Thanks for the WWW, Mr. Vice President

Does Al Gore seriously think that he should take credit for the web? I mean, personally I would prefer that Gore be president instead of G.W. Bush. But get real, Al.

Click here for the whole story)

Does anyone know how many web sites were actually around at the beginning of 1993? I was using the Internet since 1990 and I remember running across plenty of “http…html” references on USENET even in 1992. While there certainly weren’t as many sites as there are today, I’m certain there were much more than “fifty web sites” at the beginning of 1993, no matter what your definition of a “web site” is. It sounds off by a factor of about 100-1000.

A lot of people say that Al Gore claims to have invented the web.
I can’t find that anywhere. Any cites?
From what I’ve seen so far, I’m least afraid of Gore as president.
Peace,
mangeorge


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mangeorge wrote: “A lot of people say that Al Gore claims to have invented the web. I can’t find that anywhere. Any cites?”

He didn’t claim to invent the web; his claim was even more preposterous. Here’s the actual quote:

Al Gore - “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

He said this in a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer. One link for this (there are many) is here: http://jdnews.com/stories/1999/03/17/opin02.shtml.

Al Gore invented in the internet in the same manner that I personally invented the internal combustion engine :slight_smile:

k0myers (on the net since Sep '83)

I guess if I had been thinking, I could have made that a real link. Let’s have a another go at it here:

http://jdnews.com/stories/1999/03/17/opin02.shtml.

There.

k0myers

Good to see you’ve learned something since 1983 :wink:

Omigod, he actually said it!
Thanks, kOmyers.
Peace,
mangeorge
On the web since Nov. 1998 :slight_smile:

One useful thing to be said here, that most people probably know but some probably don’t, is that the internet is not the same as “the web”. The popular media makes the mistake of equating them all the time. The internet predates the web by decades. I would not be surprised to find that Al Gore doesn’t understand this either, even if he claims to have invented the net :slight_smile:

I’ve had this fantasy of being in Wolf Blitzers shoes and just blasting the #$@%^ out of Al Gore for that claim, live, on national TV. :-). I have nothing against Al Gore specifically, mind you, just politicians who talk about things they don’t comprehend in the slightest.

k0myers

As often is the case, people are misinterpreting these remarks (sometimes deliberately so) in order to make someone look bad.

Gore is not claiming he created the Internet. He is saying he took the initiative in its creation – in other words, he was one of the first in Congree, if not the first, to see what it could do and work toward using it. Gore was an early supporter and publicizer of the advantages of the Internet and that publicity was part of the creation process.

While it is true people love to take quotations out of context (I still hear about Bush and Reagan “having sex”), and it is difficult to tell what Gore actually meant, the statement itself cannot be justified as reasonable.

If Spielberg said that he took the initiative in starting World War II with his Private Ryan picture, we can speculate that he actually meant “popularizing” rather than “starting” and misspoke.

I’ll give Gore the benefit of the doubt on actual interpretation, but he deserves at least as much mockery for this mistake as the guy who said Poland was a free country or the guy who preferred the spelling of “potatoe”.

RealityChuck writes: “Gore is not claiming he created the Internet. He is saying he took the initiative in its creation – in other words, he was one of the first in Congree, if not the first, to see what it could do and work toward using it. Gore was an early supporter and publicizer of the advantages of the Internet and that publicity was part of the creation process.”

I disagree - well, I’ll reserve judgement on what Gore actually meant, but I’ve watched the net go from “nobody outside a few scientists and engineers ever heard of it”, to “it’s in everyone’s living room and you can get a net connection in Zaire”, and the process had nothing whatsoever to do with Al Gore.

IMHO, it’s sadly ironic that the people who did have a part in making the internet what it is today are largely unknown.

There was some flap a couple of years ago that claimed Al Gore had said that he and Tipper were the inspiration for the 70s book and movie “Love Story”. The report got reactions from the author, Erich Segal, and basically took the “Gore is an idiot” tack. The truth turned out to be that Gore had casually mentioned to a reporter that the hero from “Love Story” was partly based on him and his college roommate, Tommy Lee Jones. That much turns out to be true. The story sensationalized the facts either to sell more papers, or because they just don’t like Gore. I imagine there’s a lot of that going on in this case too.

That said, Gore has done a lot to support technical issues while vice president. If he takes some credit for the coincidental success of the Internet during the same time frame, it’s no more unreasonable than the real George Bush taking credit for the fall of communism.

<< I have nothing against Al Gore specifically, mind you, just politicians who talk about things they don’t comprehend in the slightest. >> k0myers

Hey, k0, I think that’s redundant.

OTOH, I understand George W. Bush (“the brunette Dan Quayle”) has got his geography fairly scrambled.

Greg Charles writes, “That said, Gore has done a lot to support technical issues while vice president.”

Yeah, I agree - he could be worse :-). Most politicians are completely clueless, while Gore, being only “mostly clueless”, is way ahead of the bulk of them. It’s a rare politician indeed who has even a modest level of scientific literacy, so I suppose one shouldn’t complain too much.

k0myers

Dan Quayle on Gore’s Internet claim:

“If that guy invented the Internet, I invented spell-check.”

Al Gore is off by a factor of 100 - 1000.


“Right is only half of what’s wrong” - George Harrison - Old Brown Shoe -