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an emerging culture observatory
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> context weblog
may 2002

sampling new cultural context

thursday :: may 30, 2002
> context process 2.0
context project,
revision 2.0

:: the emerging culture as art de vivre

a new planetary culture emerge in the context of the digital information and connections. one culture that overcomes the old cultural dimensions clashes (science-art, universal-national, public-private, work-leissure, entertainment-education...).

context project is devoted to a net driven research and development on this new cultural context. the project's initiatives aims to appropriate and disseminate the emerging culture as a new 'art de vivre.'

context project is commited to the conservancy and growth of the digital commons. "creativity and innovation rely on a rich heritage of prior intellectual endeavor. we stand on the shoulders of giants by revisiting, reusing, and transforming the ideas and works of our peers and predecessors. digital communications promise a new explosion of this kind of collaborative creative activity." from Creative Commons.

the core activity is the context weblog; a log of our techno times, a weblog of emerging culture. context weblog acts as a filter and context provider, tracking emerging culture and offering related news' digest. context weblog links to the original sources, adopts a global approach and faces contradictory paradygms. since its inception, context weblog has been a platform for experimentation with:

- the 'semantic web' vision (in the form of information available for people and also processable for computers),

- the original internet paradigm, 'peer-to-peer' (with content's exchange participation),

- the next generation of pervasive technologies (towards a digital environment of embeded/contextualized information and services in physical places).

context project establishes a fluid structure for the post-web world -- relating one project to another, one group to another and both to the physical places.in an open symbiotic process, context weblog was incubated and released with straddle3 constructors. This process helps to grow a co-evolution between context project and straddle3.

currently, context weblog explores emerging cultural practices and technologies in the framework of straddle3, redefined as "an architecture and new media studio commited to find solutions for customers/partners' projects in traditional and new networked environments." in particular, context project contributes to the evolution of straddle3 as an 'open source company' to be ready for the coming context, for the next cycle; 'the tech revolution is about to get rebooted.'

josep saldaña cavallé
revision 2.0. may 30, 2002

related context
overview of context weblog in sitemap

wednesday :: may 29, 2002
sub-cultural urban districts
:: cities and culture

The article 'Global Media Cities in a Worldwide Urban Network' by S. Krätke examines the link between cities and culture from the point of view of the production of cultural goods, including media products. It focuses on the institutional structure of present-day cultural production and the media industry and on their geographical organisation at the local and global levels. The cultural economy is a prime mover for globalisation processes in the urban system, in which cultural production clusters act as local nodes in the global networks of the large media groups.

Cultural production and media industry firms prefer inner-city locations in which living and working environments merge with leisure-time culture. The specific quality of urban life clearly becomes an attractiveness factor here, which is constituted by the players in the cultural economy themselves. For corporate operators and employees in the media industry the local connection between working, living and leisure time activities is an attraction factor that is in harmony with their lifestyle. These people deliberately seek out locations in a 'sub-cultural' urban district that they can use as an extended stage for self-portrayal during working hours and in their leisure time. In the local media clusters there is thus a direct link between certain lifestyle forms and urban organisation forms of the production area and thus a clear overlapping of the geographies of production and consumption. >from *Global Media Cities in a Worldwide Urban Network by S. Krätke*, March 15, 2002

related context
cities in globalization: global urban analysis. april 22, 2002

> rawal cultural cluster
tuesday :: may 28, 2002
> chimpazee tools
first chimpanzee archaeological dig
:: reinterpreting early human sites

A study of chimpanzees' use of hammers to open nuts in western Africa may provide fresh clues to how tools developed among human ancestors.

A paper documents the first archaeological examination of a non-human primate workplace and establishes new links between the use of tools by chimpanzees and similar developments among human ancestors (hominids). The research site is in the Tai Forest, about 375 miles west of the capital of the Ivory Coast, Abidjan.

A team from George Washington University (GWU) and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology of Leipzig, Germany studied a site where chimpanzees had carried in stone hammers from nearby areas to open nuts on tree roots, which they used as anvils. The researchers last fall, recovered 479 stone pieces, chips of granite, laterite, feldspar and quartz broken from the hammers.

Other scholars have documented similarities between the hammers used by chimpanzees to open nuts and those used by hominids, but no researchers have used the techniques of human archaeology on non-human primate sites. The researchers have proved "archaeology to be a feasible method of uncovering past chimpanzee sites and activity areas in rainforest environments. This introduces the possibility of tracing the development of at least one aspect of ape culture through time," said archaeologist Julio Mercader, lead author of the paper.

"We know that flaked stone tools were used 2.5 million years ago, but stone tools may have been used by hominids as much as 5 million years ago," said Melissa Panger, co-author of the paper. "If we look for assemblages of stone pieces like those we have found left behind by the chimpanzees, we can infer that those assemblages may relate to tool use, even if we don't have the tools themselves." >from *First primate archaeological dig uncovers new tool development links*, May 23, 2002

related context
cambridge monkey experiments inquiry. may 24, 2002
first in-depth investigation into primate research in the uk
> chimpanzee/animal cultures
> abstract thought on non-human animals. scientific and ethical implications. october 16, 2001

monday :: may 27, 2002
carbon nanotube transistor
:: replacing silicon in molecular electronics

IBM announced it has created the highest performing nanotubes transistors to date and has proven that carbon nanotubes -- tube-shaped molecules made of carbon atoms that are 50,000 times thinner than a human hair -- can outperform the leading silicon transistor prototypes available today. The silicon transistors are the building blocks of computer chips.

"Proving that carbon nanotubes outperform silicon transistors opens the door for more research related to the commercial viability of nanotubes," said Dr. Phaedon Avouris, manager of nanoscale science, IBM Research. "Carbon nanotubes are already the top candidate to replace silicon when current chip features just can't be made any smaller, a physical barrier expected to occur in about 10 to 15 years." >from *IBM creates highest performing nanotube transistors*, May 20, 2002.

Carbon nanotube transistors are 500 times smaller than today's silicon-based transistors.

related context
molecular electronics patents. january 30, 2002
> molecular-scale organic transistors. october 25, 2001
> first controllable nanopatterns. september 6, 2001
> carbon nanotubes to replace silicon in microchips. august 27, 2001
> carbon nanotube transistor technology. april 27, 2001

> nanotube pattern
friday :: may 24, 2002
> web shelf deed
creative commons
:: law and technology

Representatives from Creative Commons outlined plans to help lower the legal barriers to creativity through an innovative coupling of law and technology. Creative Commons is a non-profit founded on the notion that some people do not want to exercise all of the intellectual property rights the law affords them. For many reasons, people might like to share their work (and the power to reuse, modify, and distribute their work) with the public on generous terms. Creative Commons intends to help people express this preference for sharing.

Creativity and innovation rely on a rich heritage of prior intellectual endeavor. We stand on the shoulders of giants by revisiting, reusing, and transforming the ideas and works of our peers and predecessors. Digital communications promise a new explosion of this kind of collaborative creative activity. But, at the same time, expanding intellectual property protection leaves fewer and fewer creative works in the 'public domain' --the body of creative material unfettered by law and, to quote Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 'free as the air to common use.' Related to the public domain is the more general idea of 'the commons' -- resources that are not divided into individual bits of property but rather are jointly held so that anyone may use them without special permission. Think of public streets, parks, waterways, outer space, and creative works in the public domain -- all of these things are, in a way, part of the commons. The 'tragedy of the commons' is the familiar notion that widespread public use of a commons leads to its inevitable depletion. But some resources, once created, cannot be depleted. Creative Commons aspires to cultivate a commons in which people can feel free to reuse not only ideas, but also words, images, and music without asking permission -- because permission has already been granted to everyone. The free software and open source software communities have inspired what is sometimes called 'open content.' Some copyright holders have made books, music, and other creative works available under licenses that give anyone permission to copy and make other uses of the works without specific permission or a royalty payment. Creative Commons hopes to build on the work of these pioneers by creating a menu of license provisions that people can combine to make their work available for copying and creative reuses. As they help people make their work available with public domain dedications and generous licenses, they will also build an 'intellectual property conservancy.' Like a land trust or nature preserve, the conservancy will serve to protect works of special public value from exclusionary private ownership and from obsolescence due to neglect or technological change.

The Creative Commons will provide a free set of tools to enable creators to share aspects of their copyrighted works with the public. Their Contributor Application will help people create what they call a Commons Deed -- a document that uses plain English and intuitive icons to summarize the terms under which a contributor has offered her work. Just one click from the Commons Deed will be the 'legal code' it summarizes: the full legal text of the Public Domain Dedication or the Creative Commons Custom License that the contributor selected. They will also build a Search Application to help people -- from educators to authors, filmmakers to musicians -- easily locate the Commons Deeds for works available under terms suited to their individual needs. What makes this search functionality possible is their innovative use of licensing metadata. Metadata is 'data about data.' A library card catalog is an example of everyday metadata you are probably familiar with. In the same way that a card catalog provides records of the 'authors, subjects and titles' of books, Creative Commons' metadata will represent the details of licensed works that reside on the 'shelf' of the web. They will distribute metadata to Creative Commons contributors who want to attach the information to their digital works, as well as provide bulk feeds of their licensing metadata to third-party applications and application systems. >from *Creative Commons project announced at O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference*, May 16, 200

related context
shaping the network society. may 13, 2002
> rfc3271: the internet is for everyone. may 6, 2002
> save internet radio: dmca threatens internet radio. april 29, 2002
> science commons. building a free flow of knowledge. march 15, 2002
> award for the advancement of free software. february 27, 2002
> jon johansen indicted. decss case. january 17, 2002

thursday :: may 23, 2002
i love you
:: computer_virus_hacker_culture

This exhibition, to be seen in the Museum for Applied Art (mak.frankfurt) in Frankfurt from May 23 to June 13, has been conceived by the digitalcraft-team, directed by Franziska Nori. For the first time in Germany an exhibition takes up the topic computer viruses and takes the challenge of visualising a virtual phenomenon in a museum context.

In a society of communication and information the dealing with computer viruses belongs to every day digital life. The exhibition creates a tensed connection from computer viruses as a factor of economic threat to an element that gives momentum to art. Divided into different areas it demonstrates the by now 30 years of computer virus history, its technical development, a visualisation of hidden processes and the aesthetic dimension of computer viruses.

The organisers search for the phenomenon's artistic potential. What are actually computer viruses? Who creates them and why? What sort of world is hiding behind these everyday phenomena?

One of the perspectives the exhibition takes up devotes itself to the programming code as a language, which, besides its mere functionality, has a high artistic and aesthetic standard. Comparable to the experimental poetry of the early vanguard - Baudelaire, Rimbaud, the poétes maudits as well as Apollinaire and the surrealists - code poets experiment with this material of today's information society. Some thematical areas: visualisation of the source code used for virus programmes, particular attention is paid to the aesthetic component of the code creation; specific examples of experimental poetry in juxtaposition with virus code (Apollinaire's Calligrammes, traditional Haikus, Lewis Caroll, Ernst Jandl, Larry Wall's perl poetry; Perl = programming language); and internet based artworks inspired by computer viruses of free software artists like epidemiC (artist and programmer collective, Milan), Jaromil (free software programmer and code poet), and 0100101110101101.org (web artist).

'I love you' will offer a platform for the contrary opinions of both computer hackers and representatives of the IT security field. The exhibition will be accompanied by several expert talks and a catalogue.

Museums do not only have the purpose to present historical objects, they also fulfil a function as part of a cultural memory. In the society of information they find themselves in front of entirely new questions, regarding the culture of new media and internet. How, for instance, to collect objects that in principle will never reach the status of a completely finished work of art? Which criteria do you have to consider to decide the relevance of an object in terms of cultural history? How can digital objects be permanently stored in the face of the rapid innovation time of software and hardware? Digitalcraft has confronted the problem of building up a digital collection and has tested different solutions. The three collection areas now contain a selection of recent web design, games and emulators as well as a historical online community. >from *Digitalcraft web site*, Frankfurt, May 23-June 13, 2002

related context
mw2002: museums and the web. april 19, 2002
> open_source_art_hack. april 30, 2002

          > hacker experience
wednesday :: may 22, 2002
> mind as a sink?
electric mind
:: electromagnetic field theory of consciousness

Are our thoughts made of electricity? Professor Johnjoe McFadden from the School of Biomedical and Life Sciences at the University of Surrey in the UK believes our conscious mind could be an electromagnetic field. "The theory solves many previously intractable problems of consciousness and could have profound implications for our concepts of mind, free will, spirituality, the design of artificial intelligence, and even life and death," he said.

The biggest puzzle in neuroscience is how the brain activity that we're aware of (consciousness) differs from the brain activity driving all unconscious actions. Scientists can find no region or structure in the brain that specializes in conscious thinking. Consciousness remains a mystery. How does our brain bind information to generate consciousness?

What Professor McFadden realized was that every time a nerve fires, the electrical activity sends a signal to the brain's electromagnetic (em) field. But unlike solitary nerve signals, information that reaches the brain's em field is automatically bound together with all the other signals in the brain. The brain's em field does the binding that is characteristic of consciousness. What Professor McFadden and, independently, the New Zealand-based neurobiologist Sue Pockett, have proposed is that the brain's em field is consciousness.

The brain's electromagnetic field is not just an information sink; it can influence our actions, pushing some neurons towards firing and others away from firing. This influence, Professor McFadden proposes, is the physical manifestation of our conscious will. >from *Our Mind Electric?*, May 17, 2002

In his paper, published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, McFadden explains, "I propose that the brain's em information field is the physical substrate of conscious awareness ‹ the cemi field ‹ and make a number of predictions that follow from this proposal. Experimental evidence pertinent to these predictions is examined and shown to be entirely consistent with the cemi field theory... It thus places consciousness within a secure physical framework and provides a route towards constructing an artificial consciousness."

related context
Synchronous firing and its influence on the brain's electromagnetic field: evidence for an electromagnetic field theory of consciousness by Johnjoe McFadden. Journal of Consciousness Studies. Volume 9, No. 4, April 2002
> tucson 2002: conference on consciousness. april 15, 2002
> the enigma of consciousness. january 16, 2001
> Quantum Evolution. The New Science of Life by Johnjoe McFadden. 2000

tuesday :: may 21, 2002
a new kind of science
:: by stephen wolfram

Stephen Wolfram, theoretical physics and Mathematica developer, has just published their book, 'A New Kind of Science.'

In the preface, Wolfram explains "just over twenty years ago I made what at first seemed like a small discovery: a computer experiment of mine showed something I did not expect. But the more I investigated, the more I realized that what I had seen was the beginning of a crack in the very foundations of existing science, and a first clue towards a whole new kind of science."

Questioning itself about what is the basic idea of 'A New Kind of Science,' he answers, "almost all the science that's been done for the past three hundred or so years has been based in the end on the idea that things in our universe somehow follow rules that can be represented by traditional mathematical equations. The basic idea that underlies 'A New Kind of Science' is that that's much too restrictive, and that in fact one should consider the vastly more general kinds of rules that can be embodied, for example, in computer programs." How simple rules might create the whole universe and change how we think about everything. Simplicity really matters. >from *A New Kind of Science site*. Book released May 14, 2002.

related context
cellular automata
"A cellular automaton can be thought of as a stylised universe."
> Stephen Wolfram official web site
> The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything
"The inside story of how Stephen Wolfram went from boy genius to recluse to science renegade." by Steven Levy. Wired 10.06, june 2002
> The next Newton?
"Stephen Wolfram wants to bring science into the age of the computer." by David Appell. Salon, may 15, 2002
> God, Stephen Wolfram, and Everything Else
"At the center of Wolfram¹s research was a quest for a new level of simplicity, a simplicity that, in a strange irony, could produce infinite amounts of complexity." by Michael S. Malone. Forbes ASAP, november 27, 2000

> cellullar automata variations
wednesday :: may 15, 2002
> write the web flow
context series 2002 [may issue]


a new flow of information

*context weblog publish fourth issue of context series. The weblogs are presented here as a next step in an emergent and self-organised flow of information, characteristic of our post-web world.

On September 11, weblogs goes mainstream and becomes part of the media evolution [see ground zero 911 keys] . This fact is acknowledged today even by major media. The following quotation is an example. "Since the terrorist attacks and U.S. retaliation in Afghanistan, blogs nationwide have taken on unprecedented visibility and, in some cases, new identities as a source of alternative news or 'personal journalism.' During the recent news events, when traditional media sites crashed or lacked timely updates, online readers jumped to fast-loading blogs... A blogger spins news into a context that regular readers come to trust, with a worldview that is likely to parallel theirs and dig up web links that would resonate with followers of similar sensibility... Blog e-mail is posted instantly, an instant community sounding... before Sept. 11, blogs had begun to emerge as a distinct net subculture." >from 'Personal web logs put a face on a faraway disaster' by Renee Tawa, Los Angeles Times. October 14, 2001

Apart of this distinctive journalistic feature, the publishing phenomena of weblogs extends beyond, and are related with collective programming movement (free/open source) and the new model for scientific production, publishing and access. The writeable web, announced by the next semantic web, adquire a concret meaning with weblogs. In this new flow of information, blogs are actively acting like neurons with multiplying synapses in the planetary brain. > more on *context series press release.

monday :: may 13, 2002
shaping the network society
:: patterns for participation, action and change

Tomorrow's information and communication infrastructure is being shaped today... But by whom and to what ends? Will it meet the needs of all people? Will it help the citizenry address current and future issues? Will it promote democracy, social justice, sustainability? Will the appropriate research be conducted? Will equitable policies be enacted?

Giant media conglomerates and computer companies are rapidly increasing their control of the information and communication infrastructure upon which this public sphere depends. Governments, too are often part of this problem: instead of promoting access and multi-way access to this infrastructure they actively or passively discourage civic sector uses. Civic society is fighting back in a million ways. The opportunities and threats offered by a global 'network society' are too great to be ignored.

The 'Shaping the Network Society' symposium is designed to help us build a 'public sphere' where people learn about, discuss, deliberate, and take action on important issues such as economic disparity, militarization, environmental degradation, racism or sexism is critical to our future. This will be the eighth bi-annual 'Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing' (DIAC) symposium.

The focus of this symposium will be on 'patterns' that people can use to help them develop and use communication and information technology in ways that affirms human values. Patterns are SOLUTIONS to PROBLEMS in a given CONTEXT. >from *Shaping the Network Society: Patterns for Participation, Action and Change*, Seattle, May 16-19, 2002

related context
seattle statement: citizens shaping the network society. may 23, 2000

> carpet for netsociety patterns
friday :: may 10, 2002
butterflies play mmg <
:: massively-multiplayer games platform

Butterfly.net deployed the first commercial server grid for Massively-Multiplayer Games (MMGs), the most exciting and fastest-growing sector of the powerful video game market, in which millions of gamers worldwide face challenges together in real-time, immersive 3D worlds.

Butterfly.net is a development studio and technology infrastructure provider for massively-multiplayer online PC, console and mobile games. Their unique server grid technology, they have developed a solution to the challenges of scalability, reliability and performance for persistent-state 3D worlds that must support millions of gamers.

The previous crop of MMGs segmented players onto separate servers, drastically limiting the number that could interact and creating reliability problems and support nightmares. In the first generation of games, when one server is down, or patches are being installed, game-play comes to a halt. This new, next-generation technology allows MMG providers to reliably deliver fast-paced, cutting edge games to unlimited numbers of players at the same time. Butterfly.net's Lightening Bug MMG platform is the first system to distribute the processing of MMGs across a multicast network of server farms. Rack-mounted servers running on a Linux platform allow the system's servers to work together, and to serve the same gaming universe, all at once. The server interaction is completely transparent and seamless to the user - delivering a 'One-World,' universal gaming infrastructure where servers can be added, or replaced, without interrupting game-play. >from *Butterfly.net site*, May 9, 2002. The product is being released with IBM, which provided the grid, or basic infrastructure and networks for the technology.

[On April 10, West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust board members will consider a $500,000 investment in Butterfly.net. The company's founder, David Levine, is raising $1,5 million for Butterfly.net, which employs 12 people in Shepherdstown, West Virginia]

related context
WorldForge, massively-multiplayer game free software project
> science grid deployement. emerging model of computing. april 3, 2002

thursday :: may 9, 2002
microgravity science glovebox
:: astronauts hands on experiments

Until now, many of the Space Station experiments have been in enclosed containers, with few hands-on crew activities. That will change when Space Shuttle Endeavour delivers a new facility --the Microgravity Science Glovebox-- to the Space Station in May during the STS-111 mission.

The glovebox --a sealed container with built in gloves on its sides and fronts-- will enhance the Space Station's science capabilities by providing a facility where the crew can work safely with experiments that involve fluids, flames, particles and fumes that need to be safely contained. In an Earth-based laboratory, liquids stay in beakers or test tubes. In the near-weightlessness, or microgravity, created as the Station orbits Earth, they float.

To make laboratory-style investigations inside the Station possible, engineers and scientists at the Marshall Center collaborated with the European Space Agency to build the glovebox.

During the upcoming four-month Expedition Five on the Station, the glovebox will support the first two materials science experiments to be conducted on the Space Station. These experiments will study materials processes similar to those used to make semiconductors for electronic devices and components used in jet engines. >from *New glovebox facility heads to Space Station*, May 7, 2002

related context
iss, expedition 1. november 2, 2000
> iss: deberíamos ponernos en camino ... lexigrafik#007
> researchers discover molecule that detects touch. october 26, 2000
> mit touch lab research explores how the hand works. march 18, 1999



 > glovebox experiments
wednesday :: may 8, 2002
 > color card processing memory
living color
:: natural color helps our memory

Psychologists have documented that 'living color' does more than appeal to the senses. It also boosts memory for scenes in the natural world. The findings shed light on how the visual system efficiently exploits color information.

Psychologists Felix A. Wichmann, Lindsay T. Sharpe, and Karl R. Gegenfurtner conducted five experiments to explore color's role in memory for natural scenes. In the basic experiment, participants looked at 48 photographs, half in color and half in black and white. Then, they viewed the same 48 images randomly mixed with 48 new images, and indicated if they had seen (or not) each picture. Participants remembered the colored natural scenes significantly better than they remembered black and white images, regardless of how long they saw the images. People who saw images in color but were tested on them in black and white, and vice versa, did not remember them as well. This finding suggests that image colors are part and parcel of initial storage, attached to how objects 'appear' in our memory.

"It appears as if our memory system is tuned, presumably by evolution and/or during development, to the color structure found in the world. If stimuli are too strange, the system simply doesn't engage as well, or deems them unimportant," says co-author Karl Gegenfurtner, who was with the Max-Planck Institut für Biologische Kybernetik when the experiments were conducted. >from *In living color: We remember scenes better when they're in color than in black and white*, May 5, 2002

related context
open directory: psychology: sensation and perception: color
> perception and experience. january 29, 2002
> human eye's photoreceptors. august 15, 2001

tuesday :: may 7, 2002
sound becomes electric
:: how we hear

Scientists from The Center for Hearing and Balance at Johns Hopkins have discovered how tiny cells in the inner ear change sound into an electrical signal the brain can understand. Their finding could improve the design and programming of hearing aids and cochlear implants by filling in a 'black hole' in scientists' understanding of how we hear, say the researchers.

"Sound itself is mechanical, a wave that moves, just like the ripples fanning out from a pebble dropped in a lake," says Paul Fuchs. "When the inner ear detects this wave, a burst of chemicals is released and a nerve sends an electrical signal to the brain that carries information about the original sound. But the nature of the chemical burst has been a mystery until now."

With the help of powerful microscopes, the scientists studied individual cells from rat cochleas, tiny coiled structures deep inside the ear where sound is translated into electricity, the language of the brain. Fuchs and research associate Elisabeth Glowatzki discovered that these so-called 'hair cells,' named for tiny projections that stick up like a spiky haircut, release a barrage of chemical packets to an adjacent nerve in response to sound. The finding was unexpected, Fuchs says, because hair cells were thought previously only to communicate to nerves by sending a single packet of these chemical transmitters at a time. "For hair cells, their continual pumping of messengers toward the nerve may be a kind of fail-safe device that ensures a ready supply of transmitters should the sound continue or change." >from *Hopkins Scientists Reveal How Sound Becomes Electric*, May 3, 2002

related context
babies have a different way of hearing the world by listening to all frequencies simultaneously. may 30, 2001
> how deaf people brains 'hear' music. december 5, 2001

 > chemicals through the ear
monday :: may 6, 2002
 > internet amplifier
:: the internet is for everyone

This document expresses the Internet Society's ideology that the Internet really is for everyone. However, it will only be such if we make it so. Writen by Vint Cerf, former Chairman and President of the Internet Society, and one of key developers of TCP/IP protocol, the foundation base of the whole Internet.

The Internet is in its 14th year of annual doubling since 1988. There are over 150 million hosts on the Internet and an estimated 513 million users, world wide. By 2006, the global Internet is likely to exceed the size of the global telephone network, if it has not already become the telephone network by virtue of IP telephony. Moreover, as many as 1.5 billion Internet-enabled appliances will have joined traditional servers, desk tops and laptops as part of the Internet family. Pagers, cell phones and personal digital assistants may well have merged to become the new telecommunications tools of the next decade. But even at the scale of the telephone system, it is sobering to realize that only half of the Earth's population has ever made a telephone call.

Television, radio, telephony and the traditional print media will find counterparts on the Internet - and will be changed in profound ways by the presence of software that transforms the one-way media into interactive resources, shareable by many. The Internet is proving to be one of the most powerful amplifiers of speech ever invented. The Internet can facilitate democratic practices in unexpected ways. The Internet is becoming the repository of all we have accomplished as a society. The Internet is moving off the planet! Already, interplanetary Internet is part of the NASA Mars mission program now underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. By 2008 we should have a well-functioning Earth-Mars network that serves as a nascent backbone of an inter planetary system of Internets - InterPlaNet is a network of Internets! Ultimately, we will have interplanetary Internet relays in polar solar orbit so that they can see most of the planets and their associated interplanetary gateways for most, if not all of the time.

"I hope Internauts everywhere will join with the Internet Society and like-minded organizations to achieve this, easily stated but hard to attain goal. As we pass the milestone of the beginning of the third millennium, what better theme could we possibly ask for than making the Internet the medium of this new millennium?" >from *RFC3271. The Internet is for Everyone by Vinton Cerf*, april 2002.

related context
request for comments (rfc) editor
> internet society (isoc)
> interplanetary internet

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