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more on the birth of the internet -- J C R Licklider
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 09:08:16 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Arthur Evans Jr <EvansSL21 () earthlink net>
Date: August 20, 2008 9:31:36 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] more on the birth of the internet

For IP if you like.

I was glad to see J C R Licklider's name mentioned on this thread.

In the early 60s I was a graduate student in what was then Carnegie Tech, now Carnegie Mellon. Along with many other institutions we had an ARPA contract to do various kinds of research. Periodically (I think it was yearly) ARPA gathered all of the Principle Investigators to share ideas. One year Alan Perlis, my advisor and our PI, was unable to attend and sent me. And it was there that I heard Lick extolling his vision of the Intergalactic Computer Network.

Now, graduate students, particularly ones just starting, know that they know much more about things than do their seniors, and it seemed clear to me at the time that Lick's ideas were a bunch of hooey. Well, sigh...

He was right, of course, and I was wrong, and I'm glad to admit it here. Lick had the vision, at a time when the state of research didn't provide much justification for it. We all owe a lot to that vision.

Art Evans

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