Summary of Splinternet

How Geopolitics and Commerce are Fragmenting the World Wide Web

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Splinternet book summary
This fascinating history says the Internet may be the most lasting innovation from the US war machine.


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8 Innovation

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The 1940s military industrial complex and the Cold War spawned innovations that became the foundation of today’s information society. The United States government had a role in developing computer screens, the Internet and the venture capital industry, all as part of military efforts. Communications consultant Scott Malcomson’s slim volume spells out this little-known history. Essentially, he writes, the government guided the development of the computer age for decades. getAbstract recommends his compelling overview and fascinating anecdotes to students, entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers who will benefit from this overlooked story’s rich information on where the Internet came from and cautionary notes about where it’s going.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the US government guided the development of computers
  • How government requirements led to the first version of the Internet as a Cold War defense system
  • How Silicon Valley later rebelled


Wartime Roots
The Internet first took root in the US war machine. Government projects tracing to World War I created computers, the World Wide Web and the first computer screens, which developers built to show radar signals tracking enemy planes. In the late 1960s, however, the underlying...
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About the Author

Communications and political risk consultant Scott Malcomson wrote four previous books and served as foreign editor of The New York Times Magazine from 2004 to 2011.

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