Stephen Black wrote:

> Well, there was a news item not too long ago in _Science_ (note the
> precision of that reference, if you will) which, surprisingly,
> defended Gore. He certainly didn't invent the internet, but informed
> opinion seemed to be that he did help its development.
        His help was _political_, though, not intellectual. The impression is being
given in the media that Al Gore has a strong technical background in
networking. He doesn't. He did, however, have the political influence
necessary to provide a lot of funding support.

        The actual Internet was an expansion of the ARPANet, which originated in
the late seventies as a way of linking research universities with the
military. The work was done at such institutions as MIT, Stanford, etc. and
it was not (unless you had a friend with the computer science department of
a participating university--as I, and many others did who could give you an
account--or unless you hacked into it, as many did, of course) available to
the public. The actual Internet was born in the early 1980s as a result of
funding from the government which established a backbone and provided grants
for academic institutions to develop access to the backbone.

        Of course, given the character of the net (and the invasion of the
commercial providers such as aol and prodigy), I don't know if it's much of
a compliment to Al Gore to say he "invented" it, but . . .


Rick Adams
Department of Social Sciences
Jackson Community College, Jackson, MI

"... and the only measure of your worth and your deeds
will be the love you leave behind when you're gone."

Michael Callen, the Flirtations, "Everything Possible"

Reply via email to