January 12, 2001
7:55 AM   Subscribe

These Gore guys, I tell ya... Al Junior didn't invent the Internet... his dad, Al Senior didn't invent the other superhighway; you know, the one you drive on.
posted by baylink (9 comments total)
I note the following:
Ike had the idea, taken from the Germans, of a superhighway. The alleged notion was to provide jobs. The real idea was to have connections etc in case of military needs. I note too that the usual conservative resistance to this plan, as in any idea that involves improvement, expenditure etc. This social planning was therefore akin to something FDR might have done and hence terrible
Ps: Gore never said he invented the Internet. It was a misreading of what he had said that was picked up by his opponents, who, as usual were quikc to concoct nonsense and then claim Gore a liar.
Even Gore has not said he won the election. If he did say so, he would not be telling a lie.
posted by Postroad at 8:39 AM on January 12, 2001

Al Gore was one of the first U.S. politicians, if not the first, to recognize the potential of the Internet and support it through legislation and promotion. He didn't claim to have invented the Internet. In an interview on CNN, he said, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

He could have stated it more clearly, but what Gore is taking credit for is legislation in Congress that created the Internet as we know it today. Many people give him that much credit:

"Al Gore is not the father of the Internet, but in all fairness, Gore is the person who in the Congress, most systematically worked to make sure that we got to an Internet." -- Newt Gingrich

"I think it is very fair to say that 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." -- Vinton Cerf
posted by rcade at 9:24 AM on January 12, 2001

I did say, did I not, that he *didn't* invent the Internet. I know exactly what he said; it's been quoted several places.

It was just a good lead, guys; c'mon; give a writer a break already, willya? :-)
posted by baylink at 11:38 AM on January 12, 2001

Sorry ... Pavlovian response. As one of the people who actually admits to liking Al Gore, as opposed to supporting him for not being George Bush, I can't believe how much disinformation was spread about him over the past year.

Just this week, I got an e-mail warning me that Al Gore wrote the following on Pg. 342 of his book Earth in the Balance:

"Refusing to accept the earth as our sacred mother, these Christians have become a dangerous threat to the survival of humanity. They are the blight on the environment and to believe in Bible prophecy is unforgivable."

The Urban Legends Web site checked out this claim, and it has no basis in truth. Yet it appears on dozens of pages on the Web and in Usenet postings.

Sometimes I think the slogan of the Internet should be, "Misinformation wants to be free."

posted by rcade at 12:40 PM on January 12, 2001

I believe you've mispelled "disinformation". :-) You know? Metafilter works pretty well from Lynx.
posted by baylink at 12:58 PM on January 12, 2001

I was toldl that Lynda Chavez invented the Internet with the help of a live-in helper, who brought a wide range of experience to us from a country not yet named. This woman, and hubby, are now citizens and at long last are able to work for Ms Chavez. Till citizenship time, she merely sat about sunning herself and collecting a weekly allowance for having a nice dispostion.
posted by Postroad at 12:58 PM on January 12, 2001

The link sez:

On April 27, 1939, Roosevelt transmitted the report to Congress. He recommended that Congress consider action on:

[A] special system of direct interregional highways, with all necessary connections through and around cities, designed to meet the requirements of the national defense and the needs of a growing peacetime traffic of longer range.

So how is it again that Eisenhower came up with the idea?
posted by rodii at 3:07 PM on January 12, 2001

Good catch; I'd missed that. I'm only 35; my first president was Nixon.

I just love the official title:

The National System of Interstate and Defense Highways

My dad was a traffic engineer; I'm pretty sure a book we had when I was a kid was the project proposal for this exact highway system; I'm damned if I know where it's gone, sadly.
posted by baylink at 5:43 PM on January 12, 2001

Eisenhower did not "come up with" the idea. The importance of good roads was recognized early in the 20th century (the AAA had its origin in the Good Roads movement). The modern separated-grade divided highway had its origins in early commuter roads such as the Merrit Parkway and the first US superhighway was the Pennsylvania Turnpike, constructed beginning in 1934. By the time of the 1939 World's Fair, the popularity of the idea was such that GM's immensely popular Futurama exhibit was nothing but a scale model of a 20-year's-hence America with a highly developed highway system.

Eisenhower is generally credited not with the idea itself, but with being its chief proponent in the military -- the direct result of his participation in a 1919 Army expedition meant to prove the utility of motorized vehicles in a cross-country trip. Bogged down in mud, stymied by broken or weak bridges, they took over two months to travel from DC to SF.
posted by dhartung at 11:03 PM on January 12, 2001

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