Back in October 1962, the same month the Soviet Union and the United States were embroiled in a potentially disastrous dispute over Soviet nuclear missiles located 90 miles off the coast of Florida (more commonly known as the Cuban Missile Crisis), a man named J.C.R. Licklider was hired by a government agency to help connect the computers in the Pentagon and the Department of Defense. The goal was simple and straightforward: find a way to make communication among the nation’s high-level defense organizations faster and more efficient, with the hope that it would give the United States a leg up in the worldwide ideological fight against communism. Licklider eventually left the agency before this network, called ARPANET, was fully operational, but his vision and writings on the subject would become vital in the early stages of what we now call “the Internet.”
I only mention this backstory to bring up this point: if we ever invent a time machine, and I believe we will one day, I call dibs on traveling back to 1962 and explaining to J.C.R. Licklider that the invention he was devoting his entire professional career to — for the purpose of protecting the nation from a potential nuclear apocalypse — would be used in 2012 to compile six minutes worth of uncredited celebrity phone calls from a television show that ended eight years earlier. I imagine it would blow his mind into 1000 tiny little depressed pieces.
NOTE: I would also spend a solid 30-40 minutes explaining the Police Academy movies to him. Not for any important historical reason. I just imagine he’d enjoy it.
I want more like this!
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