Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A series of tubes

The Internet is a bunch of tubes…

Well, that’s according to US Senator Ted Stevens anyway. He gave a speech criticizing a proposed amendment to a US bill concerning Network Neutrality, and basically showed his complete lack of understanding of how the Internet works.

Boing Boing had this to say about the senator: “This man is so far away from having a coherent picture of the Internet's functionality, it's like hearing a caveman expound on the future of silver-birds-from-sky and why we need to keep them from flying so high they anger the gods.”

Here’s a taste of what he had to say:

“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...

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.”

Here’s the speech on YouTube.

In true Internet in-joke fashion, many Internet-users make oblique references to the 'series of tubes' (and the truck) – crossing into many memes including LOLcats and demotivational posters.

MySpace user Andrew Raff sang the senator's words over a folksy ditty and anonymously posted it to MySpace.com.

Comedian Jon Stewart aired part of Steven's speech on The Daily Show, complete with a helpful diagram illustrating how a tube-based internet might work.

My opinion - great fun, some clever humor

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