Roundup: Talking About History
This is where we excerpt articles about history that appear in the media. Among the subjects included on this page are: anniversaries of historical events, legacies of presidents, cutting-edge research, and historical disputes.
Fuelled largely by the PBS television series "Triumph of the Nerds" some years ago, and by the earlier writings of Silicon Valley gossip columnist Robert Cringely in the beautifully titled "Accidental Empires - how the boys of Silicon Valley make their millions, battle foreign competition, and still can't get a date" (Penguin, 1992), a popular belief has sprung up that the Internet was invented in the Pentagon in 1969. The theory goes on to suggest that the Internet network invented in the Pentagon was designed to survive a nuclear attack.
This theory survives and is even propagated by individuals who celebrated "the Internet's 35th birthday" in 2004. However, not everyone celebrated, and not everyone agreed.
Perhaps the most serious rebuttal on the theory of Pentagon origins (otherwise known as the big bang theory of Internet origins) came from the person who was in charge of the...