It has been about fifty years since Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider, said Lick, laid the first fundamental theoretical bases for the construction of the first rudimentary internet, ARPAnet. ARPA – Advanced Research Project Agency was the American agency established for military research, today DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency). That’s right. Computer’s creative potentialities have been explored by the best brains in the world, hired and supported for military purposes. Expanding the technique’s boundaries to several disciplines by opening to their mutual influence has been proved to be an essential component to the end of a good research.
In 1962 the psychologist and engineer Licklider comes at the head of ARPA. Two professions so seemingly distant from each other, are combined in this man’s intuition to lead him to understand the essential requirements for connections and interfaces, with the formulation of models become reality a little later by others, and gradually improved as far as the Internet of our times.
It thanks to this open-mindedness, that Licklider believed on the first place in the symbiotic potential between man and machine, just as it happens in the homonymous biological process, when two completely different organisms are indispensable to each other. This thinking appeared in one of his important writings, Man Computer Symbiosis, as early as 1960.
Thus, man and his mysterious vital organization in biological laws, illuminate many of the thinkers and scientists’ intuitions. At that point, it’s natural to understand what comes after in order to organize and to implement the idea With this in mind, Licklider concentrated on computer time-sharing, memory – both in its components and in the methods of access to information – and instruments for data’s input and output. He identified on the first place the central node to untangle so as this symbiosis can begin – as the radical diversity of man-machine language. This was where the need to think of an exchange of information between man and machine came from. It took initially place through hand-made graphs, to be then translated by the computer into concepts. Here and in this moment, the interface begins to take shape. The need to communicate in real-time becomes background to the research on the interaction between man and machine. As Licklider says in an interview conducted in Cambridge, recorded and then published by the Charles Babbage Institute (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1988): ” We need to have time-sharing systems before we could man-computer interaction research” “[2
One more time, utopia and imagination contribute to science. Once more the great discoveries result from several disciplines’ twine, grown gradually over time until the discovery gain the name of whom has arrived to maturity of a long process. All of this is still relevant today. In fact, this is the path that has led to more recent discoveries, such as those conduced by the research team of Siena, “Liquidweb”, related to improvements in man-machine communication through mind processes. From military strategies, to the intuitive applications in the creative sphere, to bio-medical applications – such as is the case of “Liquid Web, science”, art and technology evolve thanks to their mutual contamination.
 J.C.Licklider, Man Computer Symbiosis, IRE Transactions and Human Factors in Electronics, volume HFE-1, pp. 4-11, march1960, available on the website http://groups.csail.mit.edu/medg/people/psz/Licklider.html
 W. Aspray, A. Norberg, An Interview with J.C.R. Licklider, Cambridge, October 28, 1988, then published by the Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
1. (cover) ARPAnet architecture, photo via
2. J.C.L.Licklider, Photo Courtesy MIT Museum, Cambridge, photo via
3. Liquidweb, Brain Control, 2013, photo via