Oh, Ted…

By Risa Wechsler | November 19, 2008 2:00 am

the internets will miss you so!

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday — I got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially… They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Soon to be former Senator Ted Stevens, June 2006

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Miscellany, Politics, Technology
  • Count Iblis

    Theoretical physicists are already dreaming of The Quantum Internet :)

  • Low Math, Meekly Interacting

    We have Stevens to thank for myriad entertaining neologisms, such as “interpipes” and “intertubes” (e.g. “I rul3z @ t3h int3rpip3z!!!11!!1!” and “me luvs teh intertubez!”, respectively), just to name a few. So I’m willing to cut the guy a little slack.

  • Pingback: enthusiasm : archive : » So farewell then, Senator Stevens…()

  • MZ

    Ted actually remembers the days of pneumatic tubes for delivery of mail. Every time the computer says “You’ve Got Mail,” he waits for the printer to produce a page.

  • MedallionOfFerret

    There are a lot of reasons to be glad that Senator Stevens lost his bid for re-election. His lack of understanding of what the internet is and how it works is a fairly minor one; and I suspect that most of us would be equally at a loss in explaining how to get a Bridge to Nowhere federal funding. He had no need to understand the internet to be far more effective–even if deleteriously so–than probably anyone that reads CV.

  • Jeff

    Senator Stevens deserves ostracism for his criminal acts, and his failed re-election bid is good news, but scolding him for his “series of tubes” description (actually a decent metaphor for the internet) is undeserved. Would you ridicule your grandfather for comparing the internet to a “series of tubes”? Let’s remember that Ted Stevens used the “series of tubes” metaphor to support his position on network neutrality, a position that I suspect is supported by most readers of this blog.

  • Jeff

    OK, a correction: Ted Stevens advocated AGAINST network neutrality, but his “tubes” metaphor is still a decent one, and I stand by my original comment that ridiculing this metaphor smacks of ageism.

  • spyder

    Every time the computer says “You’ve Got Mail,” he waits for the printer to produce a page.

    Well after he waited for the longest time to hear the whoooompfff of the canister hitting the bottom of the tube. Odd that there are still drive through banks that use those. Ted must really enjoy that. Too bad they won’t have those at the facility in Lompoc (what a perfect place for a guy from Alaska/Wash D.C.).

  • http://risa.stanford.edu Risa

    Jeff — yes, I would ridicule my grandfather for it if he was heading a Senate committee in charge of regulating the internet.

  • Jeff

    Risa, I’m sorry for your grandfather. I think you can make policy decisions without needing to know all the technical details. Do you think JFK knew anything about chemical propellants or guidance systems for moon rockets? The real question is this: did Stevens’s simplistic metaphor for the Internet lead him to make bad policy decisions, or did he make bad policy decisions because he was a bad politician? I think the latter is more likely (I’m not holding a torch for the scoundrel).


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