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VMs: The VMS in context
The beginnings of freedom of information began with Johannes Gutenburg. This
was the early equivalent of the internet. State secrets can be on the
internet before the politicians even know they have them. OK maybe a bit of
an exaggeration. However the printing press was like the internet. The
churches were no longer in control of the distribution of information. You
have to look past the accepted history to see why some were burned at the
stake. It was like the secret leaks a government makes to weaken opponents,
not merely to inform an information hungry public. The church was even
losing control of it's cipher systems.
It had recently fragmented into two camps and factional wars constantly
broke out. The fallout from these wars are still seen in religiously mixed
communities today. Most notable in my neck of the woods is Northern Ireland.
Look how long that lasted.
The VMS was written with a similar intent to those that wrap their emails in
pgp. Not necessarily because they had dangerous content, but because opinion
itself was dangerous. If you didn't think like the dictators in the church
wanted you to think times would become very bad for you. Mobs can easily be
stirred from the pulpit. Christianity was in the same phase then that
religions in developing countries are today. The latter now have the
advantage of the internet.
Look to the parallels in today's society to find the relevance. Salman
Rushdie was very nearly the modern equivalent to Giordano Bruno. So what has
changed? Has history ended as Marx suggested it would? Or has it remained
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