I Got Mailed


A day earlier, we discussed how the internet world had the dilemma of what to consider as norms and what to prohibit to preserve the openness in the internet. This reminded me of my grade seven teachers. Back in 2010, when Facebook was charmingly getting to everyone, two girls from my class created Facebook accounts despite receiving compassionate advice from our teachers against such a move. Of course, they were punished “according” for availing their personal information. They were deemed indiscipline and rebellious.

The fun side, I receive a Friend Request from one of those teachers a few days ago. He also followed me on Instagram, and when I didn’t respond, he texted me on messenger. I was honestly amused by the irony. Here was an adult who tried by all means and ways to protect young people from what he considered evil, now following to the same sword. This makes me reconnect with the members of the Message Group who could not stick to particular standards of electronic mails.

The GINGER command was never a good hack. Keeping the internet open was necessary for its growth. The only way to win the trust of other users and gainfully tap information from them is by engaging fully with them. Providing an avenue to encourage privacy would have been a fall back from achieving what everyone had been resourcing for. I guess the command made the other users believe that someone is hiding something. Thus, they strived to reach the hidden. This encouraged hacking, invasion of privacy, hence the birth of hackers we know today.

I am surprised that the Message Group could not agree on standards for mail handling software, instead they coined cyberbullying through “flaming”. The open criticism on social media and public spaces today may have persisted from 1970’s. As time goes by, I doubt we will achieve uniformity in the digital and technical world. I have a HUAWEI phone, a good one, but I can’t facetime with my friends on Apple platform. This is the mess we are in.

Oh wow, it’s amazing how we are enjoying the fruits of other people actions. We get e-mailed at alarming rates never imagined by the inventors. They and people like Steve Jobs may not be here to enjoy the performance of computers as extensions and supplements of human potential. I wonder for how long we will enjoy e-mailing or getting e-mailed before it being replaced by something intriguing and mind blowing.


Taylor and Networking


In the history of computer networking, I feel Taylor is not given as much credits as he deserves for his contributions in making computer networking a workable idea. His predecessors dedicated their time and government funding to developing time-sharing, graphics, and interractive computing.

From his first day in office, he made it clear that he didn’t like having to log on to three computers with different procedures. He found this irksome. He then realised that duplication was not the only obstacle in computer reliability—the researchers across the country were demanding expensive computers at their centres. This is what pushed Taylor to champion computer networking to cut the cost through resource-sharing.

The evolution of internet was not born out of interlectual curiosity. It resulted from Taylor’s desire for efficiency and eficacy. I wanted to be significant knowing that he was not going to be there for a long time. He employed his negotiating funding with ease. As a good manager, he knew how to get the right people to work for him. He knew Roberts was the best for ARPA, and he made sure he got him. All in all, Taylor was more of a manager than a technician, and he delivered.

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