Washington DC always thinks they know best. Even the tech sector. After Gore proudly proclaimed his role in “inventing” the Internet in 1999 on CNN, we have a new Internet guru in the form of Senator Ted Stevens who continues to expand on Gore’s good work and derive new theories to think about the web. Now, the Capitol Hill debate and decisions over Net Neutrality is really getting out of hand.
By the way, Ted is the head of the Senate Commerce Committee who’s supposed to regulate the e-commerce, and by association, the Internet. His knowledge of the Internet, no matter metaphorical or not, is simply astonishing, to say the least.
Ok, lets be fair here. The above comments were taken out of context by Jon Stewart. You can check out his hilarious takes via the 2 Youtube videos below:
But lets get serious and understand the context of Ted’s revelatory comments.
(Source: Wired Magazine) Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) explained why he voted against the amendment and gave an amazing primer on how the internet works.
There’s one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.
But this service is now going to go through the internet* and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.
Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?
I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?
Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.
So you want to talk about the consumer? Let’s talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren’t using it for commercial purposes.
We aren’t earning anything by going on that internet. Now I’m not saying you have to or you want to discrimnate against those people [¿]
The regulatory approach is wrong. Your approach is regulatory in the sense that it says “No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet”. No, I’m not finished. I want people to understand my position, I’m not going to take a lot of time. [¿]
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 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.
Seattle Post Intelligencer has a more balanced article trying to balance and explain Ted’s analogy of Internet tubes here.
Summary of it here:
Popping up on Web sites is the “DJ Ted Stevens Techno Remix,” in which audio excerpts from Stevens’ speech are set to an electronic dance beat. More recently, a file appeared on the Internet that added video to the mix.The creator of the song, Paul Holcomb, who helps run an advertising agency based in Atlanta, said the song has been downloaded more than 50,000 times.
“I think, unfortunately at Sen. Stevens’ personal expense, people see the same irony that we saw when we created the file,” Holcomb said. “I thought it was ironic that a person such as him, someone who has such an influential vote, wasn’t able to articulate the nuances at a basic level of how the Internet works.”
A spokesman for Stevens declined to be interviewed. Commerce Committee staff director Lisa Sutherland said in a statement that Stevens has a deep understanding of the technical, legal and economic aspects of new technology.
“Yes, a few bloggers are going after him because he used the word `tubes’ instead of “`pipes’ – but when you look at the body of his work and how he has crafted a bill that will not only serve Alaska, but the nation, I think the final product speaks for itself,” Sutherland said.
For more Youtube mashups and remixes of Ted Steven’s famous speech above, check out this really catchy video mashup of tubes, 1960’s computer mainframes, techno music overlaid on Ted’s speech. Or how about Ted Stevens + Nas + OutKast + Trippy Shite? You can hear his entire speech where he ranted on and on rabidly as if he had a war agenda on his ISP.
But seriously, Ted Steven’s 82. He’s also the guy who tried to spend $223 million for the “bridge to nowhere” that would link Ketchikan, Alaska, and its airport on Gravina Island, population 50.
Whats the wisdom of getting an 82-year-old more familiar with the Industrial Revolution try to grasp the intricacies and sophistication of the Digital Revolution? Yea, his status might indicate intelligence, experience or plain manipulation through his special interest backers, but maybe he should stick to his turf slipping in little amendments for oil drilling in the Alaskan Reserve in defense bills, STFU, and stop his meddling in MY Generation.