The Internet: A Revolutionary Modern Invention
Just 21 years ago, the world would have never imagined the profound impact the Internet would have on our daily lives – from sending and receiving electronic mail to regularly banking and shopping online. According to The History Channel website, unlike the inventions of the light bulb or the telephone, the Internet has no single “inventor.” Rather, it has evolved over time. The Internet actually began in the United States more than 50 years ago as a government weapon in the Cold War. For many years, scientists and researchers used it as a form of communication and data sharing amongst themselves. Today, people use the Internet for almost everything and many couldn’t imagine their lives without it. (“The Invention of the Internet” 2012. The History Channel website) In my recent interview with Northern Virginia Community College Computer Science Professor, Margaret Leary, she says, As I often tell students in my class, if you were to ask me what the most significant invention of the last 100 years is, I'd have to tell you it was the Internet, if simply for its ability to rapidly advance knowledge in other areas of science. Consider the process that I'd have had to have gone through 20 years ago to work on my dissertation. To perform the required Literature Review, I would have had to have gone to a research library and make requests of all of the research papers that seemed interesting and relevant to my research. This process would have added months to my own dissertation timeline. Today, I just log in to a library and access all published dissertations via Proquest. Consider how rapidly this allows us to retrieve and then assimilate information - turning it over to create new knowledge. Consider, too, that the present crawlable Web is only 1/400th the size of the "deep" Web that will be accessible to us once data mining tools advance to crawl databases and other file structures...
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