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global system of connected computer networks

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 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.
  • There are some people who imagine that older adults don't know how to use the internet. My immediate reaction is, "I've got news for you, we invented it."
    • Vint Cerf, a "father of the internet," quoted at age 73 in "Your Life: Vinton Cerf" interview by David Frank in AARP Bulletin (December 2016, Vol. 57, No. 10, p. 30.)
  • Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly.
  • Things have been going in the wrong direction -- more surveillance, more control of everything we do on the net and also stricter copyright laws -- that's the wrong course for Europe. We want to set a new one.
    • Christian Engstrom [2]
  • As customers embrace the Net for real business, they're doing something much more than posting a Web site, offering their brochure or 800 number on the Web. "E-Business" done well involves every process of their business -- from order entry to inventory, to fulfillment, to distribution, to customer care. Consequently, it challenges, and in some cases overturns, very established ways of doing business in financial services, in distribution, in almost every industry. (1998)
  • The main point here is that there will be lots of ways -- lots of low-cost ways -- for people to get on the Net and participate in this new economy. So, together we will have a greater opportunity to take unprecedented levels of service and information to the entire world regardless of an individual's social or political standing, or personal buying power. (1998)
  • Today, almost everyone is talking about the Internet as the ultimate medium of business. And so now we find ourselves in 1999 taking an equally unconventional position: Today it's clear to us that the greatest value being created by this networking technology is not in these new "dot-com" Internet companies that a lot of people seem to believe are going to redefine the world of retail, of Wall Street, of the media industry, and gobble up everyone's business. These are interesting companies, and maybe one or two of them will be profitable someday. But I think of them as fireflies before the storm all stirred up, throwing off sparks. But the storm that's arriving -- the real disturbance in the force -- is when the thousands and thousands of institutions that exist today seize the power of this global computing and communications infrastructure and use it to transform themselves. That's the real revolution. ...Right now, there's a lot of focus on e-commerce -- on Net-based buying and selling. But we think that equally important, if not more important, are the staggering investments our customers are starting to make in what we call "e-business." E-business includes e-commerce, of course. But it's about a broader set of transactions and important applications that will go to the Net in supply chain, in customer care, in e-service; and internally in applications from product development to logistics to employee training to knowledge management inside enterprises. In fact, our view is that the Web enabling of these core business process will deliver returns on investments that will equal or exceed the returns on investments coming from e-commerce. (1999)
  • 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.
  • What I wrote was that the internet and dreams share the same quality of giving rise to the repressed subconscious. I think in countries like Japan and America and other countries where internet is prevalent, people can anonymously seek or release things they can't speak of offline, as if there's a part of the subconscious that's uncontrollable and comes out on the internet. That is very much like dreams. This may be a very visualistic analogy, but I've always thought we drop down into dreams, and when you're sitting in front of your computer and connect to the internet, you're also going down into some kind of underworld. I've always thought those two images had something in common. I'm not trying to say that dreams and the internet are good or bad, I'm trying to saying that there's good and bad that cannot be judged in both worlds. Some people say that in the virtual world, different rules exist or try to say that a lot of vicious things happen there, but I don't think there's a reason to differentiate the virtual world from reality because reality includes that virtual world.
  • Satoshi Kon [3]
  • 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…
  • Surrogates and also a pretty fascinating aspect the internet. Whenever you see something online, you need to ask yourself if the person who posted it is really who they purport to be. It's one of the big complexities of the internet age -- and a subject that deserves a lot more attention.

ː* Jonathan Mostow [5]

  • 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).
  • For the record if someone did that to me I'd hitch a ride to the International Space Station straight away; of course who am I kidding, they would never let me in, I've got spiders for hands! Internet is mean!
  • 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.
  • I’m an open and vocal feminist on the internet, so I’m no stranger to some level of sexist backlash.
  • I was attacked via nearly every facet of my online life by a loosely coordinated cyber mob. All of my social networks were flooded with a torrent of misogynist and racist slurs as well as threats of rape, violence and death. The wikipedia article about me was vandalized with similar sentiments. When I publicly shared what was happening to me, the perpetrators responded by escalating their harassment campaign and attempting to DDoS my website and hack into my online accounts. They also tried to collect and distribute my personal info including my home address and phone number. They made pornographic images in my likeness being raped by video games characters which they distributed and sent to me over and over again. Attempts were made to discredit me and my project by creating and posting false quotes or fake tweets attributed to me. There was also a flash game developed where players were invited to “beat the bitch up”. Unfortunately I still receive threats and explicit images on a semi-regular basis. In December 2012, I gave a TEDxWomen talk where I discuss in more detail what happened, and how these large scale loosely organized Cyber Mob attacks operate.
  • There’s a boys’-locker-room feel to the internet, where men feel they can show off for one another. A lot of the harassment is tied to this toxic masculine culture of ‘Look how cool I can be.’
    • Anita Sarkeesian, as interviewed by Valenti, Jessica (August 29, 2015). "Anita Sarkeesian interview: 'The word "troll" feels too childish. This is abuse'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on August 29, 2015. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  • We must filter the Internet to win over online file sharing. But politicians don’t understand that file sharing is bad, and this is a problem for us. Therefore, we must associate file sharing with child pornography. Because that’s something the politicians understand, and something they want to filter off the Internet.
    • Johan Schlüter [6]
  • 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.
  • (The Springfield Police Department web page is shown.)
Chief Wiggum: If you have committed a crime and want to confess, click 'Yes'. Otherwise, click 'No'.
(Homer clicks 'No'.)
Chief Wiggum: You have chosen 'No', meaning you have committed a crime but don't want to confess. (A van symbol is shown.) A paddy wagon is now speeding to your home.
Homer: Hey!
Chief Wiggum: While you wait, why not buy a police cap or T-shirt? You have the right to remain fabulous!
  • Comic Book Guy: Ack. There is no "emoticon" to express what I am feeling right now.
  • 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.
  • It bit me in particular with X-Men, where I was treated sort of shoddily. I was in England, very tired, and some fanzine asked a question, and I went kind of off. Well, of course, that fanzine was a web fanzine, I didn't know about this web thing. I hadn't really gleaned the fact that there wasn't such a thing as a guy with a photocopier handing out sheets of paper anymore. Everything I said got to the Fox executives before I went to bed that night. They were pissed, and they were right. That's not what you do.
    • Joss Whedon [9]
  • Disregard the physical distance and cherish those online relationships. Tell your friends you love them every day. Behind each of these screens is a real heart that just wants as much love as the person sitting next to you in the real world. Love your neighbor, even if you're in Louisiana and he's in New Jersey.
  • We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
    • Attributed to Robert Wilensky, speech at a 1996 conference
  • A year ago I was the original Internet Dummy. [...] Then while I was on vacation, a colleague ran some telephone wire into the back of my computer, loaded a communications package, and left me a note about how to launch the operation.
    Readers, that note is now framed in my office. Eventually that telephone wire led to the Internet and the single most amazing, entertaining and educational experience of my career.
    Quite simply, the Internet has revolutionized the way I interact with the outside world, altered my work habits, and burst the bubble around my PC. It has also challenged my thinking about the future of personal communications technology. And I believe that sooner — rather than later — these changes will be mapped onto society as a whole.
    • Paul McCloskey, executive editor of "Federal Computer Week", in the introduction to The Internet for Dummies (1993)

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