Monday, December 15, 2008

Historical Accident

I didn't mean to suggest that it was a "historical accident" in the sense that it happened magically without any human beings directing it. What I mean is that the internet as we know it was not simply a neat technological development which would have inevitably happened. We got lucky! Lucky that smart people were in the right places doing the right things at the right time, and lucky that other relatively powerful actors (Compuserve, AOL, etc...) weren't aware that their existing business models were about to take a severe beating. Lucky that few understood the potential and didn't try to legislate or regulate it out of existence before it took off. Imagine telling senators in 1992 that soon every 13 year old would have a porn machine on his/her desk.