Friday, January 6, 2006
How Civilized Are We?I went out and picked up a copy of Civilization IV and I have to say that I’m extremely impressed. The graphics are very cool and the playability has been greatly improved over Civ III, in spite of the increase in complexity. One of the new technologies is “The Internet.” Since all technologies have a history of their origins and effects on society, I was extremely interested to see what they said about the Internet.
The Internet is a computer network linked by hard wire, telephony and satellite. These computers share the same language, allowing for the fast transfer of information. Anyone with a computer and a modem (or other hookup) can utilize the Internet to gather information, to broadcast news and opinions, or to shoot at other like-minded folks in virtual reality galleries.
Ok, they simplified the connection aspect, but generally a nice start. However, it continues and, at one point, you encounter the following:
By the early 1990s, the first Internet language (http) was written and the first browser was published.
Hold up! Since when did someone decide that http was the first Internet language? First of all, http is a protocol, and a relatively new one compared to ip, tcp, udp, ftp, etc. If they meant HTML, they would still be wrong since HTML is based on SGML, not to mention the hundreds of languages that never became standards or have died out.
To add insult to injury, the icon associated with the technology looks like Al Gore!
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