Vint Cerf on the BBC

Vint CerfI listen to Radio 4 veraciously and I always tune in to their morning news programme, Today.

Recently two things have really annoyed me about the show. The first is the noise of people typing in the background as interviews take place. Are you listening or typing – you can’t do both!

The second and admittedly less grumpy reason, is John Humphrys’ increasingly oblique and monotopic questioning style.

So it was great to here Vint Cerf , Godfather of the Internet, interviewed today and respond in such a measured, informed and sensible way to and increasingly redundant set of questions from the Humphrys.

Vint has put the cat amongst the pigeons by, apparently, declaring TV dead in his speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. But on the Today programme, he was talking about regulation of the Internet versus freedom of speech. A topic that some may rightly question him on given his position with Google and their track record. But given that some of the points raised could have been batted around all day, I was impressed by how clear he kept his points.

My favorite ‘quote’ of the interview was a point he made about the internet being a reflection of society (one of those that could become a long debate). On regulating the internet to stop bad behavior in society, he replied (and I paraphrase): When you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see. You don’t regulate the mirror. You do something about that which is reflected in it.

Have a listen via the BBC listen again service (may not be available to some)

4 Replies to “Vint Cerf on the BBC”

  1. Cyndy. I hear that. Very similar thing in the UK. We have a very active ‘if you see a problem legislate against it’. Politics hey.

    I suppose the thing it does reflect is how little people really understand about how the Internet works. It’s never going to be easy to regulate unless there are restrictions of the kind that China is used to. But in the west the kind of personal, information based freedom we enjoy wouldn’t stand up to too much of that kind of thing.

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