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

On 7/26/2012 7:21 AM, Miles Fidelman wrote:

> And it does strike me that some key early decisions were made, and
> enforced, by individuals in government roles - funding the ARPANET,
> awarding the contract to BBN (what if DoD had just gone with AUTODIN2)?
> What if the early funders hadn't encouraged/supported/allowed a
> bottom-up standards process and gone with a more traditional top-down,
> specifications driven process?

It seems like they were smart enough to pick a few places with smart 
people and give them autonomy.

The pattern goes back before ARPANET and BBN.

Would you all agree that funding of Doug Engelbart's work was an 
important part of this history?

Going back further, I believe Whirlwind at MIT was funded by the Office 
of Naval Research.

Government procurement also played a role -- people learned by building 
the SAGE system, which trained 3,000 programmers.  Government funding 
bought IBM 701s.

How about ENIAC?  Morse's telegraph? Chappe's semaphore network?

Government is all over the place.