What do Woodstock, the first online message and the moon landing have in common? It all happened in 1969. Half a century later, these events are still firmly anchored in our memories. At AWARE7 the technical revolution through the internet was our main focus.
Matteo Große-Kampmann, a managing director of AWARE7 GmbH, answered a whole series of questions at an event hosted by the Georg Agricola Technical University in Bochum on July 16:
- What do hackers do?
- Are they good or bad?
- And where is the boundary between ethical and unethical?
The time allotted to him was hardly enough to answer the flood of questions.
How old is the Internet? Welcome to 1969!
Of course a hacker is nothing without the internet because living and working without online networking is now hardly conceivable. So it was all the more fitting that they met offline at the university to celebrate online with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) via a live stream including a chat function. The MIT, which played a decisive role in the development of the internet in 1969, provided top-class contributions to entertain the audience: a discussion on the genesis of the internet in which pioneers such as computer scientist Elizabeth Feinler and programmer Radia Perlman took part, but also individual lectures about connectivity as a human right and the management of digital information.
While people in Boston listened intently to the lectures, people in Bochum ate, drank and networked. What was happening online and displayed on the screen became more and more of a backdrop. Instead the audience in Bochum started a discussion themselves – about women in the IT industry, interdisciplinarity and the role of teachers in the responsible and trained use of new technologies. We, the AWARE7 representatives, did not hold back on these topics either and stayed much longer than we had intended.
When we finally went home – after all, work was waiting for us the next morning – one thing above all stood out: no matter how important and groundbreaking worldwide networking via computers was, is and will be, coming together in the offline world often simply cannot replace it. Sometimes you should choose “log out” instead of “log in”… in this sense, Happy Birthday, internet!