Imagine living in today's world without the internet. It's nearly impossible. From banking to watching cute cat videos, the internet plays an increasingly prominent role in all aspects of our lives. But where did the internet come from? In the 1930s, long before everyone had a smartphone in their pocket, visionary scientists conceived of a globally connected data transmission network. Later, the U.S. government, along with many dedicated scientists around the world, built early concepts that led to the internet we have today.


1. Envisioning the Web Before the Internet

Paul Otlet was a visionary thinker, among many things. He created the Universal Decimal Classification that libraries used before online classifications. Some believe he was the first person to formulate the idea of the internet. In the late 1800s, Otlet outlined his concept of a network of knowledge that he referred to as a radiated library. Concepts like hyperlinks, search engines, and social networks were in Otlet's vision, albeit under different names.

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