From: Zhang, Yangkun (Yangkun.Zhang@FMR.COM)
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 07:58:41 PDT
I posit that what Al Gore was pushing in congress had little to do with the
modern Internet, but was something more like France's failed Minitel system.
Note the two following quotes from the Sept 12, 2000 issue of Red Herring:
From this issue of Red Herring:
The Red Herring interview: E-Gore
JP: Within the technology industry, your remarks about the Internet have
been widely ridiculed --
And what were those remarks? [Smiles] I said, "I took the initiative in
Congress." It was lampooned as a statement that I invented the Internet. I
never said that. What I did say was characterized as an effort to get more
credit than I deserved. I regret that. But I am proud of the role that I did
PH: And that role was what, exactly?
Twenty-four years ago I began to proselytize for the creation of
high-capacity broadband networks. I assure you, at that time there was no
one else in Congress even talking about it. I pressed for the idea of an
"information superhighway," a metaphor based on what I had learned as a
child watching my father author the legislation that created the interstate
highway system in America. I remember them debating how wide the lanes
should be, that the signs should be green.
However, from another article in that same magazine:
The Red Eye: Inventing the Internet:
Coincidentally, and apropos to this month's issue, in the same speech by Mr.
Clark that we covered for that 1994 article, he also chided "a certain
politician for creating the fantasy of the 'information superhypeway' as a
means of trying to emulate his father's role in the construction of the
interstate highway." Which proves that as of 1994, Big Al was still
hitchhiking with Larry and Bill down a highway that never got built. So for
the record, even if Al Gore did invent the Internet, he didn't see its full
commercial possibilities until well after Silicon Valley at large did.
So at best, Al Gore's characterization, at least if you believe Netscape's
founder Mr. Clark, is at best a wild exaggeration. George Gilder--the
closest thing to an industry prophet, who predicted the rise of CDMA over
TDMA, and the rise of broadband (Gilder was right whereas everyone including
Mr Grove and Gates were wrong)--said in 1993 that Clinton/Gore would try to
take credit for the ensuing connectivity revolution. We are now at that
moment in time. Clinton/Gore, along with Grove/Gates, were all pushing for
wrong thing--esp. bad were Clinton/Gore's policy via the FCC. They
(Clinton/Gore/Gates) were all pushing for Interactive TV, the former via the
FCC (pushing HDTV and then DTV) and Gates via his purchase of WebTV et all.
According to Red Herring:
While Larry and Bill (Gates, not Clinton) were agreeing, Jim Clark was
bolting from his first startup, Silicon Graphics, and teaming up with
22-year-old whiz kid Marc Andreessen and his development team from the
University of Illinois to start Netscape (then called Mosaic
Communications). "I've learned everything I know about the Internet over the
last three months, have become convinced that the Internet is the
information superhighway, and that Marc Andreessen's vision is right on,"
pronounced Mr. Clark at a 1994 gathering of the Stanford Business School
Alumni Association, in probably the most prophetic statement ever recorded
in Red Herring.
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