Segment of the Original Internet
c. 1969

The Internet was designed by the evil geniuses at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as a network that would still function during and after a nuclear war. To that end, they constructed a massive labyrinth of heavily fortified tunnels just large enough for meandering cats. Each cat had a component of a message on an electronic chip on its collar; the fragment was useless until combined with the other fragments when all the cats reached the same destination using TCP/IP, or Transfer Cat Protocol/Internet Protocol. That’s the origin of the phrase, “The Internet is a network of tubes, and those tubes are full of cats.”

The researchers chose cats because they’d be oblivious to a nuclear war going on around them. What the scientists failed to realize is that the pusses would be equally unconcerned with their mission.

Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn, academics working on the project at Stanford University, realized the cats in tubes premise was unworkable after less than a year. The cats only managed to deliver a message from one side of the campus to the other in less than one percent of the experiments, and even then the average transmission time was over seven weeks. Their revolutionary 1974 paper, A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection, laid the groundwork for using digital packets of data transmitted electronically instead of via felines.

The kitties that compromised the original Internet were fired after bureaucrats implemented TCP/IP. None of the cats cared; none of them even noticed.















©copyright 2012 David Glenn Rinehart, all rights reserved