Last modified on 14 January 2015, at 10:08



The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast array of information resources and services, most notably the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support electronic mail.


The Internet … offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity, this is something truly good, a gift from God. ~ Pope Francis
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We knew we were creating an important new technology that we expected would be of use to a segment of the population, but we had no idea how truly momentous an event it was. ~ Leonard Kleinrock
  • The index of a search engine can be thought of as analogous to the stars in sky. What we see has never existed, as the light has traveled different distances to reach our eye. Similarly, Web pages referenced in an index were also explored at different dates and they may not exist any more.
    • Ricardo Baeza-Yates and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto, in Modern Information Retrieval (1999), Addison-Wesley/ACM Press, p. 382.
  • We have too many cellphones. We've got too many Internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now.
  • If on the web you search only for frivolous or sensational news (which are often false and slanderous), you will bring grist to the mill of those who maintain that the era of the web is by no means the “era of knowledge”.
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Writings by Fausto Cercignani, 2014, quote 60.
  • Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly.
  • The NET is a waste of time, and that's exactly what's right about it.
    • William Gibson Title of an article for New York Times Magazine (14 July 1996).
  • During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
    • Al Gore, in a statement often misquoted as "I invented the Internet." CNN Late Edition (9 March 1999).
  • In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations. This skin is already being stitched together. It consists of millions of embedded electronic measuring devices: thermostats, pressure gauges, pollution detectors, cameras, microphones, glucose sensors, EKGs, electroencephalographs. These will probe and monitor cities and endangered species, the atmosphere, our ships, highways and fleets of trucks, our conversations, our bodies — even our dreams.
  • The internet is like a big circus tent full of scary, boring creatures and pornography.
  • You should view Internet arguments as a really crummy fighting game: only the utter idiots bother pressing the "block / defend" button. While your enemy cowers in a corner with their arms raised above their face to futilely protect them, real men pull off complex 408-move combos that involve transforming into a fiery phoenix of doom and releasing unrelenting waves of liquid napalm Satan clown death upon them.
  • For hundreds of millions of years, Sex was the most efficient method for propagating information of dubious provenance: the origins of all those snippets of junk DNA are lost in the sands of reproductive history. Move aside, Sex: the world-wide Web has usurped your role.
  • This is a little known fact technological about the Internet, but the Internet is actually made of words and enthusiasm.
  • It's strange — you know, the Net is denounced as austere, the product of the engineering mentality, so forth and so on. It's the most feminine influence that Western civilization has ever allowed itself to fall under the spell of. The troubadors of the fourteenth century were as nothing compared to the boundary-dissolving, feminizing, permitting, nurturing nature of the Net. Maybe that's why there is an overwhelming male preference for it, in its early form, because that's where that was needed. But it is Sophia, it is wisdom, it is the penetrating archetypal female logos of the world-soul, leading us away from what was very sharp-edged and uncomfortable and repressive to our creativity and our sexuality and our relationships to each other and to the Earth.
  • It's very sad how in the information age you cannot get information into people's heads — as long as you write something on the internet and do not add LOL — it is true : "I'm not sure he's a Christian." — I'm not sure he's a mammal, Jay. He could be a werewolf.
    • Bill Maher, on growth of rumors and reports of Barack Obama being a "secret Muslim", in an interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (13 September 2010).
  • I have a theory that the Internet makes people stupider — and also FOX News makes people stupider. You know the Pew group did a study recently and they found out that 10 years ago, Democrats, Republicans and independents basically got their news from the same sources, probably more from CNN, for example. Then we had this polarity. … We do have two Americas. We have the America that's living in reality. The people who understand that Obama is a centrist liberal from Hawaii who is trying to dig us out of the hole we're in. And then we have this other FOX/Matt Drudge/Rush Limbaugh reality where he is a Muslim sleeper cell, Manchurian candidate who was sent over by his Kenyan father…
  • I think that the online world has actually brought books back. People are reading because they're reading the damn screen. That's more reading than people used to do.
    • Bill Murray, Interview with Jessica Lee Jernigan (May 1999).
  • The Internet has come to resemble an enormous used book store with volumes stacked on shelves and tables and overflowing onto the floor, and a continuous stream of new books being added helter-skelter to the piles.
    • Robert Pool, "Turning an info-glut into a library." Science 266, no. 5182 (1994): 20-22. doi:10.1126/science.7939636.
  • There is nothing that is truly free nor democratic enough. Make no mistake, the internet did not come to save the world.
  • The net has provided a level playing field for criticism and comment – anyone and everyone is entitled to their opinion – and that is one of its greatest strengths.
  • The members of the Invisible College did not live to see the full flowering of the scientific method, and we will not live to see what use humanity makes of a medium for sharing that is cheap, instant, and global (both in the sense of 'comes from everyone' and 'goes everywhere.') We are, however, the people who are setting the earliest patterns for this medium. Our fate won't matter much, but the norms we set will. Given what we have today, the Internet could easily become Invisible High School, with a modicum of educational material in an ocean of narcissism and social obsessions. We could, however, also use it as an Invisible College, the communicative backbone of real intellectual and civic change.
  • Some complain that e-mail is impersonal — that your contact with me, during the e-mail phase of our relationship, was mediated by wires and screens and cables. Some would say that's not as good as conversing face-to-face. And yet our seeing of things is always mediated by corneas, retinas, optic nerves, and some neural machinery that takes the information from the optic nerve and propagates it into our minds. So, is looking at words on a screen so very much inferior? I think not; at least then you are conscious of the distortions. Whereas, when you see someone with your eyes, you forget about the distortions and imagine you are experiencing them purely and immediately.
  • The Internet is a hole you pour your friends into for a never-ending stream of kitten photos and porn. Of course, that's quite a bargain, for some of us.

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