how come nobody talks about the "information superhighway" any more?

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it kind of turned out to be a crappy analogy, i guess.

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:52 (seventeen years ago) link

Also it is not 1994.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:55 (seventeen years ago) link

How come no one speaks about "talkies" like they used to?

dave225 (Dave225), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:56 (seventeen years ago) link

I always thought they needed to punch it up with the addition of duper or something. Information Superduperhighway!

Michael White (Hereward), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:57 (seventeen years ago) link

xpost -- Which is only half joking -- a wider audience might well have needed some sort of descriptive hook for what the Internet was, thus the popularization of an immensely stupid term. Time has taken care of this worry. (Sorta like what Dave notes!)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:57 (seventeen years ago) link

1994 - "information superhighway"
2004 - "information demolition derby"

nickalicious (nickalicious), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:57 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't think we should capitalize Internet anymore, either.

Pears can just fuck right off. (kenan), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:58 (seventeen years ago) link


so what do you guys think this whole Y2K thing?

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:58 (seventeen years ago) link

information supercallifragilisticexpealladocious.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:58 (seventeen years ago) link

It's the bee's knees!!!


Michael White (Hereward), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 20:59 (seventeen years ago) link

cause webbernet is easier to say

Aaron A., Wednesday, 2 February 2005 21:01 (seventeen years ago) link

what about velcro? do you think it's going to catch on or what?

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 21:03 (seventeen years ago) link

OMG!!!!!!!TEH INTERWEB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111OMGWTFROFFLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111ELEVENTYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111

i believe is the correct term in '05

elwisty (elwisty), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 21:06 (seventeen years ago) link

I saved this years ago. Think it originated from USENET, but I'm not sure...

The Info Highway

I get so tired of people who say to think of the Internet as a computer highway. Some clueless fool (and that includes both Clinton and Gore) talking about the "Information Superhighway." They don't know crap about the net if they think it's like a highway. It's nothing like a Superhighway; that's a bad metaphor.

Yeah, but suppose the metaphor ran in the other direction. Suppose the highways were like the Net. All right! Severe craziness. A highway hundreds of lanes wide; most with potholes. Privately operated bridges and overpasses. No highway patrol. A couple of rent-a-cops on bicycles with broken whistles. 500 member vigilante posses with nuclear weapons. 237 on ramps at every intersection -- no signs.

Wanna get to Ensenada? Holler out the window at a passing truck to ask directions. Ad hoc traffic laws. Some lanes would vote to make use by a single occupant vehicle a capital offense on Monday through Friday between 7:00 and 9:00. Other lanes would just shoot you without a trial for talking on a car phone.

AOL would be a giant diesel-smoking bus with hundreds of Ebola victims. Throwing dead wombats and rotten cabbage at the other cars most of which have been assembled at home from kits.

Some of the other vehicles are 2.5 horsepower lawn mower engines with a top speed of two miles an hour. Still others burn Nitroglycerine and idle at 120 mph. No license tags; World War II bomber nose art instead; terrifying paintings of huge teeth or vampire Eagles; bumper-mounted machine guns. Flip somebody the finger on this highway and get a white phosphorus grenade up your tailpipe. Flatbed trucks with anti-aircraft missile batteries to shoot down the Krud Traffic Watch helicopter. A little kid on a tricycle with a squirt gun filled with Hydrochloric Acid. No exits or off-ramps.

Now that's how an Interstate Highway system would be if it were like the Net.

When Silicon Valley wants to look good, it measures itself against Detroit. The comparison goes like this: If automotive technology had kept pace with computer technology over the past few decades, you would now be driving a V-32 instead of a V-8, and it would have a top speed of 10,000 miles per hour. Or you could have an economy car that weighs 30 pounds and gets a thousand miles to a gallon of gas. In either case the sticker price of a new car would be less than $50.

In response to all this goading, Detroit replies: "Yes, but would you really want to drive a car that crashes twice a day ?"

So while we're at it, how about some special vehicles for this so called "Information Super Highway". Here is a guide to the different protocols and applications which you can use to cruise...

OSI - This sleek black car has obviously been long years in the design process - almost everything has been thought of, down to the last detail. Unfortunately, it is 500 feet long, weighs 300 tons, and has no accelerator pedal. It takes a long time to get going, but once it reaches its top speed (15 mph), it takes a lot to stop it. A gentle hill will usually do the trick...

TCP/IP - This hillbilly pickup truck has the most crazy assortment of add ons you can possibly imagine, but underneath there is a deceptively simple, rust-free chassis. You can also hear the purr of an obviously turbo-charged V8 engine underneath the clutter, but it's getting harder to find. It'll do 0-60 in 4 seconds, but it has no brakes. Brakes? Who needs brakes? Just jam a crowbar in the axle and lock the wheels...

WWW - This is a huge freeway system, with roads crossing roads all over the place. Exits flash past at bewildering speed, and before long you can think you're lost beyond hope of ever being found. However, if you know where you want to go, you're okay, since you can guarantee that there will be at least a dozen ways to get there. Unfortunately, they're all off that road underneath you. So you just have to work out how to get there...

Mosaic - This is a huge tour bus, the very latest air conditioned, luxury model. It'll take you wherever you want to go, as long as there is a 5-lane freeway right to the doorstep, otherwise get off and walk (it's quicker). Oh, and the highway is jammed with hundreds of other buses full of Japanese tourists busy taking photos and writing articles about the anarchic freedom of the highways, while sitting in a huge traffic jam waiting to get into Graceland.

ftp - This is a sleek bare-bones sports car with an ultra aerodynamic body. It will take you where you want to go in the blink of a second and you can fill the trunk with as much stuff as you want. However, there is no windshield, 184 gears, and you have to type in a 12 digit number from memory to tell it where to go.

telnet - This is a reliable old family station wagon. It never breaks down, can fit down any road, no matter how small and twisty, and performs well no matter what the road conditions. However, it goes at the same speed on a 6 lane freeway as on a dirt track, and it steers like a 12 ton truck.

Windows X - This is a flashy red convertible, with electric windows, doors, sunroof etc. Inside, you can alter the position of the steering wheel, the layout of all the controls and instruments, the sound of the horn, and the color of any of the fittings. It is the ultimate accessory for the power user, and gives you many happy years of pleasure. It is only when you get out of the car that you realize that you never left your driveway.

Windows 95 - A big improvement over the Windows X model, and it boasts a big "Highway Ready" sticker in the back window, which means you finally get to leave the parking lot. You get inside, and press the big red "Go Info-Hwy" button on the dashboard. You wait for the g force. Nothing happens for 10 minutes, then the square wheels fall off.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 21:13 (seventeen years ago) link

thats a good bit

Site Admistrator (deangulberry), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 21:15 (seventeen years ago) link

Mack Daddy

Alienus Quam Reproba (blueski), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 21:16 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm okay with capitalizing Internet, but in the publishing world, people can just NOT let go of "Web site": capital W, two words. (You know, because it refers to a site on the World Wide Web.)

Somewhat related: for some reason, references to "the Net" (capitalized or not) always really grate on me. They sound really dated, like an issue of Wired from 10 years ago.

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 21:19 (seventeen years ago) link

(In case it wasn't clear, I prefer "website.")

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 21:19 (seventeen years ago) link

In the last Tom Wolfe book I read ('Hooking Up', iirc, c.2001?) he always capitalizes 'the Internet' and talks about the 'World Wide Web', - I know he desperately wants to appear on the cutting edge & hip to all the young cats' jive talk, but he sounds like my grandfather-in-law who used to refere to computers as 'comps', because he assumed that's what young folk called them.

bham, Thursday, 3 February 2005 09:41 (seventeen years ago) link


Whatever happened to VR? Can I not purchase the 'glove and hat' system for use at home anymore? I'm serious btw.

Ste (Fuzzy), Thursday, 3 February 2005 11:13 (seventeen years ago) link

ok, found it. blimey it's a lot cheaper than I expected. Does anybody on here own one of these VR systems? Are they any good?

Ste (Fuzzy), Thursday, 3 February 2005 11:31 (seventeen years ago) link

by 'hat' i mean 'goggles' obv.

Ste (Fuzzy), Thursday, 3 February 2005 11:50 (seventeen years ago) link

They're great.. giving you a headache.

Jarlr'mai (jarlrmai), Thursday, 3 February 2005 12:01 (seventeen years ago) link

thee modern interweb - i overheard this at the last FT night

nick.K (nick.K), Thursday, 3 February 2005 12:12 (seventeen years ago) link

were you, by any chance, standing next to ms starry?

CarsmileSteve (CarsmileSteve), Thursday, 3 February 2005 13:36 (seventeen years ago) link

seventeen years pass...

lol "superhighway". it's more like an Information Port-a-Potty now

Deez NFTs (Neanderthal), Saturday, 14 May 2022 14:53 (one week ago) link

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