September 1, 2011

You hear the one about Al Gore claiming to invent the internet!? Hahah. Oh, wait.

Turns out, he just said:

I took the initiative in creating the Internet

Which…is true, even according to leading internet nerds

Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, stating “No one in public life has been more intellectually engaged in helping to create the climate for a thriving Internet than the Vice President.”[14]

Check in with Snopes, doubters. More:

The High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991 (HPCA) is an Act of Congresspromulgated in the 102nd United States Congress as Pub.L. 102-194 on 1991-12-09. Often referred to as the Gore Bill,[1] it was created and introduced by then SenatorAlbert Gore, Jr., and led to the development of the National Information Infrastructure and the funding of the National Research and Education Network (NREN).[1][2][3]

The act built on prior U.S. efforts of developing a national networking infrastructure, starting with the ARPANET in the 1960s, and the funding of the National Science Foundation Network (NSFnet) in the 1980s. The renewed effort became known in popular language as building the Information Superhighway.[2][4] It also included the High-Performance Computing and Communications Initiative and spurred many significant technological developments, such as the Mosaicweb browser,[5] and the creation of a high-speedfiber opticcomputer network.

Senator Al Gore developed the Act[1] after hearing the 1988 report Toward a National Research Network[6] submitted to Congress by a group chaired by UCLA professor of computer science Leonard Kleinrock, one of the creators of the ARPANET, which is regarded as the eve network of the Internet.[7]

The bill was enacted on 1991-12-09 and led to the National Information Infrastructure (NII)[8] which Gore referred to as the “information superhighway“. President George H. W. Bush predicted that the Act would help “unlock the secrets of DNA,” open up foreign markets to free trade, and a promise of cooperation between government, academia, and industry.[9]

Among the many technological achievements that resulted from the funding of the Gore Bill, was the development of Mosaic in 1993,[5][10] the World Wide Web browser software which is credited by most scholars as beginning the Internet boom of the 1990s:

Gore’s legislation also helped fund the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, where a team of programmers, including Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, created the Mosaic Web browser, the commercial Internet’s technological springboard. ‘If it had been left to private industry, it wouldn’t have happened,’ Andreessen says of Gore’s bill, ‘at least, not until years later.’ [11]

More, via Reddit comments:

Comcast is not producing the product they’re charging for…They’re not the internet…They’re just the pipe it comes in…

[–]Z0idberg_MD 916 points

And the US taxpayer paid to build most of the pipes.

[–]tadpoleloop 123 points

I just saw a talk given by Jaron Lanier, and he basically said that the ‘ridiculous rumour’ that Al Gore invented the internet is actually not too far from reality. Back when the baby internet was a loosely connected cluster of networks Al Gore really pushed to have them all crucially connected.

For some reason I thought this was connected to the ‘series of tubes’ comment, but I can no longer understand why I thought that lol. Bah.

[–]TheChance 63 points

More directly, see the High Performance Computing Act of 1991, also known as Gore’s Billand directly responsible for funding what would become the WWW and consumer broadband.

[–]SoldierHawk 44 points

I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that this man could have been our President.

Funded the creation of the internet. (Deserved) Nobel Prize. Would take actual steps towards dealing with climate change.

But no, circa 2000, “hurr-durr, Al Gore says he created the internet hahahaha.”

God dammit.

[–]ripgroupb 20 points

I mean he should’ve been president. The election was decided by the Supreme Court.

I was 12 when it happened and it still pisses me off

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