Re: [BITS] ICS 230 Midterm: Social Construction of the Internet

Einar Stefferud (
Tue, 24 Feb 1998 00:57:47 -0800

Hello Rohit -- I would guess several things from reading your mideterm.

I am not trying to discredit your writing. Just noting that it is
indeed very difficult to impute history from recent memory.

1. You have not read "Where Wisards Stay Up Late" by Matt Lyon and
Katie Hafner, because they tell a drather different story.

2. You did not live through it either, as my rememberences from
living through it do not track with your story.

For instance, did you know that IP was developed after TCP failed to
work without IP? That was when Cerf and Kahn finally began to
understand the fundamental issues with Internetworking by tunneling IP
through multiple media types.

In the meantime, anxious to commercialize on the original ARPANET NCP
protocols, X.25 was born without paying attention to the need to solve
the Internetworking problems.

Remember that the original APRANET NCP included node-by-node
reliability checks with retransmission between packet switching nodes,
and delivered reliability to the HOST interfaces. This had to be
abandoned to solve the problem with what Vint called the Catenet,
which was just a network of tunneling gateways.

Etc, et al...

And, the ethos of the internet stems from the original work of Paul
Baran in 1962, with his "Route Around Damage" concept for surviable
packet switching, though the path of transfer of his work into the
ARPANET was quite indirect. Over time. "route around damage" has
transmogrified itself into "Work Around Problems".

All this is now embeded in the IP net, in EMail store&forward,
including all those acursed Gateways into non-Internet environments
whic did not use the IP tunnelling model to deliver undamaged goods
end-to-end. But, good old Internet working around problems had by
then infused the core of developers to just make things work anyway.


}Dr. King --
}In fear of going over the five-page limit, I kept to a high-level argument that's only
}four pages. My apologies for the generalization, but I feared a fifty-page defense of
}details even more.
}Everyone else --
}felt this would be good debate fodder.
}Fire away,
}Rohit Khare
} [1]ICS 230 Midterm:
} Social Construction of the Internet
} _________________________________________________________________