john markoff wrote a great piece in the ny times on sunday on the forces that created and shaped the early internet.
as a technology and policy wonk and a product of 70s scandinavian semi-socialism i've always thought that government has an important long-term role to play in our technology infrastructure and innovation landscape. radical ey!
capitalism works fine with a one year horizon, sometimes it can look out three years and occasionally even five years. but try doing something longer than that and it requires the kind of leadership and long-term thinking that is at odds with most corporate charters... i.e. profit. layer in a situation where the profit motive is unclear or non-existent and free market forces won't do.