One of the ways that industrial revolutions are interesting to think about is that they look differently depending on how and where you see them from. They look different whether you see them from Europe or Asia or Africa. But regardless of time or place, economists and historians generally tend to look at industrial revolutions through the lens of innovation. And in my short talk today I want to encourage a different way of thinking about this.
Where did the Internet come from? And in order to answer that question, you would have to have a pretty clear idea of what you mean when you say “the Internet.” I suspect that if we were to poll everybody in the room, we would have a variety of different, sometimes contradictory, sometimes incompatible, sometimes overlapping, definitions of “the Internet.”