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The historical origins of the Internet: a comparison with classic point-to-point media

Keywords: point-to-point media , origin of the Internet , cybernetics , networks

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The basic aim of the article is to compare some of the features of classic point-to-point media with new digital media networks. We show what were the ideas that led to the creation of the rst computer network, the ARPANET. Special attention is given to the fact that the movement of ideas known as cybernetics has been an important factor in the implementation of the ARPANET. It will be shown that, in a precise sense, the abstract concept of a network contributed to the genesis of the Internet; the question of the historical origin of the concept of an open network will also be addressed. Although the destiny of computer networks was determined by historically contingent causes, it is shown that these causes led to the fact that digital media are indeed new media. Finally, the analysis of the historical origin of the Internet will identify some of the differences that distinguish classic point-to-point media from new media.


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