The true story of the man who invented Internet
How much of true history we remember.
And how much of liar pieces of one we should forget.
At the same time, how many small, unlikely, but real stories we ignore.
Like the names of all those who unconsciously discovered something remarkable.
In the wrong place or time.
Like the man who invented Internet, without knowing it.
Once upon a time, therefore, a long time ago, a remote island of the Pacific Ocean.
A community of humans lived there, let’s remain on the generic road, so everyone will feel involved and no one will be exiled beyond the wall.
The remote island’s human community loved to call itself a tribe.
I wanted to say it from the very beginning, but I was afraid of evoking the usual disqualifying clichés about savages, bare-body and living in huts around the fire.
Well, in fact, to tell the truth, that is all true, but not in the diminishing meaning mentioned above.
They were wild because this was the nature which they lived in, and being in harmony with the latter is not at all a symptom of backwardness, rather the opposite.
They spent most of their time with a few clothes on, of course, but it was the weather and above all the comfort, to request it. And being indifferent to the fashions of the time is not at all an indication of underdevelopment, far from it.
They lived in meager huts around the fire, a bed and a little more, I can guarantee it, but I can also assure that the choice was perfectly functional to living, never to possess.
Even this is not at all an evidence of incivility, not at all.
However, as they say, life on the island was not just roses and flowers, although many of them never used the well-known proverb, because of a reasonable objection: why do you bring roses into play if you mean flowers? Would not it be enough to state that it was not just flowers, which in turn contain the aforementioned? But this, for me and your luck, is another story.
The problem was that the members of the tribe were greatly increased over time, and everyone wondered what was the best way to organize the huts.
There were those who proposed to stack them one on top of the other, but that was rejected immediately.
The skyscraper no, that was the slogan, for various reasons: first, the one who lived in the attic hut would act like the typical king of cabbages – typical expression of the tribe, since the plant was considered sacred – second, the ground floor inhabitant would be accordingly considered the classical loser, but the dynamics would be reversed when they realized they had not yet invented the elevator.
There were also those who suggested placing the houses in formations of a geometric kind, without knowing what they were, consistently with the story’s premise.
Nevertheless, the square, the rectangle and each figure with the corners were rejected to the sender, since no one wanted to stay in the top positions, because air in those points was too windy, according to them.
The circular structure was also declined and the reason is simple.
Being on a circle – as said just before, around the fire – was the old way.
What are we doing, everyone agreed, should we go back?
That was unacceptable, since one of the prerogatives of savages from the discovered body with the huts on the remote island was to pursue the horizon as an inevitable goal, and yet this is a further symptom of modernity, even if it always depends on the tribe you are in.
Thus, they decided to follow the classic. You may also see it as obvious, a clumsy Deus ex machina, as you wish, as long as we go forward.
They reached the most isolated hut, the wise old man one’s, also called the shaman, the medicine man, the sorcerer, and even the village's idiot, because he was a tolerant person and endured each nickname, as long as they did not bother him so much.
"Idiot," spoke a guy for all. "We have something to ask you."
"Here I am," he said, appearing on the threshold. "Anyway, I understand I am a tolerant man, but among all the nicknames, you have to choose that one?"
"Excuse me, what about old wise?"
"Old wise man, we’re looking for a way to organize the huts as the best way to make us live together, to help knowing each other and make us more united."
The wise man thought about it for a while and then gave them his illuminating solution.
"Bring together the huts in the shape of a net, like the one with which we used to fish with."
"We used to fish? The truth is that we've never seen you with the line in your hands..."
"Do you really want to be the medicine man in my place? So you want to take care of your mother-in-law's inflamed hemorrhoids?"
"No, sorry, I was joking! So, the net, you say? "
"Yes, the net. Each hut will be a node in it and all the ramifications will be the distances between a hut and the other."
"All right, we’ll follow your advice."
Days passed, months and years passed, and some time later the tribe went again to the old wise man.
"Idiot," the usual spokesman called.
"Again?" said the shaman bitterly annoyed. "You couldn’t use the other names anymore?"
"And I repeat: idiot!"
"Because you have no idea of what happened. You told us to arrange the huts in the shape of a net, with knots, ramifications, and so on. "
"Of course, it's the best way to be together."
"Why are you so angry?"
"Because at first it really seemed to work, but then some very unpleasant things happened."
"I tell you the worst: first, one came out saying that, in order to make friends, to know and chat with others, we should all have done through his hut. Well, it was so convincing that we believed it and now he became the head of the tribe without moving a finger. Even if the one we want to talk to is in the house next to ours, we get up and go to the other one."
"But that's not the most serious one. Since we’re always all there, in the same hut – which has since expanded and enriched at the expense of ours – many have had the mad thought of going there solely to tell any kind of falsity, from simple lies to the most infamous slanders on anyone in the tribe. "
"And then, since your idea allows us to reach everyone from any hut, there are those who use it to steal in other people's homes, or even just to spy on, to make silly or even bad jokes, to confuse and divide, to control and dominate. "
"I'm really sorry."
"You should be, because this net has ruined our life."
"You're wrong and you don’t know how much you are."
"Because the problem has never been and never will be the net, like any other way we use to manage the huts and our lives."
Because the real problem to be solved.