Yesterday Jian Ghomeshi, host of the CBC radio show ‘Q’ interviewed Leonard Kleinrock one of the fathers of the internet. The first words from the mouth of the internet baby were uttered forty years ago and Dr. Kleinrock is still involved with what he calls a “teenager still struggling to find its way”. Dr. Kleinrock is a great story teller and I especially like the recounting of his experiences in presenting the invention of packet-switching, which data transmission is based on, to AT&T. In a classic case of missed opportunities they turned it down claiming it would never replace traditional telecommunications AKA voice communications. It probably made sense at the time to say no but sometimes risks need to be taken.
BTW: Al Gore never claimed that he ‘invented the internet‘ but through his involvement with US federal government technology funding was able to take part in creating the opportunities for others to do the work.
More BTW: When the ‘Q’ interview with Dr. Kleinrock came on the Jeep’s radio while I was driving, I was going to Tweet it but texting and driving is dangerous and I didn’t have time to pull over and tweet it. But thanks to the magic of the web we can talk about it today.
Dr. Kleinrock has called the internet a teenager still finding its way. I hope it stays that way for a long time so that it continues to look for new ways of exploring its purpose in life and keeps growing. The day it becomes middle-age is when that growth and curiosity stops and it will sit on the couch and watch the world go by reminiscing about the good old days.
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