weathered but calm, happy birthday internet, forgetting to offend is the new sin

weathered but calm

I always thought that Philo Taylor Farnsworth, and Vladimir Kosma Zworykin for that matter, were two of the more under acknowledged inventors in history ( they invented the television – I lean toward giving Farnsworth most of the credit because he actually got something like the image transmission of modern TV to work). It is probably worse for the inventors of the internet, On the 40th anniversary of the first internet connection, a look back on how a flash of insight and a 20-minute meeting got it all started.

Forty years ago today, a team led by Leonard Kleinrock typed the “Lo” of “Login” into a Stanford computer, which promptly crashed before the command could be entered. But because Kleinrock’s team was sending this message from a UCLA machine, he had just taken part in one of the great milestones in communication history

The credit actually gets spread around: Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which eventually morphed into Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). IPTO director Bob Taylor. Charlie Herzfeld, ARPA’s then-director.Larry Roberts from MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory. Leonard Kleinrock who did his  MIT PhD dissertation on solving the problem of data loss transmitted over phone lines. Engineer Paul Baran and Donald Davies. In 1969 they managed to work out a way for different computers to speak with one another. Because we or our parents and grandparents provided the funding we all deserve some credit – the internet as a communal project sounds nice anyway. Though it took a few decades before we could perform the all important task of friending or defriending someone while simultaneously buying crap on eBay via those pimps at Paypal.

 

When some of you inevitably set out to create your masterpiece – a movie, a novel, a research paper, a painting, some digital art, a wood carving – do not forget to offend as many groups of people as possible because leaving some group out will offend some group that was included. 2012 Offends Catholics, Dimwits, Ex-Cons

The huge new disaster movie 2012 opens this Friday. Everyone but HuffPost blogger John Cusack drowns, but not before a statue of Jesus crumbles, a crack opens in the Sistine Chapel roof — right between the fingers of God and Adam — and St. Peter’s Basilica falls over on a lot of Italians. These images have offended the usual people in the I’m Offended Industry, but not for the reason you’d think.

The offense takers are offended because 2012 forgot to offend any Muslims.

Producer Roland Emmerich makes great movies to accompany the consumption of pop corn. That he offended someone or forgot to offend someone is pure accident. So Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is offended that some Christian icons are destroyed in a disaster movie. Bill has no official connection to the Vatican, though he frequently is pretentious enough to claim to speak for the entire Catholic faith. Now that seems offensive or at least delusional. When institutions or great architecture like St. Peter’s Basilica is destroyed in 2012 or almost destroyed in Angels and Demons, the audience is shocked and moved because even non-believers see St Peter’s as one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Movie’s mission to involve and manipulate the audience achieved. If a movie did not manipulate you, you just saw a bad movie.

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