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Hey, Politicians! Open Source ''Built That''...
 | | Two months ago, I bitterly complained about a Wall St. Journal op-ed, which brazenly claimed the government had nothing to do with building the Internet. Well, now we have a fascinating riposte published in the very same organ.

This week's #HPIO Mobility Matters for +Esther Schindler 
Ron Enderland's profile photoSteve Yelvington's profile photoPeter H. Salus's profile photoRichi Jennings's profile photo
Richi, I'd add Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Steve Jobs. These three stooges, with their obnoxious legal and vocal battles against all things Open Source, have done as much or more for the movement of sharing ideas as the good guys.
What I like about the Steven Johnson piece is that it addresses the basic truth that it takes all kinds of approaches to build big things. Government funding of basic research laid the foundation. Open, free collaboration invented the infrastructure. Big capital built last-mile broadband into our homes. We are all better off when each approach has its chance to serve its best function without cutting the rest off because of some kooky political theory about what government should or shouldn't do. 
Well said. A pox on all those polarized political prats.
Well, I hate to pour ice water on both Johnson and Richi, but most of the people listed had nothing to do with the creation of the Internet.  Jobs, Wozniak, Gates, Ballmer, weren't even "in" computing or networking when the Internet was created.  Berners-Lee was a physicist, but the Web came into existence 17 years after Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn wrote their "Protocol" paper (May 1974).  That was followed by Mike Padlipsky's RFC 666.  Anything after November 1974 is riding on the work of these guys and their predecessors.  My history (Casting the Net, 1994) and the raw doculments (The ARPANET Sourcebook, ed. P.H. Salus, 2008) are available.
My list is broader than just "the Internet" in its strictest sense. Hence "everyone who made possible the 21st Century," in the context of what we today call open source (although Stallman understandably hates the term).

Out of the first four you mentioned, I only listed Woz (for the reason I gave parenthetically).

Johnson's article is also not really about the Internet. Its motivation is to discuss how both sides of the politicized argument around the Internet's creation are wrong.
as +"Phil C" mentioned in the article comments, I should add Robert Elliot "Bob" Kahn
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