The internet's history can be told from a number of vantage points: Biographical, bureaucratic, ideological, social, and cultural. Each of these research approaches is based on different sources, which tell the tale of the creation of the internet in different manners. This course sets out to view the historical story through the personal and professional stories of engineers, scientists, and bureaucrats, but also amateurs and business entrepreneurs, who acted within various frameworks since the 1960s and who set the foundations for the internet as we know it today. Yet this story remains incomplete unless it includes, alongside the biographical component, also the institutional and ideological contexts within which the inventors and the scientists, those "great people" who have since become legends and have been awarded mythical status, operated.
In this course we shall delve into the story of these "wizards", who, beginning in the 1960s and up to the 2000s, formed part of the innovative group of inventors and engineers that set the foundations and developed the bases for the new technology, while subscribing to differing and sometimes contradictory ideologies. For the most part, especially during the early years, they operated at the heart of the American security establishment, in independent research institutes, and some of them even on the margins of the establishment; in time, they also acted in the private market, of course. All in all, the course will demonstrate that these technological pioneers' work was never dissociated from the actions of those who preceded them, and more importantly, that the ideological motivation for their work, even if it was implicit and clandestine, is essential for the understanding of the internet as the utmost embodiment of the ideology of information. In this sense, technological inventions are never devoid of ideology and are never carried out without a social and political context, even if they represent the wish for liberation from the state's bureaucratic grip.