I learned a lesson. It’s acceptable to give up one dream. Still, there should be something for us to contribute to human society. In my life, that was the Internet.
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Looking at Brazil again thirty years later, we see the very same situation. And the question is what to do. The whole country has been waiting to see when and how recovery will begin, political, economic and so on.
Despite all odds, with a group of friends at the university, we were looking into solutions to break the isolation of AUB from the academic environment in the US. So we started to look into connectivity.
I am deeply honored to be part of this year’s inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Internet Society, an organization that has done so much to further the goals of an open and broadly-available Internet. I think we have a long way to go still.
I would like to thank the nominees and the selection committee for their nomination and the selection. I believe that they do not present this honor to me but also to all of the Chinese Internet scientists and engineers, the CERNET team, and Tsinghua University.
People have asked me, “Why did you create BITNET?” Well, the truthful answer is I was envious of ARPANET users. They had access to the most exciting technology at the time. But ARPANET, as you know, was only available to a relatively small group of developers and researchers. And we didn’t know if it would ever be made available to others.
During all this time, many of you have been involved in developing the Internet and making it the tool of many phases. From academic collaboration, to business and shopping. From social interaction, to democracy promotion. In short, to all feats of human activity. We have gone from the promotion of connectivity to a connectivity-dependent society, and many could feel that the job is done.
My gratitude to the International Center for Theoretical Physics, which in 1990 held the first networking school that was the inspiration for the creation of EsLaRed, and for the continuing support offered ever since to out institution.
It’s kind of exciting to be here. And being the first, but that’s what you get when your name starts with an A, I guess.
I often think back to my life before I started using the Internet. Well basically I had a life. But once I sat down at a Sun workstation at the University of Texas in 1988, I was completely hooked. And I’ve been addicted ever since.