nettime maillist on Fri, 23 Jan 1998 18:12:47 +0100 (MET)

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Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 23:28:27 +0100
From: Inke Arns <>
Subject: the Net and the New Millenium (fwd)
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Dear list,

Ronda Hauben <> <> sent
me this post about the early days of Usenet and the like.... Ronda said:
Feel free to send it to anyone you think might be interested. I hope you
are .....

Greetings, Inke

                    The New Millenium and the Net
                     Toward a Future that Builds
                      on what has been achieved

    Researching the past toward envisioning the future of the Net
     Studying the history and impact of Usenet and the Internet

The new millenium is less than 2 years away! The birth and 
development of Usenet, the Internet and of Unix are some of 
the wondrous developments that have been achieved to set the
foundation for the start of the next millenium. To mark the
new millenium it would be good to see the study of the history
and impact of these important developments toward increased
public discussion of how to build on them and spread access.
This is especially true if the needed public effort is to be
made to spread the Net to the public schools and make it available
broadly to students and teachers.

Toward this end it would be good to see discussion on some of 
the research that has thus far been done and on what future research
and writing will be helpful. In the effort to go forward,
it is important to have a vision of the future one is working
toward, and the study of the past developments is one way to 
begin to document and discuss what the vision for the future
of the Net should be. 

Also I am wondering if there is any way to plan toward a conference
or other event to mark the coming of the new millenium by having
a broad discussion of the future of the Net. Is there any organization
or educational institution that might support and welcome such an event?

Following are some draft papers that I hope will be helpful:

           ARPANET Mailing Lists and Usenet Newsgroups
             Creating an Open and Scientific Process
            for Technology Development and Diffusion

The URL is


                             Early Usenet(1981-2)
                     Creating the Broadsides for Our Day

The URL is  

        Usenet and the ARPANET Mailing Lists (1981-1982)
            The Emergence of the Modern Public Sphere
                     A Habermasian Approach

The URL is


Also, there are some interviews I have done with unix pioneers
and pointers to interviews done by others.  And there are some
articles about the history and impact of Unix.

The URL is

Comments are welcomed on any of this work, as are pointers to others 
doing similar work, or suggestions for collaboration and support 
for such work.

In the early 1960's there was a conference at MIT where several
computer pioneers were gathered to discuss the future of the computer.
The organizers of the conference also invited C.P. Snow to open
the conference and to present a broad perspective toward the 
discussion of what would and should be the future of the computer.

C. P. Snow's talk described the importance of having many people
involved in the discussion if it were to be fruitful. 

The creation and development of ARPANET mailing lists a few years
later and eventually of Usenet and the Internet have made such
broad ranging discussion not only possible but necessary.

As the new millenium grows closer it is important to find a way
to have this discussion of the vision for the future of the Net
and of the impact it can have on the rest of society occur both
online and to have such discussion available for those not yet 
online as well.


                       See also
          Netizens: On the History and Impact
                of Usenet and the Internet
        and in print edition ISBN # 0-8186-7706-6

Inke Arns, Berlin
Tel/Fax ++49 - (0)30 - 313 66 78
(updated 18 January 1998)

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