I feel so undeserving, and as they say, them more you reward the undeserving the harder they will work in the future. So I have a lot of work cut out for me going ahead in the future.
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You know, I got to thinking about—Tan Tin Wee beat me to this analogy but I’m going to use it anyway. If the ARPANET created atoms, then the Internet created molecules. And Tim Berners-Lee created DNA. And after that, it was just life in all its variations. So now I finally figured out what is it that …read the full transcript.
When many of the people in this room were beginning to lay the groundwork for the network in the 60s, I was working as a political scientist and worrying about communications patterns and how those worked.
When I first started on the Internet in 1972, I joined Doug Engelbart’s group, Augmentation Research Center, and I didn’t know exactly what a network information center was but I thought we were going to be handling information in a very different way, and it was very addictive.
About 1988, I was running a regional development information system at the United Nations economic commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. It was based on exchange of information with nodes in virtually every African country, and it was to be based on satellites for the exchange of that information. Unfortunately the satellites weren’t there.
We mean well, but we also do good and we also do damage. Well-meaning Americans did something called the Leland Initiative, which broke networking in the indigenous networks in ten African countries and empowered the PTT monopolies.
In 1992…I had a plan. And that plan was to set up the first regional Internet registry, and in April 1993 to be done with the Internet and move on to the next interesting thing.
The people who really get the credit are the people who built the Internet, including a lot of people we never hear about. The credit also goes to people who help each other out every day, sometimes in large numbers, who never get any recognition at all.
Back in 1980, working with the artificial intelligence guys, we had this idea we were going to make smart machines. But it needed to read good books, don’t you think?