The Net, Premiere Issue, June 1995

During the excavations that took place this past week while Brooke and I moved, I found this ancient relic from the past. My “cyberspace companion” featured some helpful articles. My favourite was “Six Myths: Unmasking Cyber Lore”:

  • Myth 1: The Internet is a single network controlled by one organization.
    • Fact: The Internet is actually a patchwork of commercial, educational, government and public and private networks, all cooperating to achieve an open, interconnected communications system.
  • Myth 2: The Internet is free
    • Fact: Don’t believe it for a moment. All of the Internet’s conduits, computers, and information resources are paid for by someone. Often an organization provides free Internet access to its members as part of an affiliation. But, for people lacking Internet access through an organization, getting on the Internet carries a price tag.
  • Myth 3: The Internet will usher in a new age of democracy, a socio-political nirvana.
    • Fact: People created the Internet, people run the Internet, people drive what happens on the Internet — and people are human. No inherent technological properties of the Internet will bring democracy or a new age of global community.
  • Myth 4: Internet users are cyberpunks and content they create is cyberporn.
    • Fact: While some consider portions of the material on the Internet to be immoral, obscene, or useless, much of it is no more controversial than what’s found at a public library or in a bookstore.
  • Myth 5: The Internet is chaotic. There’s simply no way to find anything.
    • Fact: While no Internet information-collection or resource-searching tool is flawless, there are landmark collections and tools on the Internet that you can use to find what you want.
  • Myth 6: The Internet is hostile to newcomers — the hapless newbies.
    • Fact: While a newbie can get mercilessly flamed for ignoring or flouting the Internet’s social customs, there are plenty of ways a new user can get up to speed in a hurry.

In this pre-Google world, Myth 5 was especially amusing to read. Yahoo still resided at its Stanford URL (http://akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo). And I love how many times they use the prefix “cyber”! Can you remember your first experiences with the “Internet”?