An Ode To The Internet's Big Bang

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Reasonable people disagree about what exactly marks the beginning of the Internet. Forty years ago Thursday, two guys in California sent a five-letter message over a primitive computer network. Marking that anniversary, Morning Edition presents a short radio play with digital-themed dialogue that would've been gibberish just a few years ago.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And we're about to celebrate an anniversary that may not exist. That's because reasonable people disagree about what exactly marks the beginning of the Internet. We do know that 40 years ago today two guys here in California sent a five-letter message over a primitive computer network. Some people say that was the Internet's big bang.

And NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED will have a story about that tonight. For now, we wanted to consider what has flowed from that very first message.

You on YouTube?

Unidentified Man: No, Hulu. You?

MONTAGNE: iTunes. But I lost the USB for my MP3.

Unidentified Man: It's MIA.

MONTAGNE: Yeah, so is my GPS.

Unidentified Man: Oh, I'm going to lose it.

MONTAGNE: What?

Unidentified Man: This PDF won't show up on the LCD.

MONTAGNE: Call the ISP.

Unidentified Man: Or I can send them a SMS.

MONTAGNE: Maybe it's a cookie thing.

Unidentified Man: Yeah. I could look it up on the cookie wiki.

MONTAGNE: So, you're on Google now?

Unidentified Man: No, Bing. You're such a Yahoo.

MONTAGNE: Yoo-hoo, I just got poked on Facebook.

Unidentified Man: Who from?

MONTAGNE: My mom. She wants to know if she can use Paypal on Netflix.

Unidentified Man: Hey, did she ever sell her iMac on eBay?

MONTAGNE: No, but she did get Wi-Fi for the Xbox.

Unidentified Man: Wait a minute - can we have a real conversation?

MONTAGNE: Uh, sure, I guess.

Unidentified Man: But can we have it in Second Life?

MONTAGNE: And that was a special presentation by Click and Drag, the MORNING EDITION players. This evening, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED launches a series looking back at 40 years of the Internet.

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