I just learned this. DARPA was originally known as ARPA when it was founded in 1958 at the request of President Eisenhower. The D stands for defense, it was added in 1972 by Richard Nixon.
America was investing not just because it had military applications, we were investing because it improved society, because it made us a better country, because there are real tangible social benefits to living in an advanced society with opportunity for all. It’s entire purpose was to advance the frontier of science with high-risk projects across all fields. This is when ARPANET was invented.
What this means is that the Internet was not invented solely for the military, it was invented for the sake of science, discovery, opportunity, economic growth, and more. Military wasn’t the main focus. This is the America we were for a short period of time, this is the America we will be again.
The 1960s were also the period of time with the highest economic growth in American history.
In 1973 DARPA was dedicated to only programs with short-term benefits directly meant for the military. Our GDP growth has never been as high as the 1960s since then.