In the early 1980s (a full decade before the WWW started to come on its own) 25 million people in France went on-line to bank, check the weather, chat, make reservations, socialize, check stock prices without computers: they used a free Minitel terminal.
When the time came a few years ago to find an Inuktitut term for the word “Internet,” Nunavut’s former Official Languages Commissioner, Eva Aariak, chose ikiaqqivik, or “traveling through layers”. The word comes from the concept describing what a shaman does when asked to find out about living or deceased relatives or where animals have disappeared to: travel across time and space to find answers. According to the elders, shamans used to travel all over the world: to the bottom of the ocean, to the stratosphere, and even to the moon. In fact, the 1969 moon landing did not impress Inuit elders. They simply said, “We’ve already been there!” Coincidentally, the Internet model does really consist of 7 layers.