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Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.
[…] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.”
Maybe Ted Stevens was right. Maybe the Internet really is a series of tubes in desperate need of a retrofit. Maybe the time has come to rethink its underlying architecture. Certainly that’s the impression one is left with after reading through this whitepaper put forth by the Clean Slate Design for the Internet project. ” … Our reliance on the Internet makes us victims of its success, and vulnerable to its shortcomings,” the whitepaper’s authors write. ” … We don’t believe that we can or should continue to rely on a network that is often broken, frequently disconnected, unpredictable in its behavior, rampant with (and unprotected from) malicious users, and probably not economically sustainable. … We believe the Internet’s shortcomings will not be resolved by the conventional incremental and “backward-compatible” style of academic and industrial networking research. The proposed program will focus on unconventional, bold, and long-term research that tries to break the network’s ossification. To this end, the research program can be characterized
by two research questions: “With what we know today, if we were to start again with a clean slate, how would we design a global communications infrastructure?” and “How should the Internet look in 15 years?”
Beats me. But if you’re going to go rebuilding the Internet, don’t forget Fred Brooks’s warning about “second-system effect”: “When one is designing the successor to a relatively small, elegant and successful system, there is a tendency to become grandiose in one’s success and design an elephantine feature-laden monstrosity.”