The internet is the result of a project started by the US’s Department of Defense several years ago in response to a very serious military threat posed by the Soviet Union’s space program which had taken the US by surprise. The Soviet had sent an unmanned space craft into orbit, proving that in terms of military might in any space war, it was more advanced than the US. The US Defense Department poured millions of dollars into research, particularly in the field of computer networking because this field had greater potential in terms of national security than a communist Sputinik object floating crazily in outer space where no one lived. However, their networking project turned out to be more difficult and expensive, so they quietly swept it under the carpet and turned their interests elsewhere before the taxpayers realised how much of their hard earned cash had been misused by their government.
But other interested parties like the universities and private organisations in the United States continued with the research on networking, while the rest of the world was basking in blissful ignorance, until a breakthrough was made. Ordinary mortals did not care much about networking because it was meant to be between large computers which they had never seen, and computers, after all, were viewed with suspicion in many circles anyway. Networking, let alone computers, was none of their business.
Then the PC appeared on the scene. It is interesting to note that the technology which the mighty Defense Department hoped would help it regain military superiority over its number one enemy is now being used at home by you and me to order fish and chips from the nearest takeaway shop.
The internet came down like rain, which gives new life to existing plants, helps new plants to germinate, and sweeps away all those plants that only thrived on its absence; thus a whole new world outlook was created.
The new life came in the form of information interchange between businesses as they realised that information interchange was central to business in the modern environment and that the internet was by far the most convenient vehicle to share this information.
New plants emerged in the form of home shopping and many other new businesses which, before the internet, either did not exist at all or could only be carried out in a crude and primitive manner, by letter and messenger, or by phone, for instance. Now you sit at home and browse the internet to buy, a car, a plasma TV, groceries, clothes and fish and chips.
Some of the plants that were swept away were businesses such as intermediate companies. The internet enabled people to deal directly with the source of the product, by-passing the middle man and his commission charges. This forced the middleman to disappear into oblivion because of the internet.