Nomenclature for Pre/Post Internet?

Do we have something like this yet in the lexicon?

I was in my mid twenties when I became a full-bore Internet geek in the very early 90s. Usenet, UUCP, PPP, and so on and so forth. While I may have misspent most of my youth at Fun & Games (it was a gargantuan, loud, dark, filthy drug-den back then – not the brightly-lit kiddie birthday parlor it is today), I have plenty of life experience that pre-dates the Internet.

So how do we refer to this time division? It is indeed a hugely important time division. Future historians will care, no?

I suppose a Latin solution would be nice, but the whole “ante/a/ab/abs” and “pro/pre/prae/post/praeter” thing really queers the use of the letters A and P for Latin reference. However I am rather fond of PI ‘pre’ and AI ‘after’, for numerous, obvious geeky reasons :-) .

Anybody have any thoughts on how to do this right, or what others are doing about it?

Of course the big mess here is that it isn’t really a hard date like the year zero in the Gregorian calendar. 1986 AD is when NSFnet came into being – which basically looks a lot like what we think of today as the Internet. When did the Internet really get going? 1995 seems to be when most of the wonks started counting. So I’d guess that each of us has their own PI/AI moment somewhere in that 10 year window. Although I was goofing on NSFnet-connected UNIX boxen in the mid-1980s, I’d have to guess that my PI/AI moment was in 1989 or 1990 when I got my NeXTcube connected to the Net.

Or do we make the division a hardfast one (Month / Day / Year) and call it done?

Neat problem.

One comment

  1. Stan James

    Possible epoch dates for the internet would be, I think:
    1993 – Mosaic Web Browser. This is when “The Web” was really born.
    1998 – Google Founded. A seminal company which many people still today believe IS the web, and representative of the initial Web 1.0 hoopla.

    But in all likelihood, future historians will simply say the Web began in 2000. The fact that it (and the internet) began a few years earlier will tucked in the footnotes. (Or whatever footnotes are called in Web 243.0!)

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