Al Gore to ARPANET Research Team, 1977

The original ARPANET Subcommittee

Dear Team,

As our project moves forward, I want to take a moment to congratulate you all on your progress so far. In just a few years, you have managed to create a backbone that will lead the world into the 21st century. I predict a revolution in commerce and communication unlike anything since the printing press. You are truly building the future.

However, I think we need to refocus our goals. Right now, ARPANET can transmit data over long distances. What we need, as a society, is a way to transmit, not just data, but cat pictures. This project must create a way for Americans and people from around the world to send pictures of cats to each other. These cats will be adorable and there will be hundreds of pictures of them being adorable. Funny faces, cute poses, or holding objects that cats do not normally hold, these will be the future of world communication.

Gentlemen, I must stress that the time for caution has passed. Today, more than ever, our country stands on the precipice. If we do not act boldly, swiftly, and decisively, these cat pictures could be taken from us and distributed to Japan, Europe, or even the Soviet Union. I do not need to stress the geopolitical ramifications of a Kremlin stuffed with adorable cat pictures.

Godspeed,

Rep. Al Gore

Analysis:

When the Clinton Presidential Librarian found this memo in a box marked “Property of Albert Gore, KEEP OUT!!!!,” she was rightfully shocked. In the now-infamous 2000 presidential campaign, Republicans were able to make great headway by ridiculing the then-Vice President’s claims about creating the internet. This letter proves conclusively that Gore had a greater hand in the modern internet than any of us had given him credit for. Originally, ARPANET was to be focused on providing rapid communication for defense purposes. It was Gore who added what is now considered to be the main function of the internet, silly cat pictures.

By the early days of the Reagan administration, the project had succeeded in increasing the US Cat Picture Capability (CPC) 20-fold. From only being able to send one picture a month in a manilla envelope, the Department of Defense could now send hundreds of cat photos in minutes. The Soviets were understandably shaken when their intelligence was able to determine the full range of the US CPC, and the KGB immediately started working on a countermeasure. However the “Adorable Rabbit Inter-Computer Transmission Project” (ARICT) was an expensive failure. When the project collapsed in 1989, reform was inevitable.

When Gore became Vice-President in 1992, he used his newfound power to again expand the US CPC. It was at this time that diligent researchers were able to invent the “Land-Orbital Launcher Cat,” or LOLCat. By adding comically misspelled phrasing to CPC generated pictures, the adorable factor was increased exponentially, to levels previously believed to be highly dangerous. Historians believe that this development led directly to the Tech Boom of the 1990s. So thank you, Mr. Gore. For without you, History of the Letter would still be a bi-monthly newsletter. You can indeed haz cheezburger.

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