Saturday, December 03, 2005

What do you know? Al Gore DID invent the Internet.  

Well, not really. But then, he never claimed he did - he claimed that, in Congress, he "took the initiative in creating" it. And what do you know? According to the "father of the Internet" Vint Cerf, he did.

"No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time ... As far back as the 1970s Congressman Gore promoted the idea of high speed telecommunications as an engine for both economic growth and the improvement of our educational system ... Our work on the Internet started in 1973 and was based on even earlier work that took place in the mid-late 1960s. But the Internet, as we know it today, was not deployed until 1983. When the Internet was still in the early stages of its deployment, Congressman Gore provided intellectual leadership by helping create the vision of the potential benefits of high speed computing and communication ... No one in public life has been more intellectually engaged in helping to create the climate for a thriving Internet than the Vice President."

I suppose this is old news to most people. But I still got a chuckle when I ran across this site yesterday ... and learned that the "Al Gore Invented the Internet" story was cooked up by a historian and reporter and blown out of proportion by the media, and in the end is a bigger fabrication than what he actually said on March 9, 1999:

I'll be offering my vision when my campaign begins. And it will be comprehensive and sweeping. And I hope that it will be compelling enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be. But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

Now is that "a whopper of a tall tale in which he claimed to have invented the Internet," or a simple statement that was grossly distorted? You decide.




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