Early 1960s. The Cold War engulfs the world. The two sides are at a stand-off. We hate them, they hate us. Children are taught to duck and cover. This is not going to end well.
Paul Baran, a Polish-born Jewish American scientist, is working for the RAND Corporation. His goal is to create a communication system that can survive damage from a nuclear weapon. Baran comes up with something called "message blocks".
These "message blocks" get renamed to "packet switching". For those in the dark, packet switching pretty much makes up the basis of network communication. That's right, without Baran, there wouldn't be... this.
Years pass, the Cold War ends, and Baran's packet switching paves the wave for the Internet. The two sides are no more. Now we're all a global community where you can find more in common with a foreigner half a world away than with someone down the street.
We're still not sure how it's gonna end... But that does seem like an improvement.