Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

Synopsis: Werner Herzog's exploration of the Internet and the connected world.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Werner Herzog
Production: Saville Productions
  2 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
98 min

This is the campus of University

of California in Los Angeles.

Today, no one of the students is aware

that this is ground zero of

one of the biggest revolutions

we as humans are experiencing.

One of the science buildings here

is considered the

birthplace of the internet.

This picture of some of

the scientists involved

was taken at this very moment.

The corridors here look repulsive

and yet this one leads

to some sort of a shrine

reconstructed years later

when its importance had sunk in.

Let's enter this very special place.

We are now entering a sacred location.

It's the location where the internet began.

It's a holy place.

And we've just come back to 1969

when the critical events

of the origin began.

That machine over there is the first piece

of the internet equipment ever installed.

It's a mini computer,

which we now call a packet switch.

This is a...

military hardened machine.

You can't break it.

And it was meant to sustain itself,

unattended, for years at a time.

This particular machine

is so ugly on the inside,

it is beautiful.

It has a unique odor.

A delicious old odor

from all the old parts.

It consists of modems,

CPU logic units, memory,

power supply... all the things you need

to make an efficient computer work.

This machine served as the first

node of the internet for decades.

And it was from here

that the first message was sent.

A revolution began.

And the only record we have

of what happened that day

is in this log.

On October 29th, 1969 at 10:30 at night

we enter that we "talked

to Stanford Research Institute

host to host" computer to computer.

It's very much like when on Columbus' ship,

the fellow up on top who

first spotted land,

he noticed it was and he

basically made an entry

saying "we spotted land".

That document and this document have

at least the same equivalent importance.

Now what was that first message?

Many people don't know it.

All we wanted to do

was log in from our computer

to a computer 400 miles to the north,

up in Stanford Research Institute.

To log in you have to type "LOG"

and that machine is smart

enough to type the "IN".

Now to make sure this

was happening properly,

we had our programmer and the programmer

up north connected by a telephone handset

just to make sure it was going correctly.

So Charlie typed the L and he said

"You get the L?" Bill said,

"Yup, I got the L."

He typed the O. "Get the O?"

"Yup, I got the O".

He typed the G. "Get the G?"

Crash! The SRI computer crashed.

So the first message ever

on the internet was "Lo"

as in "Lo and Behold".

We couldn't have asked for a more succinct,

more powerful, more prophetic message

than "Lo".

Well, I've been involved with the internet

really since the very beginning.

Um, there are a number of things that

would characterize that involvement.

One was I started out being the, essentially

the system designer of the ARPANET,

the very first packet net.

I joined DARPA in the early 1970s and

started two other networking programs:

one a ground base packet radio net

like today's cellular

phones and a satellite net

on Intel's Dot4 based on packets.

And the internet was about

connecting them all together

and the essential elements there

were the protocols that

would make that possible

and the technology that would be needed

inside the net to enable these

different nets to work together.

Vint Cerf, here in 1973,

and Bob Kahn collaborating together

created the fundamental

protocol for the internet.

For this they received

some of the highest honors

our society can bestow.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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