protecting intellectual property is important, so is protecting the Internet from overzealous enforcement”: “Internet Piracy and How to Stop It,” New York Times, June 8, 2011, www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/opinion/09thu1.html (accessed August 8, 2011). 102 In November 2010 the US Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit (known as ICE) shut down eighty-two websites: Ben Sisario, “Music Web Sites Dispute Legality of Their Closing,” New York Times, December 19, 2010, www.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/business/media/20music.html (accessed June 27, 2011). 103 “Takedown Hall of Shame”: See www.eff.org/takedowns. 104 Ars Technica found its popular Facebook page shut down in May 2011 as the result of a DMCA complaint: Ken Fisher, “Facebook Shoots First, Ignores Questions Later; Account Lock-Out Attack Works (Update X),” Ars Technica , April 28, 2011, http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/04/facebook-shoots-first-ignores-questions-later-account-lock-out-attack-works.ars; and Jacqui Cheng, “Facebook Takedown Followup: What Happened, and What Facebook Needs to Fix,” Ars Technica, April 29, 2011, http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/04/facebook-takedown-followup-what-happened-and-what-facebook-needs-to-fix.ars (both accessed June 27, 2011). 105 Chinese authorities routinely combine intellectual property enforcement campaigns with broader efforts to stamp out not only pornography but also antigovernment material: Andrew Mertha, The Politics of Piracy: Intellectual Property in Contemporary China (New York: Cornell University Press, 2005), 134–144. 105 authorities viewed American pressure to tighten intellectual property enforcement and improve copyright law as politically convenient: Stephen McIntyre, “The Yang Obeys, but the Yin Ignores: Copyright Law and Speech Suppression in the People’s Republic of China,” UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal, 2011, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1752443. 106 US trade policies pushing for tougher enforcement have been blind: For more specifics see Tome Broud, “It’s Easily Done: The China-Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Dispute and the Freedom of Expression,” World Journal of Intellectual Property 13, no. 5 (September 2010): 660–673. 106 ACTA’s Internet section: For links to various leaked drafts as well as the text as officially released in April 2010, see Gwen Hinze, “Preliminary Analysis of the Officially Released ACTA Text,” EFF Deeplinks Blog, April 22, 2010, www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/eff-analysis-officially-released-acta-text (accessed June 27, 2011). 106 WikiLeaks obtained a leaked copy and published it online: See Grant Gross, “EFF, Public Knowledge Sue US Gov’t over Secret IP Pact,” InfoWorld, September 18, 2008, www.infoworld.com/d/security-central/eff-public-knowledge-sue-us-govt-over-secret-ip-pact-955 (accessed June 27, 2011). 107 report by the Social Science Research Council examining the impact of US intellectual property enforcement trade policies: Joe Karaganis, ed., “Media Piracy in Emerging Economies,” Social Science Research Council, March 2011, http://piracy.ssrc.org. 107 In September 2010, the New York Times broke the story that Russian security services had carried out dozens of raids: See Clifford J.
The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig
AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Larry Wall, Leonard Kleinrock, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs, zero-sum game
At various points in the history of the Net's development, there have been efforts at restating its principles. Something called “RFC 1958,” published in 1996, is perhaps the best formal effort. The Internet was built upon “re-quests for comments,” or RFCs. Researchers—essentially grad students—charged with the task of developing the protocols that would eventually build the Internet developed these protocols through these humble requests for comments. RFC 1 was written by Steve Crocker and outlined an understanding about the protocols for host (“IMP") software. Some RFCs specify particular Internet protocols; some wax philosophical. RFC 1958 is clearly in the latter camp—an “informational” document about the “Architectural Principles of the Internet.”35 According to RFC 1958, though “[m]any members of the Internet community would argue that there is no architecture,” this document reports that “the community” generally “believes” this about the Internet: “that the goal is connectivity, the tool is the Internet protocol and the intelligence is end-to-end rather than hidden in the network.”36 “The network's job is to transmit datagrams as efficiently and flexibly as possible.
Dealers of Lightning by Michael A. Hiltzik
Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business cycle, computer age, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, index card, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, oil shock, popular electronics, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game
If Metcalfe could not come up with something to fill the blank, the matter would be taken out of his hands—which would be not only a challenge to his intellectual authority as the network guy, but a blow to his pride. That dismal outcome was averted when he suddenly recalled a concept he had first encountered months earlier. Back in June, while visiting Washington on ARPANET business, he had lodged on the guest room sofa-bed of his friend Steve Crocker, an ARPA program manager. Late that night he pulled down from a handy bookshelf a heavy volume of papers from an obscure technical conference, “a sure cure for jet-lag sleeplessness,” and lumbered his way through one written by a University of Hawaii professor named Norman Abramson. Abramson’s paper described ALOHAnet, a radio network designed to allow computers to communicate with one another along the Hawaiian archipelago.