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Death of Paul Baran

     
11:53 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Not sure how many saw this news [usatoday.com], but Paul Baran's idea of "message block" or what we now call packet-switching is one of the most important contributions to the development of the Internet.

Paul Baran is best known for the idea of "packet-switching," in which data is bundled into small packages and sent through a network. Baran outlined the concept while working on Cold War issues for the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica in 1963 and 1964.
8:40 pm on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I caught that last weekend. Here is the quote I loved:

The son said his father recently shared a paper that he wrote in 1966, speculating on the future of the computer networks he was working on.

"It spelled out this idea that by the year 2000 that people would be using online networks for shopping and news," he said. "It was an absolute lunatic fringe idea."
9:26 pm on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In my view, these early guys don't get enough credit for their contributions.
9:35 pm on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'd like to see that paper he wrote.

kaz

12:09 am on Apr 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Here is a paper he wrote in 1964

[rand.org...]
12:30 am on Apr 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This stuff is gold dust for future historians.

Imagine having the original documents written by the man who invented the wheel...
3:58 pm on Apr 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'd like to see that paper he wrote.


Ask and ye shall receive:

"This paper was presented at the American Marketing Association Winter Meeting, 27 - 29 December 1967, Washingon, D.C."

Download page: Some Changes in Information Technology Affecting Marketing in the Year 2000 [rand.org]
Link to the actual PDF version [rand.org]


As a matter of fact, you can read as much Paul Baran [rand.org] as you can handle. The guy was brilliant.
5:35 pm on Apr 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I had no idea. Thanks for this post.
11:30 pm on Apr 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Coopster!

On page 31 of the paper, he essentially describes Groupon. Amazing foresight, solid stuff. Back to reading!
6:41 am on Apr 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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All the really important ideas, even in as new a field as IT, seem to have originated before 1970.
3:47 pm on Apr 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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All the really important ideas, even in as new a field as IT, seem to have originated before 1970.
Except for that idea I had yesterday. And, I did not write it down and I've forgotten it.