As Scott Malcomson writes in “Splinternet”, an illuminating survey of the past and future of the internet, [the internet] was developed “by the US military to serve US military purposes”. In fact, nearly every technology that makes smartphones so delightful started life as a tool of war. The Washington naval treaty, signed soon after the first world war to limit the size of warships, was silent on the matter of weaponry; that provided the impetus to develop machines capable of the complex mathematical calculations required to aim and fire guns accurately. The attack on Pearl Harbour spurred what would become the first computer with an operating system. The computer screen came from the need for radar-tracking screens.

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