Happy Birthday, Internet!

So twenty-five years ago today, Al Gore gave us the internet.

gore meme

You’re welcome, bitches!

Psych! Uh, no he didn’t.

But today is the 25th anniversary of the day Sir Tim Berners-Lee, British computer scientist and all-around awesome muthafucka, sent a historic proposal upstairs to his bosses at CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research. (Hey, that doesn’t spell out “CERN”!)  Well, anyway, the proposal included this pithy quote– “a ‘web’ of notes with links between them”. At the time, Berners-Lee saw networking as crucial, primarily as a way to improve the flow of information between professionals in the computer field. About a year later, Sir Timmy had created the world’s first browser and editor in his spare time.

CERN would later pass a vote to make the web free to the world. And let’s take a second to give Big Al his due here. Vice-President Gore, who was always a technology futurist, in the nineties pushed accessibility and promoted legislation to improve the internet. So yeah, he was an instrumental figure, but he didn’t “invent” it. I also don’t believe he ever said he did. People just misquoted him. He would definitely claim he helped give it to us, which is kind of true.

But the main man…is Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

timmy!

T of V urges you all today to raise a glass to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the real goddamn inventor of the internet. Cheers, sir.

tim-berners lee

I bid you go forth and disseminate!!!

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16 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Internet!

  1. Yay for Timmy! Lol, I remember dial up. Mom would complain that she could never use the phone cuz dad was “always on that damn computer.” How far technology has evolved.

    • The days when load times were measured in minutes, sometimes hours. I had some real shitty service when I first got into the web. I’d have to make quite sure I really needed to click on something, because it was a long, long wait. And now we roll our eyes and grit our teeth when something takes more than a couple seconds! Amazing…

      • So true for home service. Work had superfast speeds. There was a brief period in time where I worked in an office that had a T56 line. It was horribly slow compared to what we were used to and “hurry the f*ck up, I have a job to do,” was a common utterance. Good thing we only stayed there a few months.

  2. Never had dial up, though I would assume that’s what the computers at college were running when I first got to experience the internet in 1997 (The novelty was too much to notice any slow upload times). Didn’t have internet at home until 2000, and the service was always whatever the cable company had which was reasonably fast….

    • College computers are already networked, so it would have been faster. The activity was so novel that at first no one cared how long it was taking. But it would be aggravating when pictures wouldn’t load and shit. And after a while, your internet would just stop and you’d have to restart. Don’t miss that one bit. I think the first thing I ever searched was…no, not tits. Logan’s Run! Then, probably, tits…

    • Nice link, Jesse! It’s great to read the misquote in its actual context. I’ve heard Gore say “I gave you the internet”, being facetious. But he really did play a big part in promoting the concept before the web was in widespread use. He was always a big proponent of new technologies, particularly in communication…

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