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Re: NSF and the Birth of the Internet
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 07:00:57 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: "David P. Reed" <dpreed () reed com>
Date: August 18, 2008 5:58:12 PM EDT
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Cc: ip <ip () v2 listbox com>
Subject: Re: [IP] NSF and the Birth of the Internet

Whenever I talk about some aspect of Internet history, I personally try to be as inclusive as possible - as you probably know. The great thing about the Internet was the insight that there could be "One Network" that included them all - and a lot of people contributed to that grand effort.

You'd think that we could have *InterHistory* - a general sense that a network that worked by being inclusive was built by people who tried hard to be inclusive. I can't help but think that it's the johnny-come-latelies who want their ego gratified. These are the folks who weren't around when the greats who invented packet-based communications and reduced it to practice created the foundation, and the visionaries like Van Bush, Englebart, Licklider, and Taylor created the transformative notion of how people would use such a grand vision to transform the world.

These guys thought big, crazy thoughts. NSF, BBN, Cisco, ... just followed their directions - doing great engineering, yes. But the idea that *Ray Tomlinson* gets the credit for electronic messaging, when Englebart did what he did is insane.

Not to disparage Ray - he was a great engineer, and contributed much more than the "@".

David Farber wrote:
Come on Dave it is just the 1984 mode of USG lately. I was rather pissed with the VERY small mention of CSNet and the activities that lead though NSFnet , the NREN etc. Lots of people got ignored . I was especially annoyed with the NSF "we invented the internet" mentality.

Normally I would say "what the hell" but if there is no reaction from the community , this will be the definitive history in a few years.

Dave

On Aug 18, 2008, at 3:56 PM, David P. Reed wrote:

Whoever put this together is trying to obliterate the pre-NSF period. The sequential growth of the Internet starts with a slide of *ARPANET*, and then leaps to a 1988 slide of *NSFNet*. Get real. The NSF *took over* the Internet, which was healthy and happy and developed largely with ARPA, *NOT NSF*, research and deployment funding. In fact, NSF in those days didn't fund much computer systems research at all! Let's not give NSF the opportunity to rewrite history.

When Cisco slyly implies it invented the Internet that's commercial puffery. When NSF talks, it should tell the gosh darn truth, not "spin".

I guess Karl Rove's PR tactics have now infiltrated even the NSF...

David Farber wrote:


Begin forwarded message:

From: Richard Forno <rforno () infowarrior org>
Date: August 17, 2008 12:20:59 PM EDT
To: Undisclosed-recipients: <>;
Cc: Dave Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: NSF and the Birth of the Internet

(c/o Barry W.....a nifty NSF-produced video history of the Internet.)

NSF and the Birth of the Internet [Macromedia Flash Player]
http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/nsf-net/index.jsp




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