Even in modern times it is possible for accounts of history to go awry. In this case it doesn’t even have the excuse of being ancient history.
Come to think of it, in some ways we are more at risk of this happening than before the Internet. It is not uncommon for many different articles to use the same source for information, and the WSJ is (or at least was) a reputable source, so one might be forgiven for thinking one could trust in its accuracy.
Nowadays, it doesn’t take long before there are dozens of articles out there, all repeating the same mistakes. That means the next guy will find lots of corroborating evidence and easily be fooled into thinking these fallacies are true.
From Mark’s post:
Crovitz then points out that TCP/IP, the fundamental communications protocol of the Internet, was invented by Vinton Cerf (though he fails to mention Cerf’s partner, Robert Kahn). He points out that Tim Berners-Lee “gets credit for hyperlinks.”
Lots of problems here. Cerf and Kahn did develop TCP/IP–on a government contract! And Berners-Lee doesn’t get credit for hyperlinks–that belongs to Doug Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute, who showed them off in a legendary 1968 demo you can see here. Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web–and he did so at CERN, a European government consortium.
Cerf, by the way, wrote in 2009 that the ARPANet, on which he worked, “led, ultimately, to the Internet.”
As for Ethernet, which Bob Metcalfe and David Boggs invented at PARC (under Taylor’s watchful eye), that’s by no means a precursor of the Internet, as Crovitz contends. It was, and is, a protocol for interconnecting computers and linking them to outside networks–such as the Internet. And Metcalfe drew his inspiration for the technology from ALOHANet, an ARPA-funded project at the University of Hawaii.
Boy, the U.S. really (and I mean REALLY) needs to start valuing intelligence and knowledge. So long as they continue to use wealth as the most important measure of success, they will continue their steady march towards barbarism. I’m told that one of the highest insults you can dish out in Russia is to call someone uncultured. Have we reached a tipping point? Have the Americans become philistines?