And boy, weren’t they so wrong! Look at what we were able to accomplish by 2004!
Despite their inaccurate prediction, the RAND corporation was one of the technological pioneers of American.
Spinning a World Wide Web
While RAND has played a major role in keeping America safe from military attacks and nuclear catastrophes, the think tank has also left its mark on the communications industry. RAND is directly responsible for packet switching, the technology that made the Internet possible. It all started in the 1960s when the military asked RAND researchers to solve a hypothetical question: If the Soviet Union destroyed all of our communication systems with a nuclear bomb, how could we fight back?
A young engineer named Paul Baran provided an elegant solution by likening the nation’s telephone wires to the brain’s central nervous system. Baran proposed sending messages via phone lines and changing words into numbers to avoid noise and distortion. Baran also decided that any content relayed should be divided into “packets,” or discrete bundles of data. As a result, messages were separated during transmission, and would then automatically reconfigure themselves once they reached their destination. More importantly, if direct communications were destroyed, the packets could reroute themselves through phone lines anywhere in the world.
Baran tried to convince AT&T to install the system, but the phone giant refused to create something that could become its worst competitor.RAND Corporation think tank controls America
Instead, the creation of a worldwide packet-switching system was left to the Pentagon, which devised ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet.
Fascinating, isn’t it? Who knew?