LBJ Invented the Internet

Move over Al Gore – Lyndon B Johnson assumes the rightful mantle as Inventor of the Internet. In 1967, LBJ gave a speech accompanying the signing of the Public Broadcasting Act:

I believe the time has come to stake another claim in the name of all the people, stake a claim based upon the combined resources of communications. I believe the time has come to enlist the computer and the satellite, as well as television and radio, and to enlist them in the cause of education….

So I think we must consider new ways to build a great network for knowledge-not just a broadcast system, but one that employs every means of sending and of storing information that the individual can rise. Think of the lives that this would change:

  • the student in a small college could tap the resources of a great university….
  • the country doctor getting help from a distant laboratory or a teaching hospital;
  • a scholar in Atlanta might draw instantly on a library in New York;
  • a famous teacher could reach with ideas and inspirations into some far-off classroom, so that no child need be neglected. Eventually, I think this electronic knowledge bank could be as valuable as the Federal Reserve Bank.

And such a system could involve other nations, too–it could involve them in a partnership to share knowledge and to thus enrich all mankind.

A wild and visionary idea? Not at all. Yesterday’s strangest dreams are today’s headlines and change is getting swifter every moment.

I have already asked my advisers to begin to explore the possibility of a network for knowledge–and then to draw up a suggested blueprint for it.

Via Buzzmachine and elsewhere. Thanks baald.

Music: Michael Nyman :: Synchronising

4 Replies to “LBJ Invented the Internet”

  1. Woo hoo! Hooray for LBJ ! The only real Texan who’s been president (well, OK – Ike sorta. but it didn’t mold his character like it did Johnson’s)

    No, “Shrub” don’t count. Spoiled, rich, Yankee brat turned make-believe Texan… Gives the rest of us a bad name :-P

  2. Yeah, he gives us Connecticut Yankees a bad name too. Welcome to the club. At least he doesn’t pretend to be one of us though. You fine Texan folks definitely have it worse.

    I’ll humbly submit that Connecticut is the only thing that connects us, however – “spoiled”, “rich”, “brat” and “make-believe” all are labels I don’t believe could be applied to me. That and “untrustworthy”, “idiot”, “money whore”, “jackass” or “worst President ever” (Among others that I might be forgetting). :-)

  3. Brian,

    Definitely the “spoiled” and “rich” was applied to ol’ Dubya only – not to Yankees in general ;) Hell, some of my best friends… well, you get the idea.

    (Yes, tho’ a native, I’m a tongue-in-cheek Texan at best. What with the current political climate, and the corresponding climate in my church, I’d like to convince da wife to move to Vermont or New Hampshire or Canada ;)

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