On Wed, 23 Aug 2000, Matt Cramer <cramer at unix01.voicenet.com> wrote:
(Re: the role of government in the creation of the internet)
> 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.
Note that these scientists and students were working with government support. The internet is a product of lavish government funding for science and education from WWII - the 1990's. Doing what government does best for this - writing checks to fund basic research, with enough money sloshing around that unscheduled stuff can get done. And created an well-funded open-source environment (i.e., the education/research establishment). Such a large, protected environment that people could live within it and lose sight of the boundaries between it and the real world.
Remove that government money, and what would have happened?
Would IBM have created the internet?