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Old Clip Of David Letterman Mocking Bill Gates For Thinking The Internet Will Be The 'Big New Thing' Goes Viral

CBS

One never knows what the future will bring when it comes to advancements in technology.

Indeed, did people 26 years ago really have any idea how much we would be using, if not wholly depending, on the internet today?

Davide Letterman certainly didn't.

He even said as much to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in a 1995 interview, which resurfaced on the Twitter page of tech billionaire Elon Musk—recently named Time Magazine's "Person of the Year".

Sharing a video from the TikTok page of internet entrepreneur and podcaster Jason Calacanis, Musk accompanied the post with a contemplative musing on what the future holds in store for us.

"Given the almost unimaginable nature of the present, what will the future be."

The video began with a quick intro from Calacanis, who could be seen watching the entire interview thanks to a split screen.

A doubtful Letterman first asked Gates if he knew anything about this “internet thing” before asking "what the hell is that exactly", to roars of laughter from the audience.

After Gates explained the internet as a "wild" new way of instantly publishing information and declaring it was the "big new thing", Letterman wasted no time in mocking the tech giant.

"It's easy to criticize something you don't fully understand, which is my position here."
"But I can remember a couple of months ago, there was like a big breakthrough announcement, that on the internet or on some computer deal, they were going to broadcast a baseball game."
"You could listen to a baseball game on your computer."
"And I just thought to myself, does radio ring a bell?"

Once again, the studio audience was unable to hold back on their laughter, and this time neither was Gates.

While Gates made an attempt to differentiate the radio and Internet, by specifying how the baseball game would be available at any time on the Internet and not merely during its scheduled time like on the radio, Letterman was once again ready with a cheeky comeback.

“Do tape recorders ring a bell?”

The video ended with a short epilogue by Calacanis, commenting on how "incredible" it is to look back on this interview today, when the internet is all but a household utility and anyone can publish anything to the internet without being beholden to a gatekeeper, as on the radio.

Calacanis concluded the video by remarking how this brought back all the old discussions he used to have about the internet in his early 20s, which is similar to his current discussions regarding Web3.

Web3 is a theorized new stage of the internet, intended to be controlled more by users and less by tech conglomerates.

As was to be expected, Twitter users were in stitches when the interview resurfaced, with several people wondering if we'll find similar interviews 25 years from now about how things such as crypto currency and indeed, Web3 were believed to be merely passing fads.






Though, following several Tweets linking the 1995 interview to Web3, Elon Musk subsequently tweeted a follow up, expressing his doubts Web3 will ever fully materialize, calling it a "buzzword."

Musk also expressed his curiosity about what the world will be like in 2051.

But as David Letterman has learned since that 1995 interview, we simply have no way of knowing.