A Brief History of the Future: From Radio Days to Internet Years in a Lifetime

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Overlook Press, 2000 - Computers - 327 pages
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The Internet is the most remarkable thing human beings have built since the pyramids. A millennium from now, historians will look back at it and marvel that a people equipped with such clumsy tools succeeded in creating such a leviathan.

Yet even as the Net pervades our lives, we begin to take it for granted. We have lost our capacity for wonder. Most of us have no idea where the Internet came from, how it works, or who created it and why. And even fewer have any idea of what it means for society and the future.

John Naughton has written a warm and passionate book that seeks to rescue the Internet from the condescension of posterity, to celebrate the engineers and scientists who implemented their dreams in hardware and software, and to explain the values and ideas that drove them. Although its subject seems technical, the book in fact is personal. John Naughton writes about the Net like Nick Hornby writes about soccer. A Brief History of the Future is an intimate celebration of vision and altruism, ingenuity and determination, and above all the power of ideas to change the world.

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Radio days
The digital beanstalk
A terrible beauty?

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About the author (2000)

Naughton has been an academic and a journalist all his working life. He is a Senior Lecturer in Systems at the Open University and, since 1987, has written a weekly column for the OBSERVER, which has won him several major awards. He is also a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and the Director of the College's Press Fellowship Progrma.

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