Author Topic: The Father of the Web Confronts His Creation  (Read 183 times)

xairbusdriver

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The Father of the Web Confronts His Creation
« on: November 15, 2017, 07:29:31 PM »
A 28 year old acting like a teenager?
Bloomberg, via WHIR So, how does the web use you?

elagache

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Lots to worry about. (Re: The Father of the Web Confronts His Creation)
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 11:48:34 PM »
Dear X-Air and WeatherCat Internet old-timers,

A 28 year old acting like a teenager?
Bloomberg, via WHIR So, how does the web use you?

Thanks for posting this.  It was interesting although I assume it was written as much for entertainment value as any attempt to ask hard questions about the state of the Internet in general and the World Wide Web in particular.

Like some of us, my experience with the Internet goes all the way back to 1983 during my senior year at Cal Berkeley.  Because I started out as an academic user, I definitely have concerns about the original intent of the World Wide Web as a repository of online knowledge.  This role has taken a back seat and not to our credit.  This community is a rare exception between this forum and the WeatherCat Wiki.  I don't have to look further than the Buick communities with whom I also interact.  The number of times the same question is asked over and the answer is never exactly the same because of course all the answers come from a fickle social memory.

I worry a lot about how the World Wide Web (and Internet) has been commercialized.  The paradox of big-companies making obscene amounts of money while the user-community is stubbornly seeking services for free is hard for me to swallow.  The rise of nosy information companies should not be a price any Internet user should be willing to pay - yet, too many foolish users allow these companies to raid their wallets indirectly instead of paying a fair prices for the services offered.

My greatest worry is the power that the large IT companies now wield over our society.  Never have we concentrated a group of specialists in a very narrow discipline to have such all-encompassing effects on world as a whole.  Such success invariably inflates egos, but the ability to deploy complex information technologies has utterly nothing to do with understanding the responsibilities to humankind in manipulating the information upon which we all depend.  When Andrew Carnegie monopolized steel, he couldn't cause engineers to think that steel was a better material.  The same was true of John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford and their of the Mongols of their time.  They couldn't manipulate the customers wanting their product - all the could do is control the supply.  Companies like Google, Facebook, and even Apple and in the business of moving information around and they are so self-confident that they don't hesitate to manipulate that information in directions that they are 100% confident are for the public good.  The sad truth is that nobody should be 100% confident about anything.  Wisdom always carries a certain amount of sorrow and humility.  By that metric alone, the giants of the silicon valley lack wisdom, and are arrogant enough to believe that old-fashioned wisdom is truly obsolete in our "modern world."  As George Santayana is credited to have said:  "Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it."   Sadly those who would insist they are making history accessible to everyone seem to have neglected to learn from that history for themselves.

Edouard

Steve

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Re: The Father of the Web Confronts His Creation
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 03:25:08 PM »
While the WWW is just 28 years old, it was still quite easy to get "online" prior to that. Compuserve and Usenet predate W3C by a few years. Direct dialup was available since the late '60s. I was dialing into the University of Toledo from Bowling Green State University in 1972. That technological wonder was used to further my academic understanding of the Moonlander game... (on a teletype machine, no less, with no screen. Enter your adjustment, wait, wait, wait, go to the printer to see your new status, try again, eventually crash...)
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


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xairbusdriver

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Re: The Father of the Web Confronts His Creation
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 04:09:33 PM »
Yes, indeed, the crashes are much faster now! Progress! cmu:-)

I think the first thing most diap-up modem users did was to create a script to turn off the 'hand-shake" sounds! [rolleyes2]