am 15. Juni 2000
I must take great issue with Mr. Lighter's statement that the pyramids were childsplay in comparison to the internet. I think a statement like that says much of the hubris that exists in our country today, particularly in the e-business and high tech fields. The pyramids, Aztec temples, Stonehenge, Easter Island idols, the Roman roads and aqueducts, etc. are outstanding and still extant monuments to the engineering and managerial talent of their respective civilizations. Indeed a telling comment in this book attributed to a Lockheed Martin engineer was that the civil engineers are a lot not willing to grab for the glory that accrues to those in aerospace and electronics for sucessful projects. The pyramids are still standing and will be standing in the next millienium. The internet will likely be succeded by the next step of networking and cease to exist. I am not denigrating the internet. It is a great achievment of *our* civilization. I merely advocate a sense of historical proportion!
Now that I've gotten *that* out of my system; the book. The thread Hughes attempts to weave through this book as a whole fails in my estimation. Going from the C/AT to ARPANET was an awkward transition and I doubt woolly-headed 60's counterculture ideas are really at the core of these two projects. However the chapters on SAGE, the Atlas missile program, and ARPANET were outstanding expositions of project management. What hit home for me was the depiction of the ultimate success of the visionary scientist/engineers associated with these programs, especially Licklider. I hope to be able to emulate these fellows in my own field.
Interested in science and technology? Get this book!