David Bowie’s 1999 Insights into the Internet

Originally published at: David Bowie’s 1999 Insights into the Internet - TidBITS

The BBC has recently resurfaced a 1999 interview in which musician David Bowie offered some prescient insights about the future of the Internet.

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In the early 1990s, I interviewed Peter Runge, a German-born engineer who led the old Bell System’s development of submarine fiber-optic cables that opened transatlantic telephone calls to everyone, for my book City of Light, on the history of fiber optics. “I don’t know whether TAT-8 [the first transatlantic fiber cable] helped bring down the Berlin Wall,” he said, “but communications in general has had a major impact on the politics of the world.”

At that stage, which was before the Internet had reached out and touched most people, I don’t think any of us could predict anything more specific than that the Internet would bring change.