Skip to comments.Who Really Invented the Internet?
Posted on 07/23/2012 7:06:51 AM PDT by Pharmboy
Contrary to legend, it wasn't the federal government, and the Internet had nothing to do with maintaining communications during a war.
A telling moment in the presidential race came recently when Barack Obama said: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." He justified elevating bureaucrats over entrepreneurs by referring to bridges and roads, adding: "The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all companies could make money off the Internet."
It's an urban legend that the government launched the Internet. The myth is that the Pentagon created the Internet to keep its communications lines up even in a nuclear strike. The truth is a more interesting story about how innovation happensand about how hard it is to build successful technology companies even once the government gets out of the way.
For many technologists, the idea of the Internet traces to Vannevar Bush, the presidential science adviser during World War II who oversaw the development of radar and the Manhattan Project....
...by the 1960s technologists were trying to connect separate physical communications networks into one global networka "world-wide web." The federal government was involved, modestly, via the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Its goal was not maintaining communications during a nuclear attack, and it didn't build the Internet. Robert Taylor, who ran the ARPA program in the 1960s, sent an email to fellow technologists in 2004 setting the record straight: "The creation of the Arpanet was not motivated by considerations of war. The Arpanet was not an Internet. An Internet is a connection between two or more computer networks."
If the government didn't invent the Internet, who did?
(Excerpt) Read more at professional.wsj.com ...
Read the book “Where Wizards Stay up Late” and you will actually know the answer:
It is an excellent article. Note the comments after, though. Some folks are freaking out. I’d like the hear the author follow up on some of the datapoints that others are spilling, though.....
I also loved the factoid about Jobs getting the investment (and the info) from Xerox private capital / equity....a less there, also regarding companies too large to change.
I think AT&T started digitizing its long distance lines to reduce line loss before ARPA got involved.
Thanks, man...great stuff.
we would log into to porn sites just to see how they were pushing the technology envelope.”
And before that, you read the magazine articles just to see how cutting edge the journalism was.....
Well, the DoD certainly had needs and inspired some innovations; no question it was an early user as your history attests. However, the Internet was a collaboration between individuals in private industry and academia, with government employees adding to it, no doubt; but for the president to state that it was a ‘government invention’ is nonsense, and that is what Crovitz was dealing with.
It is a vicious circle.
Men and women have their own Achilles heel when it comes to sinning, which is why there are more men in prison. The way they hurt tends to be more “verifiable” and physical. And pr0n is not just a male issue. When women let themselves go and have six months headaches, ignoring the biblical “your body is not your own” teaching, men WILL find other avenues.
The older I get (I’m 58 now), the more I see sex as similar to eating: Eating is necessary for physical health and sex is necessary for psychological health. And just as you can ruin yourself with junk food, you can ruin yourself with “junk sex”. And the wife that does not even attempt to meet the husband’s appetite in both areas is playing with fire.
Not that the woman is to blame. Far from it. But once she knows the risk, she may at least try to do her part to nurture a marriage where the risk is at least mitigated. And then the husband has to do his part.
Many years before 1994, amateur (ham) radio operators, myself included, were chatting with people all around the world in actual real time without using phone lines or satellites.
“healing” of network communications
Unfortunately the Internet we have to day is nowhere near the robust and self healing network they envisioned.
Take out a few key nodes and it’s worthless.
Don't know about 1939, but by the 60's and 70's, Picturephone was just the right fit. AT&T had control of dial network and the wire. PP allowed for xmit and rec of images and voice over three twisted pair through the dial network. Of course that all changed 1/1/84.
I felt totally compelled to copy the pic you posted in #24, for future use. It truly represents the individual.
That’s right. If ‘the Internet’ is going to be defined as the ability for computers to communicate across networks, you’ve really watered it down to something beyond that which we know today. Businesses were looking for and working on such basic interconnection for decades. For example, TCP/IP just happens to be one standard protocol that one out—largely as a ‘beyond IBM’ solution—in no small part because Ethernet cofounder Bob Metcalfe left PARC and in the late ‘70s founded 3Com, which successfully commercialized it.
It really is the ‘world wide web’ as proposed by Timothy Berners-Lee in the late ‘80s and which he commercialized in the early ‘90s that led to the phenomenon we know today.
There were weak attempts, known as ‘value-added networks’, through the ‘80s to provide a consumer-level network service that provided some of the more basic, popular Internet capabilities that spread like wildfire once TBL got netscape cranking.
This is where I learned who invented the internet when I visited it in the 1990’s.
The thing about DARPA is there are no “DARPA labs” where things are designed, built, or coded. They essentially develop requirements and fund industry/FFRDCs/college labs to develop things.
I’ve worked on multiple DARPA projects (with a private contractor) so I think I know what I’m talking about.
They aren’t “performers” - there’s no DARPA lab where government DARPA employees in white coats are designing death rays or writing code. DARPA headquarters is a small office building where people manage contracts and move money around.
What DARPA does is solicit ideas, generate requests for proposals, choose contractors, fund them, manage programs, and then tries to get the military to transition those projects.
“To fulfill its mission, the Agency relies on diverse performers...”
I can’t verify this anywhere else but in one of Duckie’s ramblings on an NCIS episode he said that photography was invented for porn.
Interest in porn is just a symptom of a man who does not have a satisfying sex life at home.
It should be recognized that the military plays a key role in driving the cutting edge of technology and the future wealth of our country. Military need drove the initial development of nuclear, computer, internet, microwave, jet airplane technology. This process has been true for thousands of years. That’s because the military is usually the first customer for a new technology because only they are willing to pay the initial price. We’re seeing that today in robotics. Technology is the second front in our fight against socialism/big government and the military is on our side. In the future robots will be the first worker class in history that don’t mind having all their work output confiscated. Socialism might finally be sustainable. The race to push technology is very important in the fight to prevent America from being destroyed by leftism. If we continue to defund the military, we our defunding our future.
Heck, the guy doesn’t even understand the protocols he’s talking about. He’s describing Ethernet as a protocol for connecting networks together. This is false. Ethernet is a local area network protocol for creating a network. He does mention TCP/IP, and that’s the important one for connecting networks together. Ethernet just happens to be the protocol which won, but there have been plenty of various LAN protocols over time.
I can remember using ARPANET back in my undergrad days before the internet really got opened to general use. Back then it was restricted mostly to universities, defense and research labs.
It was when Tim Bethers-Lee came up with the html protocol at CERN that the internet exploded. Before that it was limited to email and netnews groups which were just text based forums. I spent a lot of time on those old forums.
I can still remember when the post doc came into the lab to show off Mosaic to demonstrate this new web thing. The software was extremely buggy and there was about nothing to connect to in any case. Amazing how far it has all come.
There is some truth to the contention that the government invented the internet, but only in terms of the DARPA projects as you say, though the guy invented html on CERN’s dime which is government as well. Fully blossoming it into what it is today was a matter of private enterprise and it really does show the value of the free market because the whole internet/web area of commerce was so poorly understood by governments that they didn’t vaguely know how to start regulating it. Thus it was not strangled in infancy.
Boy, are YOU missing out. They have soda-machines ******* with zombie donkeys now. This is GOOD STUFF!
“It wasn’t Al Gore. “
But...but...but...he SAID he did!
Dr Buzzard, you have indeed nailed it (w/apologies to Laz lol)
Academics at Universities really picked up on the net as way to communicate with colleagues world wide at time when long distance phone calls were very expensive.
Originally the net was tightly controlled by DOD.
In a historic quirk of fate, the the breakdown of the Soviet Union coincided almost perfectly with the development and mass marketing of powerful personal computers to consumers in the general public.
These users of these computers needed a way to link up and network with other users.
Researchers in the Silicone Valley were familiar with the ARPA net because many of them had worked on the development of the system or had been users of the system while in Grad School.
At universities like Stanford, the distinction between official and personal use of the net became blurred in the dynamic, free wheeling academic environment prevailing at the time as personal computer ownership by student and faculty soared and the DOD controls on the net wound down as the Cold War waned.
As a pioneer test case, Stanford University decided to wire the entire campus for networked communications from the dorms to the research labs and gave the project to a small Bay Area company run by a husband and wife team that developed and installed the hardware for the network using the ARPA net protocols as the framework for the system. The husband and wife did an amazing job of designing and building the hardware and even pulled the wire and installed the much of the system themselves. The system and the project was very successful and the husband and wife team went on to form a company known as Cisco Systems to commercialized the technology to the world market.
Stanford was a doable project because it already was extensively wired with infrastructure for the ARPA net, but the only existing infrastructure for a nation wide network was the DOD ARPA net.
At the same time the Cold War was winding down at an increasingly fast pace.
As the Cold War wound down, there were massive defense cuts so the military needs of the ARPA net declined and the DOD was looking for partners to share the enormous costs of keeping the network operating and maintaining it.
They looked to the emerging civilian computer networking industry to provide the necessary support.
Congress passed laws retooling the ARPA net for private use and the the rest is history. In fairness to AL Gore, he did take a lead in pushing this privatization.
No. that a telephone system.
Awesome. And we were here. We were here when there was nothing and here for the beginning. No, not just here, we participated in its birth and guided its infancy. Do we know what have we done? Do we understand what we’ve created? What will we do when it becomes aware? If this shall be created in our own image, perhaps we should be afraid...very afraid.
We used to use those funny keypads installing speed dialers onto phone systems in the 80’s
Thanks for posting this link. Great timeline from 1962 to 1992. Explains the beginning of connecting computers to the visual graphics.
“During the summer, students at NCSA in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign modify Tim Berners-Lees hypertext proposal. In a few weeks MOSAIC is born within the campus. Larry Smarr shows it to Jim Clark, who founds Netscape as a result.
The WWW bursts into the world and the growth of the Internet explodes like a supernova.”
The Internet was created by Judge Greene. ;-)
Years ago, I was a contracted private English teacher to a high up Sony executive who had been moved over to a Sony subsidiary and needed to up his English skill level for the new job.
He was a decent, honest man, but more interested in reliving his past contributions to the company than in developing the English skills necessary for his future in the company. This was, in fact, the normal case for people in similar positions.
Anyway, since my Japanese skills were far better than your average contracted private English teacher, we soon developed a friendship. The gentleman was eventually a very useful connection in getting me out of English teaching and into serious corporate work.
One day, he told me he had been deeply involved in the Betamax development. They were smaller, better quality and technologicallty superior to the VHS technology. The Betamax was also on the market first.
While it is true that Sony did make the error of believing the major market for the technology would be people who would record their own television shows rather than a player technology for prerecorded shows, what made the VHS eventually win out was sheer market penetration.
The key reason for this was that Sony had limited prerecorded offerings (software) and refused to get involved in the distribution of pornography. The VHS rival technology did not. As a result of the Betamax loss, Sony bought (and nearly went under financially) Columbia Pictures and became less family friendly.
When Sony took down Toshiba with the Blu-Ray technology over the HD-DVD more recently, they had both the software (Columbia) and the lack of moral restraint against distributing pornography to fight that war to a strategic victory.
You meant Silicon Valley. Silicone Valley is somewhere near Hollywood.
” it was private individuals who made it small enough and powerful enough and fast enought “
And people think Thomas Edison invented the first electric light bulb. He did not! Not even close! But he improved it, and made it practical. He was also known to be quite an a-hole!
The '70's is way before your '80's.
I was using public internet in the '80's. I certainly wouldn't give the DOD the credit.
I remember my brothers using TI’s and Commodores in the early 80’s to connect to BBS’ and the money quote that forever haunts me is “Can you imagine being able to connect any library in the world and read every book ever written?”
Told them it was stupid and a waste of time. I also recall those cassettes were, to me, just plain lame.
And yet, here I sit wasting time and whenever I want I can read just about any book every written....
If I’d only had a little imagination who knows where I’d be today...
Ya had me going until I read you about page and fould you are a lawyer.
Kidding, just kidding, take it easy
So BUSH invented the internet!!
funny factoid most people don’t know.
ROLM, the first major PBX manufacturer to make Voice Mail work with it’s system was also one of the 1st companies to provide military hardened computers to the military.
Ever see the movie, “Middlement”? It is historically interesting and the opening part is especially fascinating, and dead on.
BTW, those prices look pretty good but it looks like some of that stuff would result in injury. It also looks pretty “racy”!
It is not a coincidence that many, if not most, of the key innovations which we enjoy today can trace their ancestry back to one of the following:
My university had an intranet by 1977, with email and chat capabilities. Many of us students received homework assignments, studied graphic presentations of subject matter, communicated with our professors, or submitted assignments through this system. In retrospect it was not all that clunky. Being able to dial up the university from one's home-brew computer and work from the home office was a great convenience and a real thrill.
When it comes to distributing entertainment media, if you have moral restraints, it will be your undoing. It is quite sad, really. I did not like the prominent display of the 50 shades of gray books in Costco last Saturday.
They speak of the world wide web early on, but as I recall the eb came about after the development of the magellen browser that fully enabled HTML and the world wide web.
The Magellan and subsequent Netscape browsers were certainly not government developed so the Messianic claim is yet another indication of his shallow education.
Sony could have/should have been Apple. They had the Walkman decades before mp3 players existed. Now that Apple has a reputation to protect they are becoming more like Sony and won't distribute seedy material. They probably won't make the transition into the coming consumer robotics "dot com II" boom.
So, the long and short of it: Al Gore & the federal gubmint didnt invent the internets?
Researchers in the Silicone Valley
You meant Silicon Valley. Silicone Valley is somewhere near Hollywood.
Yikes, global spell check and global find and replace is not my friend.
Actually, now I can one up Al Gore and say I invented the Silicone Valley.
Sounds pretty impressive does it not?