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The practical aspects of modern computing were to a large extent born from US defence funding. Starting from the theoretical roots: Von Neumann architecture [0] and various defence projects including ARPA[1].

"But that doesn't necessarily and always mean that people couldn't have invented something without military funding and uses in mind."

Sure, it doesn't. But funding and large number of end users combined with price-inelastic demand for your product enable product development and field testing like no other scenario does.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Draft_of_a_Report_on_the...

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Machine-Licklider-Revolution-Co...

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