What's the real story behind Al Gore Inventing the Internet?





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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: What's the real story behind Al Gore Inventing the Internet?
By Simba (Simba) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 06:51 pm: Edit

Xiggi-I did the search for you:

Bush runs commercials mocking Al Gore saying the he claims to have invented the Internet. Bush claims Gore is a liar and that he can't be trusted. Here's the story behind the story and you determine who is lying and who is telling the truth.

The following is a terrific article written by Mountain Democrat columnist David Jacobsen.

The Issue is Trust

Let's say the Associated Press or Time Magazine wants to consider me for a job. I'd have to whisk together a resume that might include the following: "My column appears regularly on the award-winning editorial page of the Mountain Democrat."

Of course, I had nothing to do with winning the award, earned by Editor Michael Raffety. He did, though, let me park on his illustrious page. So nobody could fault me for basking in his reflected glory.

Unless, of course, I were running for president.

Exhibit A is Al Gore. People eager to lie about him continue to portray him as a liar. First lie, that he claims to have "invented" the Internet. Second lie, that he claims to have "discovered" the pollution of Love Canal. Third lie, that he falsely claims to be the model for Oliver Barrett IV, hero of Love Story.

Gore never claimed that he "invented" the Internet, which implies that he engineered the technology. The invention occurred in the seventies and allowed scientists in the Defense Department to communicate with each other. In a March 1999 interview with Wolf Blitzer, Gore said, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Taken in context, the sentence, despite some initial ambiguity, means that as a congressman Gore promoted the system we enjoy today, not that he could patent the science, though that's how the quotation has been manipulated. Hence the disingenuous substitution of "inventing" for the actual language.

For a heady while we hoped that the Bush campaign would prove their man to be the champion of honesty and integrity that he pretends to be, especially for those looking for a squeaky clean new White House. A couple of weeks ago the campaign rejected a shoddy commercial showing Gore saying that Clinton never told a lie. Problem was that the clip showed an interview from 1994, long before Clinton ever heard of Monica Lewinsky.

To his credit, Bush scrapped the commercial before it aired. But as I write, his campaign is unloading a new commercial, featuring a sneer at the fragment from the Internet claim, again implying that Gore had nothing to do with the Internet's creation. At least they got the words right; it would be dangerous to doctor the tape.

But the real question is what, if anything, did Gore actually do to create the modern Internet? According to Vincent Cerf, a senior vice president with MCI Worldcom who's been called the Father of the Internet, "The Internet would not be where it is in the United States without the strong support given to it and related research areas by the Vice President in his current role and in his earlier role as Senator."

The inventor of the Mosaic Browser, Marc Andreesen, credits Gore with making his work possible. He received a federal grant through Gore's High Performance Computing Act. The University of Pennsylvania's Dave Ferber says that without Gore the Internet "would not be where it is today."

Joseph E. Traub, a computer science professor at Columbia University, claims that Gore "was perhaps the first political leader to grasp the importance of networking the country. Could we perhaps see an end to cheap shots from politicians and pundits about inventing the Internet?"

The Love Canal canard distorts a story Gore told to a high school class in Concord, New Hampshire. In answer to a question about how students could get involved in politics, Gore described a letter he'd received from a girl in West Tennessee while he was a congressman. Based on the girl's complaint about a poisoned well, he organized an investigation, which in turn led to other pollution sites, culminating in the expose of Love Canal. Referring to the well in Toone, Tennessee, Gore said, "That was the one you didn't hear of--but that was the one that started it all."

The media was quick to misquote the line as "I was the one that started it all." Seemingly dissatisfied with Gore's style, the Republican National Committee improved the line thus: "I was the one who started it all." When the Concord Monitor and the Boston Globe exposed what had really been said in that high school class, the New York Times, the Washington Post and U.S. News offered grudging corrections of their reportorial errors.

Some of the media's stars had rare fun with the idea that Al Gore was the kernel for Ryan O'Neal's most famous role; but no one seemed interested in finding out whether Gore was telling the truth or not. CNBC's Chris Matthews chortled. "It reminds me of Snoopy thinking he's the Red Baron." But in this case Snoopy really is the Red Baron. Erich Segal, author of Love Story, corroborated that Gore and his Harvard roommate, Tommy Lee Jones, were indeed the models for the story's main character.

Given that Gore was telling the truth, what's the issue? We have an odd bit of trivia of no relevance to the election--except to those liars who want to portray Gore as a liar.

All of these malicious whoppers have been exposed for over a year and have received pusillanimous apologies, often mean-spirited and grudging, from the so-called "liberal" press that promoted them. But like a corrupting disease the lies simply refuse to go away.

So, it would appear that Bush is the one lying and can't be trusted. If it wasn't for Al Gore, you might not be reading this right now.

By Simba (Simba) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 12:56 am: Edit

Xiggi: Earlier you claimed,"..that he invented the Internet," Just like all the rightwing mouth pieces.

As you yourself pointed out, the transcripts show," During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

There is a big difference.....Taken in context, the sentence, despite some initial ambiguity, means that as a congressman Gore promoted the system we enjoy today, not that he could patent the science, though that's how the quotation has been manipulated. Hence the disingenuous substitution of "inventing" for the actual language.

But well if you consider lies from the right as the gospel truth, no amount of factual convincing will do any good.

BTW how do you change the font and color of text on this board?

By Magoo (Magoo) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 01:04 am: Edit

:)

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 01:16 am: Edit

who cares. Gore is an irrelevant screaming airbag now.

By Magoo (Magoo) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 01:21 am: Edit

i care, he spent 8 years in the executive office and faired pretty well, its ashame that people will abuse hos quotes, and neglect his achievement because he is no longer in office.

what if someone were to say that about reagan, granted he wasn't as great as people hype him up to be.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 01:38 am: Edit

S P I N N I N G ... S P I N N I N G

Let's try this one: Bill Gates took the initiative in creating Microsoft. Is that sentence ambiguous?

I know that the ambiguity of words like "IS" was a common defense in DC in the 1990s. However, students are taught to analyze sentences and weigh the individual merits of words. Was it an unfortunate accident to juxtapose the following words: I - as in Al Gore took the INITIATIVE in CREATING the Internet? There is nothing disingenuous about the interpretation of his words, and no amount of intellectual spinning will change my conclusion. And that is all the time I want to spent on this bombastic buffoon.

Oh, just click on Help and rules on the left side of your screen. You will find the ways to change fonts and colors.

PS Can you guess the author of this:

"Al Gore invented the Internet. For the record, I, too, am an inventor. I invented George Stephanopoulos."
(Source: Boston Globe, March 28, 1999.)

By Simba (Simba) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 08:56 am: Edit

Right wing attack machines do work. The brainwashing is complete.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 10:56 am: Edit

God, can we have just one thread about something remotely related to politics without it turning into some bitter character shots?

It's one person's analysis of a quote, it's not "brainwashing" or a right wing attack machine, it's just a fricken' quote. People go after Bush all the time for weird quotes, so if you dish it out, you should be ready to take it.

By Smhop (Smhop) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 07:24 pm: Edit

the author of that quote about Stephanopoulos is Clinton. Very funny, I might add.

Top Ten Other Achievements Claimed By Al Gore
10. Was first human to grow an opposable thumb

9. Only man in world to sleep with someone named "Tipper"

8. Holds world record for keeping most balls in the air at one time.

7. He invented the dog

6. While riding bicycle one day, accidentally invented the orgasm

5. Pulled U.S. out of early 90's recession by personally buying 6,000 T-shirts

4. Starred in CBS situation comedy with Juan Valdez, "Juan for Al, Al for Juan"

3. Was inspiration for Ozzy Osboune song "Crazy Train"

2. Came up with popular catchphrases "Don't go there, girlfriend" and "Talk to the hand!"

1. Gave mankind fire

By Nitokenshi (Nitokenshi) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 07:32 pm: Edit

I forgot the story but It has to do with his dad and because of his dad we now have internet.

By Kluge (Kluge) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 07:42 pm: Edit

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Xiggi - are you saying that there's nothing disingenuous about "interpreting" that to mean "I invented the Internet"?

And by the way - you are aware that Bill Gates didn't write the code for MS-DOS, the product which Microsoft was built on, aren't you?

By Simba (Simba) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 09:23 pm: Edit

Kluge:

I am just surprised by the ability of these attack machines and air monkeys to brainwash young minds. Here we are talking about 'lies or deceptions' (internet, Love canal, Love Story) that occured 4 years ago, (when they were 14) and even today they are defending them as gospel truth. I guess the secrete is that if you shout the lodest and often, they become 'true' (I guess that's why flat earth people lost their cause - they didn't have Fox).

BTW good link.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 11:46 pm: Edit

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Xiggi - are you saying that there's nothing disingenuous about "interpreting" that to mean "I invented the Internet"?

And by the way - you are aware that Bill Gates didn't write the code for MS-DOS, the product which Microsoft was built on, aren't you?


Does the legend of Q-DOS of Seattle Computer Products come to mind? It is also directly related to DR-DOS that does not stand for Doctor Dos. If a certain CEO had been a bit more attentive to IBM ouvertures, we might have had to find another company to hate. At least Microsoft rolls of the tongue a lot better than Intergalactic Digital Research.

I see you like Microsoft trivia? Who was Microsoft 6th employee? And why did he never become a millionaire? That is another Seattle connection!

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 11:58 pm: Edit

Simba~

There is no dark machine at work here. One problem with the well-meaning democrats is that they always seem to assume that young people have not learned how to read yet and that all their information comes through earphones plugged in an I-POD.

I wish you would understand that some of us believe to be capable of thinking for ourselves. An idea that still seems too novel for the ones who believe in an overreaching type of government.

We may not like what is happening in Washington but the mediocre alternative of someone like Kerry is even less attractive.

By Simba (Simba) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 08:51 pm: Edit

Because Xiggi on other threads you write and reason extremely well. However, when it comes to politics that is left of your beliefs you seem to lose all your objectivity. It seems you turn in to another person. You are a very bright boy. Compare your logic, tone and language with that of CraigK or jlq3d

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 02:30 pm: Edit

Simba,

Congrats, you've moved from the most ridiculous and bitter partisan remarks I've ever read to condescension veiled in constructive criticism.

It's only a quote, no need to start insulting teenagers, Fox, and Republicans. There was no evil conspiracy to twist Al Gore's words into that phrase- it was a legitimate interpretation of a quote that sounded rather humorous. It was picked up by EVERYONE- including SNL, MadTV, etc. because it was humorous. It did not cost him the election, it was only a amusing tidbit that came out of the 2000 election. So, excuse me, but please stop bitching (ie. insulting everyone who has this interpretation) about something so trivial.

The internet is really just a network of networks "inter"woven to be able to be accessed by the average American. I believe it was originally a military project to hook their networks up, and then they included more networks until they realized the potential of consumer use. This was funded by Congress and voted on by Gore, so yes, the quote "I invented the Internet" can be both funny, misleading (in both directions), and somewhat true.

Finally- Bill Gates > The World


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