Who Built the Internet?, NFL Week 4 PicksSeptember 30, 2012
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- My friend Mike linked to this NYT article about the birth of the Internet. It spotlights the creation of the Internet as a political football in the government vs. private industry debate, which was news to me: The Internet’s founding history is generally known as the series of milestones from ARPANET, Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, the National Science Foundation and assorted university computer-science departments — so I was surprised off the bat that there’s an argument that the proto-Internet was the product of private industry. (Not surprisingly, this started at the Wall Street Journal.) The Internet as we know it since the 1990s was certainly shaped almost entirely outside the government, but the original underlying concepts for things like network structure, TCP/IP, etc., sprang from public funding of one type or another.
The author ultimately promotes the idea that peer networks were key to founding the Internet, and that they drive almost all innovation. This is true in a way, but he leaves out the fact that most of those clusters in the Internet’s founding steps were academic institutions frequently funded by the state — the ideas that formed the Internet originated outside of market pressure.
If you ask me, the Internet is a model for exactly how the American innovation economy should ideally function: public funds for exploring science and technology that might not seem profitable at first glance, working with private know-how to perfect and disseminate the things that change society. Not only the Internet but GPS, semiconductors, robitics and blah all grew out of the Cold War’s tightly knit partnerships between public-funded academics and private companies’ marketing and product development. I think if we lose that link between the two by trying to argue absolutely for one or the other, or when we use a generic term like “networks”, we’re losing sight of a huge engine of progress.
- I’m posting my picks here not as actual picks you should use, but as a service in which you take the opposite of my picks, then use that to win. If picking over .500 on the week is considered a win, I’m currently 0-3 after finishing 2nd in my league last year. This makes me the New Orleans Saints of Pick ‘Em.
Last week: 4-12; Overall: 16-31
At Baltimore -12 Cleveland (starting off consistent!)
New England -4 At Buffalo
At Detroit -4.5 Minnesota
At Atlanta -7 Carolina
San Francisco -4 At NY Jets
San Diego -1 At Kansas City
At Houston -12 Tennessee
Seattle -2.5 At St. Louis
At Arizona -5.5 Miami
At Denver -6.5 Oakland
Cincinnati -2.5 At Jacksonville
At Green Bay -7.5 New Orleans
At Tampa Bay -2.5 Washington
At Philadelphia -2 NY Giants
At Dallas -3.5 Chicago