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Kleinrock, Kahn Appear in Werner Herzog Doc About the Net

Marconi Fellow Len Kleinrock

By Hatti Hamlin

On October 29, 1969, Marconi Fellow Len Kleinrock’s student Charlie Kline typed “L-O” then the connection was lost. An hour later, the full L-O-G-I-N was successful. Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog has made Lo and Behold; Reveries of the Connected World. The film sold out three screenings at Sundance and received admiring reviews. Kleinrock, responsible for the first ARPA/Internet session, is a nayural focus of the film. His photo has appeared alongside articles worldwide.

Fellow Bob Kahn is also in the film. A few years after the first connection, Kahn and Fellow Vint Cerf developed TCP/IP, the protocols running the Internet today. Kahn remains active, speaking at the 2015 China World Internet Conference and receiving the ITU 150th Anniversary Award alongside Fellow Marty Cooper. In an ITU interview,

Kahn reflects,

I used to do white-water canoeing when I was a little younger. You put your canoe into the river and it just keeps going because of the raging rivers. And it feels a little bit like this whole Internet evolution has been like a raging white-water stream that we got into some 40-odd years ago, and still going. It’s pretty amazing to see what has happened around the world. …The most eye-opening of all of the events that I’ve witnessed was probably at the 2003 World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva, when for the first time I got to witness all the nations of the world, coming together and publicly discussing what the impact of the Internet was on their country, and how they planned to deal with it, going forward.
In his recent work, Dr. Kahn has been developing the concept of a digital object architecture as a key component of the NII. This notion is providing a framework for interoperability of heterogeneous information systems and is being used in many applications such as the Digital Object Identifier (DOI). He is a co-inventor of Knowbot programs, mobile software agents in the network environment.

At the 2015 Marconi Society Symposium, Kahn addressed the Internet of Things.

Marconi Chair David Payne, Vice-Chair Vint Cerf and 2015 Fellow Peter Kirstein were among the experts in the Symposium IoT videos.

Both Kahn and Kleinrock are graduates of the City University of New York, which was tuition free in their time. 13 Nobel Laureates studied at CUNY, a remarkable achievement.

From the filmmakers:

LO AND BEHOLD REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD
SOCIETY DEPENDS ON THE INTERNET FOR NEARLY EVERYTHING BUT RARELY DO WE STEP BACK AND RECOGNIZE ITS ENDLESS INTRICACIES AND UNSETTLING OMNIPOTENCE. FROM THE BRILLIANT MIND OF WERNER HERZOG COMES HIS NEWEST VEHICLE FOR EXPLORATION, A PLAYFUL YET CHILLING EXAMINATION OF OUR RAPIDLY INTERCONNECTING ONLINE LIVES.

Herzog documents a treasure trove of interviews of strange and beguiling individuals—ranging from Internet pioneers to victims of wireless radiation, whose anecdotes and reflections weave together a complex portrait of our brave new world. Herzog describes the Internet as “one of the biggest revolutions we as humans are experiencing,” and yet he tempers this enthusiasm with horror stories from victims of online harassment and Internet addiction.

For all of its detailed analysis, this documentary also wrestles with profound and intangible questions regarding the Internet’s future. Will it dream, as humans do, of its own existence? Can it discover the fundamentals of morality, or perhaps one day understand the meaning of love? Or will it soon cause us—if it hasn’t already—more harm than good?