Valley Girl Sez: Liberarianism Sux!

Matt Cramer cramer at
Tue Aug 22 21:25:26 PDT 2000

On Sun, 20 Aug 2000, Chuck Grimes wrote:

> While your at it, don't forget to remind these new libertarians

30 years is "new"?

> that
> the US government created their entire world.

I believe you mean to say, tax dollars funded the programs that led to the development of the internet. Here's a list of 5 things more important than who wrote the check:

1) Development of a standard language portable to various hardware platforms 2) A standard operating system written in that language 3) Development of a reliable, robust, communications protocol 4) ARIN 5) InterNIC

> Pure fiat drew the new
> economic miracle out of thin air, as Al Gore will probably be
> reminding us in the near future.

No, he'll be sure to tell us again that he personally invented it. You underestimate the importance of the hackers, the freethinkers, the scientists, the students who invented the internet that created the economic miracle. The only reason the .gov wasn't involved is because they didn't predict what would happen (if I had predicted it I'd be philosophizing from my private island right now). Evil capitalists didn't predict it either - even M$, a "high-tech" company, didn't realise how the internet would change their business until about 1995. Only their size and deep pockets kept them afloat for that blunder.

I often here from people how the "internet wouldn't exist w/o the .gov and taxes". Well, fair enough, they paid for it. But the manner in which things were developed and the manner in which they work now is a system free from, or formerly free from, .gov regulation and involvement. Once one gets an understanding of the technology "glue" that holds the internet together, say DNS and name resolution, BGP and distributed routing, and the RFC process, you might become amazed that it works at all. .gov and serious .com involvement in the net is a phenomenon of the past 5 years, but the internet is much older than that.

I've rambled a bit here and elsewhere but my main point is that there is a distinction between the hackers and the silicon valley startups, but that may not seem apparent if you think the internet was created in 1995 by Algore. The author snit referenced was condemning the former's techno-libertarianism because of the latter's practices, and that is bollocks.


-- Matt Cramer <cramer at> The true method of knowledge is experiment.

-William Blake

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