[p2p-research] Building Alliances (history of computer networking)

J. Andrew Rogers reality.miner at gmail.com
Sat Nov 7 01:47:04 CET 2009

On Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 4:00 PM, Paul D. Fernhout
<pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
> But, when the military has so much money and, related to that, credibility
> and staying power, then they tend to get a lot more attention. So, I'm not
> sure it is fair, in a world where so much money gets sucked up and plopped
> into the military's lap, to then say what a wonderful thing the military
> funds stuff like the internet. Few others can do much if all the resources
> go to military projects in the USA.

US military R&D funding has traditionally had several things going for
it, whether or not it is true today.

First, their R&D programs have traditionally been run by extremely
smart technical people that understand the potential of an odd new
area of research, so there is a layer of insulation between clueless
bureaucrats and the person doing research. Second, military R&D is
simultaneously patient and results-oriented, looking for a specific
measurable result but willing to wait to get it as long as progress is
being made -- they aren't a VC looking for an exit real-soon-now.
Third, the military establishment has buckets of money to spend on
very expensive and/or very speculative research. :-)

>From my own perspective, their most distinctive trait is that their
understanding of technology and its potential is about a decade ahead
of the commercial markets, and they fund things based on that

J. Andrew Rogers

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