Whenever I say that the Hyperlink changed the world, people look at me like “huh?” The lowly hyperlink is often overlooked as just a ‘feature’ of the Internet or the Web in particular. But I’ve always thought that was a bit backwards. The hyperlink is what made the web possible — it is for the Web what carbon is for carbon-based life-forms.
So I was tickled to find that Alex Wright’s excellent article on The Mundaneum Museum has this gem of a quotation from Kevin Kelly:
“The hyperlink is one of the most underappreciated inventions of the last century,” Mr. Kelly said. “It will go down with radio in the pantheon of great inventions.”
Everybody’s linking to this article today, but I had to share a chunk of it that gave me goosebumps. It’s this bit from Leonard Kleinrock:
: September 2, 1969, is when the first I.M.P. was connected to the first host, and that happened at U.C.L.A. We didn’t even have a camera or a tape recorder or a written record of that event. I mean, who noticed? Nobody did. . . . on October 29, 1969, at 10:30 in the evening, you will find in a log, a notebook log that I have in my office at U.C.L.A., an entry which says, “Talked to SRI host to host.” If you want to be, shall I say, poetic about it, the September event was when the infant Internet took its first breath.
The granddaddy of the Internet clarifies a popular misconception.
Print What I’ve Learned: Vint Cerf
Al Gore had seen what happened with the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, which his father introduced as a military bill. It was very powerful. Housing went up, suburban boom happened, everybody became mobile. Al was attuned to the power of networking much more than any of his elective colleagues. His initiatives led directly to the commercialization of the Internet. So he really does deserve credit.
Something tells me you won’t hear this quoted on Fox News. (Or from hardly anyone else, probably.)
Boing Boing has a lovely paean saying Happy birthday, Carl Linnaeus, to the one responsible for bringing a common vocabulary (and, maybe most importantly, a system of naming) to natural science — one of the cornerstones that has helped human beings (*ahem* … “homo sapiens”) to share and codify scientific learning.
He’s, of course, a kind of patron saint of Information Architecture, where we’re all about classifying and organizing things.
But, alas, even Linneas’ dream of pristinely organized information is suffering from the realities of the post-modern world. From the Boing Boing post:
But how much longer will the Linnaean system last? Recently it has come under attack from some taxonomists who believe its structure is too inflexible to cope with the explosion of knowledge unleashed by DNA analysis. Today’s young Turks of taxonomy want to abolish the strict ranked hierarchy of family, order, class, etc. In its place they advocate “clades,” groupings that are based on genetic relationships and can be expanded, contracted or redefined as new kinships are discovered. For now, the traditionalists outnumber the iconoclasts, and Linnaean-style classification remains the gold standard.
Fascinating, that even in the seminal uber-taxonomy, there’s a kind of “tagging relativism” going on…
Maybe they need a pattern language?
I love this quote. When asked if Web 1.0 was about connecting computers, while Web 2.0 is about connecting people, Webfather Tim Berners-Lee said,
“Totally not. Web 1.0 was all about connecting people. It was an interactive space, and I think Web 2.0 is of course a piece of jargon, nobody even knows what it means. If Web 2.0 for you is blogs and wikis, then that is people to people. But that was what the Web was supposed to be all along. And in fact, you know, this ‘Web 2.0,’ it means using the standards which have been produced by all these people working on Web 1.0.”
Tim Berners-Lee on Web 2.0: “nobody even knows what it means”