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The Internet

As the Web Turns 25, Sir Tim Berners-Lee Calls For A Web Magna Carta 80

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dream-machines-realized dept.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee's "Information Management: A Proposal," containing the ideas that led to the World Wide Web. From its humble beginnings as a way to store linked documents at CERN to... well, you're reading this now. To celebrate, the W3C is encouraging people to post their birthday greetings. Quoting Tim Berners-Lee: "In the following quarter-century, the Web has changed the world in ways that I never could have imagined. There have been many exciting advances. It has generated billions of dollars in economic growth, turned data into the gold of the 21st century, unleashed innovation in education and healthcare, whittled away geographic and social boundaries, revolutionised the media, and forced a reinvention of politics in many countries by enabling constant two-way dialogue between the rulers and the ruled." Martin S. and JestersGrind both wrote in to note that Tim Berners-Lee is calling for the creation of a Web Magna Carta. Again Quoting Tim Berners-Lee "It's time for us to make a big communal decision," he said. "In front of us are two roads - which way are we going to go? Are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control - more and more surveillance? Or are we going to set up a bunch of values? Are we going to set up something like a Magna Carta for the world wide web and say, actually, now it's so important, so much part of our lives, that it becomes on a level with human rights?" How has the rise of the web affected your life? Also check out the CERN line mode browser simulation of the first web site.
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As the Web Turns 25, Sir Tim Berners-Lee Calls For A Web Magna Carta

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  • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @10:38AM (#46464489) Homepage Journal

    forced a reinvention of politics in many countries by enabling constant two-way dialogue between the rulers and the ruled.

    - yes, today more people realize that it is better to be free than "the ruled". As an anarcho-capitalist / libertarian / objectivist I welcome the use of technology to let people to get from under the oppression of these rulers.

  • by MacDork (560499) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @10:42AM (#46464529) Journal
    I got tired of him when he endorsed DRM. That would be rule 1 and 2 for my web Magna Carta: No DRM.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:14AM (#46464921)

    "Without the web, my life would be much, much smaller and poorer."

    I feel sorry for you. Seriously. I use most of the above too but if I lost web access it would be like loosing the TV - annoying but hardly a big deal in the scheme of things. Perhaps you need to find some real life friends and do some more outdoor activities.

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @01:12PM (#46466315)

    I meant "my life would be much, much smaller and poorer" in a few ways. The obvious use of "poorer" is that I wouldn't have the job I have now. No need for a web developer if the web didn't exist! (Yes, I'd be doing something else. Likely with computers, but who knows if I'd enjoy it as much as I enjoy web development.)

    Also, my world would literally be smaller. I'd know my tiny circle of "In Real Life" friends/co-workers/family and that would be it. Given the small geographic area that all of us occupy, our life experiences are somewhat the same. Yes, there are variations, but nothing too radical. Online, however, I converse with people from across the United States, Canada, Australia, etc. If I'm discussing an issue, I can get viewpoints from people who have much different life experiences and who live in many different situations. This also means that we can compare reportings of world events. If TV news reports here say that X happened, reports in France say that Y happened, and reports from Japan say Z happened, we can all get together to try to figure out the truth. (Or at least cut through some of the spin that news programs love to add.) All of this inter-connectedness adds richness to my life, so my life would be poorer were the Internet to disappear.

    Finally, the Internet has enabled me to connect with people based on interests instead of based on geographic location. Growing up, I knew only one other person who liked science fiction even remotely as much as I did. I can't even begin to count the number of people I've met online who share my interests. What's more, the Internet has enabled me to pursue new interests. I wanted to try making a fez for a Doctor Who costume so I looked up some tutorials, found a blog with detailed templates/photos/descriptions, and made my own fez. It came out so good that my Whovian kids wanted their own. I even connected with the blog's author to thank her. Without the Internet, I wouldn't have known how to do this at all. At best, I might have found a magazine article with some limited instructions... after much searching... if my library felt the need to stock that particular issue of that particular magazine.

    Then there's the fact that I communicate a whole lot better online than face-to-face. (Asperger's Syndrome + social pressure to say the right thing at just the right moment = poor face-to-face conversation skills. Constantly working on it, but I'm much better communicating via writing.) Actually, in many ways, communicating with people online has helped me communicate better with people face-to-face since I can remember how I responded to something online and draw upon that in a face-to-face discussion.

    The Internet is a big part of my life in many different ways and I wouldn't want to go back to life without it.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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