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[ih] infrastructure history [was: who invented the Internet]

On 7/25/2012 7:53 PM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
> Larry Sheldon wrote:
>> On 7/25/2012 7:09 PM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
>>> It really is disturbing how some folks pretend that government had no
>>> role in <name your infrastructure>.
>>> Seems to me that there's an ongoing historical pattern:
>>> Roads
>>> Waterworks
>>> Railroads (land grants, Army protection)
>>> Telegraph (right-of-way grants, Army protection)
>>> Telephone (right-of way grants)
>>> Airplanes and Airlines (defense purchases spawned the aircraft industry,
>>> Air Mail spawned air freight and passenger service)
>>> Radio and Telephone (airwave grants)
>>> and so on......
>>> Miles Fidelman
>> The question here is "what is 'government'?".
>> Is it some ethereal source of funding and wisdom the alone gets things
>> done?
>> Or is it the product of individuals pooling resources toward some
>> common goal?
> umm... yes?
>> Most of the things in the list were first done by individuals and
>> small groups of individuals, much of it in bitter opposition to the
>> government.
> Not a lot of railroads got built without massive land grants and army
> protection.

I'm too lazy to look and I'm not sure the necessaries survived the great 
downsizing but my recollection is that lots of railroads were built 
before, during and after the great land-grab and giveaway to a few 
favored polls that had nothing to do with it.

The cover story was the need for a transcontinental railroad to get at 
the pockets of people in the expanding West.

We wouldn't have a lot of airplanes, if the Army hadn't
> been a ready customer in the early days, and we wouldn't have air
> carriers without air mail as an anchor customer in the early days.

Actually I think it was the Post office that jumped on the existing 

> when it came to ancient waterworks, we had kings/pharoes/etc. with lots
> of slaves.

Which is is the sort of government we are returning to, unfortunately.

A lot of folks have died for nought, it seems.  Fortunately, I'll be 
dead before it gets much worse.

Most of the roads with "-pike" in their names were built by individuals, 
I don't recall that there was much government in the first 
transcontinental road.
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