How the Web Has Changed Our Lives

by Péter Bajomi-Lázár, Budapest Business School. A dual anniversary The year 2019 is a dual anniversary: ARPANET, the network designed to meet military and academic purposes was established 50 years ago, and the world wide web, allowing for the civil use of the network, was launched 30 years ago. How has the rise of the internet transformed our lives? What were the early predictions—and have they come true?  Innovations and their aftermath Accounts of the history of the media tell us that the inventors of new technology themselves were often unable to foresee the societal uses of their innovations. The telegraph, created by Samuel Morse and his colleagues, was originally to ease the transfer of information from one place to another (e.g., to let the next railway station know that the train would be late), yet the wireless has also contributed to the rise of the ‘news paradigm’ in journalism, focusing on facts and omitting comments, as correspondents had to pay for every single word transmitted. The photography invented by Nicéphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre was to allow…

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