Is the internet infinite? | INFJ Forum

Is the internet infinite?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by say what, Mar 13, 2014.

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  1. say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    or is it finite?


    Thoughts?
     
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  2. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Given that it is all man made, and produced by actual work hours, no - it cannot be.

    It is finite in size, it is finite in bandwidth, and is finite in the information it contains and transmits.

    Large: yes. Infinite: not even close.
     
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  3. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    But if we create the space, can it not be forever created?
     
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  4. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    No because it depends on physical machines to transmit and contain the data and those are a finite number, and must be managed, and cost resources to run. Internet space is actually a commodity.
     
  5. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    interesting...I really don't understand the internet...where "is" everything?
     
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  6. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    this.

    Every part of the web, visible or deep/dark, P2P or client/server, is dependent on physical mediums (even virtualized instances depend on physical boxes.) and is therefore finite. We're still in transition (though on the tail end) to IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6), which greatly expands the "space of the internet" by providing more addresses for connectivity. Theoretically this model should give us 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses (meaning, that many physical devices can connect to the web.)

    While that's an obscenely large number, it is still, by definition, countable, and thus finite.

    (That's 2[SUP]128[/SUP] for all you math nerds out there.)

    /rant
     
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  7. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Littered around the world in various office buildings and server complexes. It's a tangle of machines that talk to each other. It looks something like this:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    Interesting. But in theory, the internet is infinite, it's just the materials that are finite.

    but is the internet created, or does it exist without human creation?


    ...maybe I'm just confusing myself now.
     
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  9. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    it was definitely created; both the information that is housed on the net and the framework for the internet itself (Developed by DARPA, first named ARPANET in 1969, precursor to today's internet).

    Hypothetically, if had infinite hardware, and we could find addressing schemes large enough, it could keep expanding exponentially. But it's still nowhere near infinite, it can still be measured (although very difficult to do so.) Plus, we'd run out of space on the planet if you wanted to keep scaling up the number of connected devices and servers.

    Going back to the human creation part - were everyone to dissappear, the internet, or parts of it rather, might run fine for awhile, but it takes manpower to operate and maintain all those little threads & fringes (nodes, server farms, etc.) you see in [MENTION=6917]sprinkles[/MENTION] picture. It definitely is a result of human creation, and would eventually collapse if humans were to not maintain it.
     
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  10. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    No, look at it this way. Every device needs a handshake to connect to another device. A given device has only so many 'hands' to manage connections. All information on the internet must reside on a device somewhere and this device must follow the handshake rule. There are not infinite devices, and no device can have infinite handshakes, and no device has infinite space.
     
  11. barbad0s

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    the internets is Ne o_o
     
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  12. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    Interesting! Thank you [MENTION=6917]sprinkles[/MENTION] and [MENTION=2240]rawr[/MENTION] !

    Hopefully I didn't make your brain explode from frustration! :)


    I guess I'm not sure what I thought...perhaps the internet was there, but humans created tools to access it...kind of like electricity- the potential has always been there, just harvesting it requires human resources....but maybe that's not even correct.
     
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  14. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Heheh nah. It was made with lots of dudes with big spools of wires wiggling through the crawl spaces and walls of office buildings, under the ground, and eventually under the ocean.
     
  15. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    I find it difficult to understand/comprehend how space (such as bytes) is made, and how information is stored in it.
     
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  16. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    it's a cobbling together of many principles & technologies to make a complex yet effective framework which is internet networking.

    Think of it this way: yes, electricity did exist. Has your phone line always existed? No. But does it utilize electricity? Yes, it converts analog sounds into a digital format which is sent over coax (i think it's coax, right [MENTION=6917]sprinkles[/MENTION]?) cable and eventually translated to the speaker which is essentially a small paper cone which oscillates/pushes back and forth to produce sound waveforms that are audible & recognizable by you/your brain.

    The internet is similar - it utilizes electricity and/or light to carry information across distances, but that methodology, framework, and technology to encode, transport, and decode to a human-readable format had to come from somewhere.

    Someone had to figure out that electricity and light can be interpreted to 0s and 1s, and someone else figured out that this can travel across distances. Then someone else figured out how to expand connectivity. etc, etc.

    It utilizes a fundamental element in nature, but all the underlying and overlying framework (UDP, TCP/IP translation, datagrams, IPSec, MAC addressing, etc.) that wraps around the naturally occurring "things" that are light and electricity had to be engineered, developed, tested, implemented, and of course, maintained.
     
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  17. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    if it makes you feel better, i'm almost done with my IT degree, and while i get how a lot of it works, thinking about it all still makes me go:

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    That's simply how much of a detectable change of state a medium can have in a given segment of that medium.

    An easy way to imagine this is the old punched tape. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_tape
    [​IMG]

    For any given segment of tape, there's an arrangement of holes. Where there is a hole and where there is not a hole can be detected by the machine and is interpreted as a given amount of data. Data storage is still similar to this, except the 'holes' are now incredibly small and electronic, and are read by magnets, lasers, or by the ability for electrons to pass through or not.
     
  19. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    hahaha! Yeah- it makes my head hurt!

    I prefer understanding people, and like to believe things like the internet are magic!
     
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  20. OP
    say what

    say what I like soft things...so soft!

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    So each combination or pattern of holes represents a piece of data? How are words/letters/pictures stored? Just in numbers/binary?
     
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