Posted by: zyxo | June 20, 2008

Internet is born in Belgium

Paul Otlet, a founder of modern information scienceImage via WikipediaApparently a little country, somewhere in Europe, was the womb of internet.
Even twice !

Perhaps a lot of people know that a Belgian, together with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, developed the World Wide Web somewhere on 25 december 1991.

Apparently, the idea was much, very much older and came in 1934 (before computer the era) from another belgian : Paul Otlet, who had the idea of “a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole thing a “réseau,” which is french for “network” — or arguably, “web.

What is this about Belgium ? They are famous for their over 500 varieties of beer (according to belgians, Heineken is dishwater) with “West-Vleteren” as the best beer of the world and “The Kulminator” as the best beer cafe of the world according to the late Michael Jackson, they drink the best french wines (and leave the minor ones for the french), they invented french (???) fries (with mayonnaise), they have one of the best “cuisines” in the world, they work very few hours per week but in these few houre are more productive than the rest of the world, they had Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin to take care of the Williams sisters, they won four Nobel Prizes, had some of the most famous painters lik Brueghel, Rubens and Magritte, they invented the saxophone (Adolphe Sax) and the Smurfs (Peyo), they invented the belgian andives, they had Jean-Marie Pfaff and Eddy Merckx, and a lot of other world-famous sportsman and -women.

Belgium has only 10 million inhabitants but if you ask a belgian which is the best country to live in: no doubt about it : Belgium !

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