A Series of Tubes

I'm sure everyone remembers the embarrassing moment when Senator Ted Stevens described the internet as a series of tubes.

But little did I know (until now) that this is not the first time that the phrase "a series of tubes" was used in conjunction with the internet. In his book Weaving the Web: The original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web by its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee uses the exact phrase: "a series of tubes."

Of course, Berners-Lee uses the phrase correctly in describing the CERN particle physics research institute, where the particle accelerators are the tubes). But I thought the parallel use of the phrase, years apart from one another, was amusing.

12 Comments:

    • He didn’t.

      Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Which, for those who weren’t paying attention, is just an application that runs on the internet.

        • But what was the name of the first pre-cursor program to the WWW that Tim originally wrote? You still need to read the book to find out lovely little nuggets of nerddom like that. :)

          Seriously, though, it’s a fantastic book. Not nearly as snore-inducing as the title suggests it might have been. I highly recommend it, and just ordered two new copies (one as a loaner) since I can’t find mine.

          • Score. By the way, is tere fun to be had tomorrow? I was thinking of making brownies and inviting people over, but recall several of my friends talking about me, and a party, and stuffs, but not to me. So, huh? I also have a job interview in Mountain View at 10ish, if that helps/hinders in any way.

            And would that be…ENQUIRE?

            I love Wikipedia. I also am now possessing he knowledge of why people joke that Al Gore invented the internet. Now I feel REALLY smart.

  1. Actually, given that ‘bandwidth’ is frequently discussed and people speak of ‘capacity’ and ‘ping flooding’ in connection with the Internet, the phrase is not so far fetched, he just took it a bit too literally

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