Without trying to defend the clueless Senator Ted Stevens, I still have to ask: Why was it stupid for him to say the Internet is a “series of tubes” but it’s smart when people in the know call it a “bunch of pipes“? Huh? (Yeah, I know Doc says it’s not just pipes, it’s also a marketplace, which as we know means it’s also a conversation.) Here’s a map of all those pipes, btw. Looks like a big clusterfuck of tubes, actually, more than a “series.”
Context is everything, man. When people in the know refer to the Net as a bunch of pipes, they mean it metaphorically and their audience understands this. When Stevens says it’s a series of tubes, he seems to mean it literally, and his speech carries the implication that he thinks he knows more about the subject than everyone he’s talking to.
there’s also the fact that he sounded like a freakin’ idiot. “I got an Internet yesterday” is the stupidest part of his commentary, in my opinion.
Still, I’m holding out for dubbing the internet “a clusterfuck of pipes.” Or of tubes. I don’t really care which.
John Stewart had two good commentaries on this. In the first, he explains the internets:
And in the second, he brings in an expert to explain how the internets are not like a dump truck.