Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eight - Eleven

Even though I've learned about the origins of the Internet, it was only after the reading for this week that I learned about it in detail. It was interesting to see how ARPAnet and USENET both came about around the same time; what their purpose was and how it eventually became a place for public discussion. A few researchers came together to work on a project for the Department of Defense, the project being ARPAnet. The scientists that were excluded in the ARPAnet project did their own research to create a similar computer network and created USENET. As explained in the text, cyberspace expand as information grows - and has no natural limits. The reading also focused on the Information Superhighway, the name was very popular in 1995. Chapter 9 elaborated on the government's vision for the internet. The Information Infrastructure Task Force Report in 1993 stated:
People could live almost anywhere they wanted, without foregoing opportunities for useful and fulfilling employment, by "telecommuting" to their offices through the electronic highway: The best schools, teachers, and courses would be available to all students, without regard to geography, distances, resources or disability.
However, with all plans there were many questions --> what it would be like? how will people navigate through and socially interact with others? We can start to see some the answers today.
Moreover, the reading mentioned the digital divide and the risks related to the internet. The digital divide section addressed the issues and concerns with making internet available for all, while also mentioning the various channels of communication the internet opened up. The risk chapter talked about children and how to regulate something like the internet. The rating system, RSACi desgined by Donald F. Roberts a communication professor at Standford, was intended to rate video games, but in 1999 more than 100,000 websites were using this standard. As explained in Chapter 11, the web is a medium in its infancy. Just like there were concerns when other forms of media were introduced to the public, people were concerned when the internet started gaining popularity. Nevertheless, parents conrol and set limits on what their children do, and many of them use filtering software to regulate what websites their children can and cannot access.


  1. You mentioned that we can start to see some of the answers today to questions regarding the information infrastructure, and I want to know what you think they are?

  2. the questions i was referring to were those mentioned in chapter 8 such as - in what new ways will users navigate through, socially interact with others, and form a sense of a shared community in cyberspace? - we can start to see the answer to this question today - people are using various social networking websites to connect with others - over commonalities or differences.