The “8” Mile (No, not another Eminem film.)

March 21, 2011

Back in the late 50’s and early 60’s, the United States was trying to regain its position as a leader in technology. Fostered by the launch of Sputnik 2 in 1958, many of the great minds of the US (especially those of the military) speculated upon the creation of a disaster-proof network that would allow global/domestic communications to continue uninterrupted during periods of war and unrest. (Well, that plan hasn’t been 100% successful as some Islamic nations can attest, but hey, it was America’s idea.) It wasn’t even a year after Russian’s spectacular breakthrough – launching a three-year-old mongrel canine into Space – which the US reciprocated with its own technological brew. The organization ARPA was formed out of a need to prove to other nations that the US Military, in particular, had more sophisticated technology and wouldn’t succumb to the technical advantages of its enemies. The objective: creation of a fault-tolerant communications grid that would continue unabated during wartime. ARPA achieved that goal, and incidentally, implemented many of the guidelines and usage policies that govern the World Wide Web to this day.

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