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March 9, 2023 · 25 min read

Season 3, Ep. 12 – TWiTH: Al Gore Invents the Internet with Ashley Yearby

When Al Gore made his famously misquoted speech, he was the subject of ridicule for weeks. But was he really that far off? This week in tech history, Ashely and Faith talk about his “I invented the internet” speech, what he really did, and how instrumental he was in opening accessibility to the world wide web.


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Faith (00:04):

Hello, Ashley. (Ashley: Hello, Faith <laugh>.) Welcome <laugh>. How’s your week been?

Ashley (00:09):

Pretty good. Can’t complain. Closed some deals and (Faith: Hell yeah.) had some good conversations. So yeah, it’s been a good week.

Faith (00:16):

I’ve been having so much fun. I feel like I’m watching, kind of like, front row seat. You’d just be like, out and about in Houston, just (Ashley: <Laugh>.) taking names, you know, meeting people out in the wild. And meanwhile, I’m like, sequestered in my little garden shed like, “Go Ashley!” <Laugh>.

Ashley (00:34):

Honestly, I used to be really like, social, so this has been refreshing like, easing back into being a social, and like, going to networking events and things like that. It’s definitely like, changed my outlook. I feel like I’m a little bit happier, I’ve things to talk about, <laugh> (Faith: Yeah.) can have conversations. Otherwise, it’s just me and Willow in here looking at each other, and then throw Miles in the mix and, you know.

Faith (00:57):

Baby babble. Yeah.

Ashley (01:00):

Need a little bit more than that. So it’s been enjoyable for sure.

Faith (01:03):

Good. Well, I’m glad that you’ve had that opportunity. I think I’ll follow in your footsteps soon. I’m currently like, relearning how to have small talk with people and just like, engage in conversation. So I think, you know, baby steps, but I’ll be there soon.

Ashley (01:22):

It’s exhausting. It’s truly exhausting to like, entertain people and, you know, have these like small talk and having it with multiple people. It’s exhausting, but it gets better. It gets better. You’ll be okay.

Faith (01:37):

Thank you. Well, Ashley, speaking of small talk and meeting people, we are the benefactors of something called the Internet <laugh>, which allows me to have a job, despite not loving being, you know, out at networking events. (Ashley: <Laugh>.) And today, we’re gonna do an episode of “This Week in Tech History,” which I’m not sure if you’ve been listening. They’re very fun. Basically, I’m gonna read about an event that happened this week in tech history, and then we’re just gonna shoot the shit about it. We’re gonna chit chat. (Ashley: Love it.) And it’s relevant this week cuz we’re talking about Al Gore’s “I invented the Internet” speech, which (Ashley: <Laugh>.) I have some thoughts.

Ashley (02:17):

I’ve got thoughts, but ultimately I still, I feel like the man was just misunderstood, and people took his words and ran with it <laugh>.

Faith (02:25):

Oh, what a charitable analysis of Al Gore, in general, but also just like, any politician. I really appreciate that about you.

Ashley (02:36):

<Laugh>. There’s good in everybody.

Faith (02:39):

(RETRO SYNTHESIZER MUSIC PLAYS) On March 9th, 1999, Al Gore was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s Late Edition, where he famously did not say he invented the Internet. What he did say was…

Al Gore, via Late Edition clip (02:51):

During my service in the United States of Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet, I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system during a course…(AUDIO FADES OUT)

Faith (03:11):

…other things. So you can see he sort of said he invented the Internet, except just with more words. The world went wild. They openly mocked him, we know this.

President George W. Bush, via the 2000 presidential debate (03:23):

That I can get something positive done on behalf of the people. That’s what the question in this campaign is about. It’s not only what’s your philosophy and what’s your position on issues, but can you get things done? And I believe I can. (AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

Al Gore, via the 2000 presidential debate (03:41):

Alright. Alright, here we go again.

Faith (03:42):

So what’s the truth behind this famous clip? It turns out that, while he didn’t invent the Internet, the first true display of use occurred in the 1960s at the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, aka, ARPANET. He was instrumental in its widespread use and adoption. He introduced computers into Congress in the ‘70s. He mandated the 1987 policy study of government computer networks, and he championed the 1991 High Performance Computing Act. In this bill, he put forth the idea that this national computing network would provide for teleconferencing. Wow.

Al Gore, via 1992 Thinking Machines speech (04:18):

But now, infrastructure has to be thought of in a different way. We still need highways and water lines, but we also need communications lines that can allow us to take advantage of the high performance computers, like the ones that you build here at Thinking Machines. Currently, we have a surplus of information and a shortage of knowledge. These new supercomputers enable us to use information much more effectively.

Faith (04:57):

So while Al Gore did not invent the Internet, his work as a congressman, senator and vice president helped to promote universal access and work to make the Internet a fair and universal system. Okay. I like, Abbey, nice job on that conclusion.

Ashley (05:14):


Faith (05:14):

Okay, some initial thoughts. The context of this speech was he was running for president, right? Oh, okay. Like, famously, Al Gore ran for president. He lost in 2000. Like, every time I think about this, I’m like, well, I mean, it’s a classic job interview faux pas you know? Like, in job interviews, we’re encouraged to be like, “I did this, I did that.” And so I kind of feel like that’s what he was doing a little bit.

Ashley (05:42):

I think like, the appropriate word, which was used towards the end of what you were saying, is he “championed,” and I think it’s just…sometimes when you’re in the hot seat, can you imagine being on national television and like, getting every word right all the time? I get nervous coming on here. So I think that it’s a classic faux pas when you’re like, trying to pump yourself up, and you just use the wrong word. So I think the right word definitely would’ve been like, he was a “champion” of the Internet, and he probably should have said that instead of “I invented it.”

Faith (06:13):

Right. (Ashley: <Laugh>.) But again, you know, like every professional coach in the world is gonna tell you like, “Hey, on your resume, don’t say ‘we did’ or ‘the company did.’ Talk about yourself. You know, position yourself as the person.” So like, I guess I’m trying to take a page out of your book and have a charitable outlook on his intentions here.

Ashley (06:37):

I don’t think that he truly meant to be like, “I invented this.” I just think that it was a poor choice of words in the moment, and here we are talking about it in 2023 <laugh>.

Faith (06:48):

Right. Well, and he’s not the first person to do this, right? I mean, working in tech, we see it all the time Like, whoever claims ownership over an idea is the person who’s recognized for that forever. And thus, the people who tend to be a little bit more humble, who are often like, the quiet geniuses are not getting credit for that. And we see this again and again. Yeah.

Ashley (07:12):

And they don’t mind not taking the credit for something. Like, overall their work is for the greater good, so they could care less if they get the full credit for it. As long as they like, they know in their heart, and the people that know them know what they’ve done for whatever it is that has been built, they’re completely happy with that.

Faith (07:29):

Yeah. Well, more power to those people. I’ve gotta believe, too, that there’s gotta be some folks who, especially like folks behind open source software that has changed everything about software as we know it, I’ve gotta believe that there’s some of them that are like, “Screw these people.” You know? <Laugh>.

Ashley (07:45):

<Laugh>. Right. Give me my credit. Like, I did this, I built this. Like, they probably do have that complex, but (Faith: Right.) there’s definitely some that are just in the back chilling, (Faith: Yeah.) enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Faith (07:58):

Also, you talking about being on national television reminded me, one day, to tell you about being on Lester Holt. I was anonymous so I wasn’t like, sitting in the seat, but my voice was on Lester Holt one time, and I felt that like, my friends were sending me videos of this on the news, and I was like, there were so many words I would’ve changed. And that was just like, a ten second clip. I understand.

Ashley (08:22):

Yeah. In the hot seat, you’re just like, you’re thinking of all the right words, but sometimes they don’t come out <laugh>.

Singer, via The Kids Guide to the Internet (08:28):

(MUSIC PLAYS) We’re riding on the Internet, cyberspace, set free. Hello, virtual reality. Interactive appetite, searching for a website, a window to the world. Got to get online, take the spin. Now you’re in with a techno set, you’re going surfing on the Internet. (MUSIC STOPS)

Faith (08:46):

You know, like, thinking about this, as well. So 1999, obviously, the Internet has been around for a while, but household use of the Internet is really, you know, the ‘90s were the decade, right? (Ashley: Yeah, yeah.) And so I’m thinking about this in the context of like, okay, it’s 1999, the Internet feels fresh and new, and I can’t help but think about like, my first experiences on the Internet. We talk about this a lot on the podcast, but I’m curious about yours. Like, do you remember the first time you got onto the Internet?

Ashley (09:15):

Yes. So my elementary school was not that far from my dad’s office. So he would pick me up after school, and I would go to his office. He might be finishing up a meeting, or what have you, so he would pop me some popcorn, ‘cause that was my afternoon snack, and then put me in his office, and he would log me in to AOL, and like, I can still remember hearing like the dial tone like, <dial up sound vocalizations> (DIAL UP SOUNDS) and like all of the noises that it made.

Faith (09:39):

And then the <dial up sound vocalizations>.

Ashley (09:42):

<Dial up sound vocalizations>. Yeah, the first thing you hear is like, “You’ve got mail.” (AOL homepage voice: Welcome, you’ve got mail.) But I also remember, like you said, the ‘90s was like, the boom of the home computer. I remember when we got one.

Actor 1, via The Kids Guide to the Internet (09:52):

Having the Internet in our home has had a great impact on our lives. Rich keeps up with the stock market and our investments, and I’m able to pay the bills in half the time it used to take me, and the kids are improving in their grades and communication skills.

Actor 2, via The Kids Guide to the Internet (10:05):

Which makes me happy, as I would sure like them to go to college someday.

Actor 3, via The Kids Guide to the Internet (10:08):

Don’t worry though, it’s still cool. The program is by kids, for kids, and it’s not just for boys, either.

Ashley (10:14):

We got a second phone line, so that we could connect to the Internet and still get a phone call at the same time <laugh>. (Faith: <Laugh>.) ‘Cause for the longest, like, you know, once you dialed in, like, (Faith: Yeah.) you’d lock the phone line, and no one could get through. So I remember we had a second phone line installed, and like, we were one of the like, first people in our neighborhood to have a computer. It was crazy.

Faith (10:31):

Because so much of what we did was just desktop. Like, I remember in computer class in elementary school, you never went down to like, the bottom right nav and you know, clicked your little like, two computer thing and connected. It was like, no, everything’s local on a desktop. And you had like, sometimes we’d have like, our local drive that was distributed by the school, (Ashley: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) but usually it was like, a floppy disc. So like, everything you did, you are saving on your floppy disk, and that goes in your folder, and you take it with you everywhere.

Rapper, via Software Publishers Association PSA (11:01):

(RETRO HIP HOP MUSIC PLAYS) Did I hear you right? Did I hear you saying that you’re gonna make a copy of a game without paying? Come on guys. I thought you knew better. Don’t copy that floppy. (MUSIC FADES OUT)

Ashley (11:12):

And I remember in elementary school, I remember we used computers there too, but I remember like, even at school, like the encyclopedia was like, on the computer, and we were doing a Titanic project, and you know, like, you had to go to like, the special section and like, use the Internet to do the research. (Faith: Yeah <laugh>.) It was like, a special section of the school library, and it might have been like, one or two computers that have the Internet on them.

Faith (11:33):

Oh my god. You getting onto Ask Jeeves, and you’re like, how do I write a search engine query? <Laugh>.

Ashley (11:39):

So yeah, those are my first memories of the Internet. I always used the computer, ‘cause I learned my ABCs on a computer in daycare, (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) but like, you know, it was a floppy disc game that they would put in, but like, actually connecting to something outside? No, nah.

Faith (11:52):

Yeah, I was very much a Myspace girly. (Ashley: Oh, oh.) So yeah. You know, I lost a few cool points, because my family did not have…we like lived way out in the boonies so we couldn’t just like, be connected to the Internet all the time. It was like, you get on, and you get off, and there’s a time limit, and so I couldn’t be the cool girl with the away message. (Ashley: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) I knew that that was like a flaw that I was aware of, so I had to overcompensate and be the cool girl who knew all the HTML and CSS to make my Myspace page really cool. (Ashley: Hmm.) So yeah. So I think that was like, that was my first like, of course I was on the Internet before then, but that was my most formative Internet memory. 

Ashley (12:43):

I think I remember after we got a computer at home, I was probably like, middle school-ish, even in high school, and you could download like, music, (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) and I remember I made a CD of like, all of the like, theme songs for sitcoms and shows. (Faith: <Laugh>.) <Laugh>. I would download the music and put it on a CD, and I had like, a whole sitcom theme song like, CD. It was like, over like, 80 songs on there. It was crazy. 

Faith (13:14): 

Oh my gosh. Also like, what a badass CD to hold all that. I remember like, every year for Christmas, I’d make my friends mixtapes, (Ashley: <Laugh>.) and…oh, remember the CD cases that could hold multiple CDs? (Ashley: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. ) Yeah, I had to like, go buy a pack of those at Staples and then that little like, CD ring. (Ashley: <Laugh>.) Man, those were the days. Okay. So like, this is the context, right? Like, this is the context, maybe like, a little bit before what we’re talking about. Obviously, Myspace was in the 2000s, but you know, we’re still just kind of like, dabbling around the edges of the Internet and what it’s capable of, and you know, I was a child, so I certainly couldn’t have predicted like, one day I’m gonna work and just talk to people on my Internet screen.

Al Gore, via 1992 Thinking Machines speech (14:00):

Somebody once said that if you tried to describe the human brain in the language that these computer scientists use, you’d have to say that we have a low bit rate, but high resolution. Which translated, I’m told, means that if we try to absorb information one little bit at a time, it’s very difficult. I know that, because the telephone company years ago did lots of studies and found out that seven numbers is the most we can remember in trying to figure out how to call somebody. And then, of course, they added three more, and now it’s a little bit beyond my capacity…(AUDIO FADES OUT)

Faith (14:47):

One of the quotes from his speech was, you know, the Internet, it would deliver services we cannot yet imagine. So the question is like, what do you think he was…in his mind, what was that gonna look like?

Ashley (15:03):

I think, because like, the early days of like, the Internet, it was very much like you said: digital library. So there was like, that educational and universal access piece to it. I don’t know if he realized like, we would be using it on such a personal level. Like, the personal conveniences of today. Like, I just had diapers delivered from Amazon that we ordered last night at 10 o’clock. So I don’t think he realized that we would use it on such a personal level every day, all day. (Faith: Yeah.) There’s knowledge at our fingertips, versus before, you know, you had to sit down, and log in, and do it. Versus now, it is readily available. So I think personal conveniences is like, something he didn’t even think about.

Faith (15:42):

Yeah. And I think on that, like, the perpetual connectivity was also probably something that was (Ashley: Yeah.) not even dreamable yet. Right?

Ashley (15:53):

And it’s so funny, ‘cause I was, when I was going through like, reading this and just thinking about different things, it reminded me of when I worked at the airline. And even in like, 2007, I was in college, and I was working there, and people would still come to the ticket counter to buy a flight. Like, they did not want to get on the Internet

Faith (16:12):

Or buy things on the Internet. Oh yeah.

Ashley (16:14):

And so, and that was in 2007, still people were still coming up to the ticket counter, older generation people, obviously, to buy their flight. They like, did not wanna get on the computer to do that. So even just, evolution of, like I said, personal conveniences, that it’s changed just recently, in my opinion, that people are now like, “Okay, like, I’m not going to the airport to buy a flight.” <Laugh>. “I’m gonna get online and do it.”

Faith (16:37):

And it’s interesting, because trust has changed so much too, right? Like, and I don’t know if trust and actual security have improved at the same rate. Like, in fact, (Ashley: <Laugh>.) I have to assume that we’re probably less secure on the Internet today than we were previously. But (Ashley: Absolutely.) I still remember like, you know, all of the clothing I ever wore when I was growing up was ordered from a catalog. I grew up in a town of 3000 people. We did not have a mall. We were not shopping on the Internet, because that’s dangerous. Do not share your credit card information over the Internet. And so I was calling the one 800 number on the JCPenney catalog or the Eddie Bauer catalog, and that’s how I got my clothes. (Ashley: Yeah.) So I mean, that’s another thing. Like, we don’t think twice. I don’t think twice. Maybe I should think twice, but I don’t, about purchasing things on the Internet.

Ashley (17:28):

I mean I don’t, I definitely don’t think twice. Well, depending like, if you’re ever online, and you see an ad on Facebook, and you can’t see their face in any of the pictures, but you see the clothes, don’t shop there guys <laugh>. (Faith: Really?) Telling you now, those are like, definitely scams when those like, cute boutiques pop up, but you never see like, the face of the model. It’s just like, the cute clothes. Think about that. (Faith: Yeah.) What does this mean? But I probably should think twice about it. But I definitely remember Eastbay and, you know, ordering shoes for basketball, (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) like you said, JC Penny. We looked forward to those catalogs coming out during Christmas for like, the big department stores. ‘Cause there would be like, (Faith: Oh yeah.) a phone book of all of the things, and now you just go online <laugh>.

Faith (18:12):

And scroll for hours. Yeah.

Ashley (18:15):

And spend hours and have so many things in your wishlists, and tabs open, and things saved.

Faith (18:19):

Dude, I mean, speaking of privacy, so I wrote about this in The Wayfarer, so if you’re listening, and you read our newsletter, you probably already read this, but I’ll show you this live. So I’m applying for another mortgage right now, and always like, every time I apply for a mortgage, the next couple days I get like, more spam calls than usual. Ashley, look at this. (Ashley: <Laugh>.) These are my recent calls. There’s two-hundred. Two-hundred spam calls.

Ashley (18:48):

Who got your information?

Faith (18:50):

Well, it’s public, right? Like, but like, it’s the same thing. You know, when you apply for a mortgage, that’s all going on the Internet too.

Ashley (18:57):

You’re right. ‘Cause when we bought our house, and we went to like, sign, and we were at the title company, they were like, “Look, you’re getting ready to get a bunch of stuff in the mail from people and a bunch of phone calls.” They’re like, “Ours looks just like…” They gave us what theirs look like. They’re like, people are gonna send you stuff on bright paper and all those other things. And sure enough, like, we were getting bombarded with those and like, calls. Even now, my husband, Willow, his father and grandfather have the same, you know, they all have the same name. (Faith: Yeah.) He gets calls about like, buying his grandfather’s house. Like, they’re like, they’re calling Willow to buy his grandfather’s house. Like, (Faith: Oh my god.) it’s so crazy. It’s so crazy.

Faith (19:35):

Like, this is the kind of stuff that like, Al Gore probably didn’t wanna take responsibility for. Like, (Ashley: <Laugh>.) you know, we can ask him today like, is this the Internet you created?

Ashley (19:43):

This is what you created! (Faith: <Laugh>.) Not what I wanted it for! <Laugh>.

Faith (19:48):

Then he’ll be like, “No, no, no. I didn’t create it.”

Ashley (19:50):

I didn’t create it; I just championed it. (Faith: Yes.)

Al Gore, via 2015 Insider Tech interview (19:53):

I had the exciting opportunity to get to know some of the scientists and engineers that were working on it back then, and they shared with me their expectations that it could very well grow into a much bigger thing than it was back in those days.

President Bill Clinton, via 1994 address (20:09):

Under the leadership of Vice President Gore, we’ve used information technology to bring government closer to citizens, in many ways.

Faith (20:15):

You know, when I think about 1999, a government official, dreaming about what the Internet could mean, I think of mostly like, you know, in a bureaucratic system, money is not like, you don’t have a lot of freedom with the way you’re spending money and budgets. And think about the power of like, being able to see images and videos of like, disaster zones (Ashley: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) to decide whether or not to like, send in FEMA, rather than (Ashley: Right.) having to deploy folks, physically. Like, just the speed of our response to things. (Ashley: Yeah.) So I mean, I’m sure he had other dreams as well, but I think, you know, all said and done, I don’t think we’re at the end of the expanse of Internet possibilities, yet. But I would say that that’s a massive benefit thus far is like, you know, being able to respond to things faster.

Ashley (21:13):

Yeah. When I was telling Willow about what the topic of today’s talk was, we kind of, you know, dove in a little bit, and we’re talking about different things, and one of the main things that came up was the ability to like, mass collaboration. (Faith: Mmm <affirmative>.) Even when we think about the COVID vaccine, I don’t think we would’ve had it as quickly as we had, because it took more than one group on one continent to figure out what was going to go into this vaccine. And we got it fairly quickly, but like the ability to just collaborate on a mass level and ship things out much faster, same thing can be said for like, modern medicine and like, the way technology and the Internet can be used there. Even entrepreneurship, think about it. (Faith: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.) Like, somebody in, probably, the small town you’re in, how many beauty salons were there?

Faith (21:57):


Ashley (21:58):

Okay. So someone would go to beauty school, they get out, and they’d probably go work at one of the five salons, and you know, people would come in and get their hair done. But now, I think you can go to beauty school, you can get out, you can set up your own website, and then you can then like, accept your own payments, and you can work from the comfort of your home or set up your own smaller salon, all because of access to the Internet and being able to like, publicize yourself. Can you imagine how many like, entrepreneurs were built, simply because of the Internet and the access to the educational aspect that, (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) you know, was tied into what Al Gore wanted, which was educational. Now people are using it to kind of propel their own like, wealth.

Faith (22:34):

Yeah. It’s so interesting, ‘cause I feel like you and I are in a similar like, just age bracket where we grew up in Al Gore’s “I invented the Internet” era, (Ashley: <Laugh>.) and you know, so we were schooled in a world where an assumption of like, mass access to information always was not assumed. Right? Like, our teachers weren’t like, “Well, I don’t really have to teach you this, because you can just like, figure it out on the Internet.” Like, but I still feel like there are so many things that, without the Internet, without this access to like limitless information, my life would be tangibly worse. I would be like, (Ashley: Yeah <laugh>.) you know, like, even things like this mortgage, right? Like, I never learned about HELOCs, and refinancing, and nothing like that when we were in school. Right?

Ashley (23:28):

Correct. Those are just things, there’s like, certain life things that you just learned along the way, or that your parents might have taught you, but being able to go look it up, yourself? Like, if I didn’t have that, my parents would probably hate me, ‘cause I’d probably call them every day <laugh>. (Faith: <Laugh>.) I call them every day, now, but I mean, at least then like, our conversations are just kinda light and airy. But if I’m calling you about like, every day there’s a problem that I’m trying to solve, (Faith: Right? <Laugh>.) <laugh> don’t you have someone else to talk to?

Faith (23:55):

Right. And we do. Their name is Google, now. Correct. I saw the best meme the other day that was like, someone’s kid, and what you did before the Internet, and like, how did you learn things before the Internet? And they were like, “I mean we just asked our Aunt Marge, and if they gave us the wrong answer, we thought that was true for 30 years until someone else told us otherwise.” <Laugh>.

Ashley (24:16):

“Someone else told us otherwise…” And it’s very different, I think, even for like, today’s, I feel like, so old when I say stuff like…I struggled with getting on Twitter the other day, so (Faith: <Laugh>.) there’s that. But like, my niece is in their twenties, and they don’t use the Internet like we do, because we grew up in an age where we were encouraged to find and seek the answers, because we could (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) in a different way. Now like, my niece will text me and be like, “How do I get a passport?” And I’m like, “You have a phone and the Internet. Like, go Google it.” It’s more (Faith: Interesting.) like, TikTok and social media. Kids that are like, in their twenties are not using the Internet how we used it, which was, we grew up using it…

Faith (24:58):

To seek.

Ashley (24:59):

To seek more and like, to know that there was more out there in the world. Go find it. They’re not really necessarily being taught that, these days. It’s very much like, Instagram, social media, you know.

Faith (25:09):

Consume. Like, accept what’s given to you and consume it.

Ashley (25:13):

Correct. And so it’s very different that we grew up in an age where we have learned to look things up on our own and soak that information in and like, just behind us a little bit, where they didn’t grow up in the evolution of the Internet, they are just, they’re consuming it, but not in the same way that we did.

Faith (25:30):

All thanks to Al Gore, you know? <Laugh>.

Ashley (25:32):

All thanks to Al Gore <laugh>.

Faith (25:37):

Ashley, we got into it today. This is really fun. I’m feeling like, very nostalgic and also like this weird, just like, sympathetic connection with Al Gore. So…

Ashley (25:47):

<Laugh>. Now you’re a sympathizer of him calling, like…

Faith (25:52):

We’re homies. I get it. I get it. (Ashley: Ok.) This has been so much fun, Ashley, thank you so much for joining and shooting the shit about this in tech history.

Ashley (26:03):

I’m glad you picked me for this one, because I did not think that I would like, get into it as much as I did. But I didn’t…one, I didn’t realize, obviously, due to age, like, (Faith: Yeah.) I paid attention, but I didn’t realize like, he was this involved in the Internet or, you know, just making sure that it got to, you know, public access. (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) So learning that piece was very like, huh, okay. I didn’t realize that. So it’s been good to learn that and then, like you said, go back through like, how we grew up with the Internet and how it’s evolved. (Faith: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) ‘Cause even now, I can’t even think about what it’s gonna look like in 20 years, like…

Faith (26:39):

I don’t wanna think about that.

Ashley (26:41):

You’re also very right. I don’t wanna think about it. But I also like, my mind won’t let me go there, because from where we started to where we are now, I’ve lived with this thing my entire life, and I have no clue where it could go from here.

Faith (26:54):

I think the lesson is, every invention needs an advocate, right? And (Ashley: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) thank you Al Gore for being the Internet advocate. We salute you, we’re grateful for you.

Ashley (27:05):

<Laugh>. Or as they say, like, one of the other things I read, sorry, I like, really kind of dove into this, but (Faith: Get into it.) as like, a patron for the arts, the person who really advocates for the arts, they’re not necessarily gonna be the one painting, or making the music, or doing what have you, but they are the ones championing. They’re the ones going out and making sure that the money is there, and that people understand why it’s so important. And so he’s kind of like a patron of technology and the Internet. Not that you created it, Al, but you definitely let it be like, you supported it, and you know, it needed that from the government. It needed that (Faith: Right.) support from somebody, and it just happened to be him. (THE FRONTIER THEME FADES IN)

Faith (27:44):

Yeah. Someone in a position of power.

Ashley (27:47):

Yeah. (Faith: Right.) A patron of technology and the Internet.

Faith (27:49):

Well, listen, Al, if you’re listening, all love from Gun io.

Ashley (27:55):

We thank you.

Faith (27:56):

Yeah, you want a job? (Ashley: <Laugh>.) We’re probably hiring.

Ashley (27:58):

<Laugh>. You’re right. (Faith: <Laugh>.) Come join us; come join us.

Faith (28:03):

Thanks for listening to The Frontier podcast, powered by We drop two episodes per week, so if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe on your platform of choice, and come hang out with us again next week, and bring all your internet friends. If you have questions or recommendations, just shoot us a Twitter DM @theFrontierPod, and we’ll see you next week. (MUSIC STOPS)