Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses The Internet

Tim Berners-Lee on the Future of the Web: 'The System is Failing' (theguardian.com) 165

Olivia Solon, writing for The Guardian: The inventor of the world wide web always maintained his creation was a reflection of humanity -- the good, the bad and the ugly. But Berners-Lee's vision for an "open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries" has been challenged by increasingly powerful digital gatekeepers whose algorithms can be weaponised by master manipulators. "I'm still an optimist, but an optimist standing at the top of the hill with a nasty storm blowing in my face, hanging on to a fence," said the British computer scientist. "We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence and not take it for granted that the web will lead us to wonderful things," he said. The spread of misinformation and propaganda online has exploded partly because of the way the advertising systems of large digital platforms such as Google or Facebook have been designed to hold people's attention. "People are being distorted by very finely trained AIs that figure out how to distract them," said Berners-Lee. In some cases, these platforms offer users who create content a cut of advertising revenue. The financial incentive drove Macedonian teenagers with "no political skin in the game" to generate political clickbait fake news that was distributed on Facebook and funded by revenue from Google's automated advertising engine AdSense. "The system is failing. The way ad revenue works with clickbait is not fulfilling the goal of helping humanity promote truth and democracy. So I am concerned," said Berners-Lee, who in March called for the regulation of online political advertising to prevent it from being used in "unethical ways."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Tim Berners-Lee on the Future of the Web: 'The System is Failing'

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The battle for the medium is sadly lost.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nobody forces you on the 1 percent controlled sites such as Facebook, Google or Twitter.

      Run your own little server at your DSL modem.

      Use the YaCy search engine.

      Get your news from RT and see how the elite lies to you every single day.

      • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @03:49PM (#55572357) Journal

        Nobody forces you on the 1 percent controlled sites such as Facebook, Google or Twitter.

        This. The problem isn't "the Web", the problem is "social media and AdSense". Heck, the specific problem TBL seems to be on about is confined to ads on the web (people still see those?).

        Obviously you don't have a free and open Web if by "Web" you mean "Facebook". If you go to one corp's site, you get controlled by that corp - that's on you, not "the Web".

        • by XXongo ( 3986865 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @04:27PM (#55572667) Homepage

          Nobody forces you on the 1 percent controlled sites such as Facebook, Google or Twitter.

          This. The problem isn't "the Web", the problem is "social media and AdSense".

          As the summary says, "People are being distorted by very finely trained AIs that figure out how to distract them." Nobody "forces" you on the clickbait sites: but the AIs figure out what will get to you, and makes sure it's made available. If you use the web: you are being watched. Not by big brother, but by data analysis tools that are figuring out where you go and what you click.

          If you think you're immune just because you don't use Facebook, Google, or Twitter... well, maybe. But more likely you just are being manipulated so deftly that you are unable to notice that you are being manipulated.

          • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @04:49PM (#55572839) Journal

            "AIs that figure out how to distract them" on Facebook and on Google ads, not in general. It's only worthwhile to manipulate Facebook's algorithms because it's not the open web. And as for ads: of course ads deceitfully manipulate you; I mean, really, is any adult unclear on that? But ads are trivial to block.

          • If you think you're immune just because you don't use Facebook, Google, or Twitter... well, maybe. But more likely you just are being manipulated so deftly that you are unable to notice that you are being manipulated.

            I kind-of doubt this. For my part, I've made it moderately hard for companies to do this. Not impossible, but hard enough that it's probably not worth doing. It's all a cost-benefit analysis. If one person makes it really hard, it's not worth the investment to go after them. If you even understand what they are doing in the first place.

            For my part, I separate my browsing into several different browsers on different platforms, with minimal cross-over between them. I think there is one site on my phone in com

            • If you think you're immune just because you don't use Facebook, Google, or Twitter... well, maybe. But more likely you just are being manipulated so deftly that you are unable to notice that you are being manipulated.

              I kind-of doubt this.

              And maybe you have. But you are using the web, aren't you. So maybe you are just being manipulated and you just aren't able to see it.

              As a general point, people who insist "I'm so smart I can't be manipulated" are the ones who are easiest to manipulate.

        • sir tim, the system is failing due to human error that designs it with all due respect.
      • "Get your news from RT and see how the elite lies to you every single day." - You mean the Russian elite.
  • Thanks for the DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Snufu ( 1049644 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @02:45PM (#55571751)

    Sir Tim.

    • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @03:01PM (#55571893) Homepage

      "Everybody is doing what they want instead of following my vision that they didn't share... the `system' is failing!" Well, maybe not. Maybe it is you that don't share their vision?

      I mean, I'm sure I personally prefer his vision, but why would "the system," ie everybody collectively, be following him? Should we also find all the engineers that built our cars and let them choose where we drive? It seems rather silly that an engineer building a tool would also tell us about policy and politics and business and all that.

      He complains about content and advertising, why isn't he publishing better content? It is open, people just aren't publishing what he wanted. He can fix that himself if he's actually talking about anything that is lacking; but no, instead he wants to tell people what NOT to publish. It won't work, they won't care.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You are blind sheep if you can't understand why they do not follow him....

        Initially web did not have any adds, and content was incredible, you could find real true research, if you were trying to sell something, you could potentially be banned...(you are to young to remember...) Now jake paul is pathetic crap for people with IQ of room temperature, and YT shares revenue with him, instead of someone that provide real content. JP is the same as cheap porn for masturbators

        as Tim says master manipulators are co

        • by mikael ( 484 )

          Those were the days of USENET pre-1994, which was intended to be for the academic and industrial research community. But small business owners back then could only get their subscription off the nearest university through JANET and a 64K ISDN link. This was due to the altruistic idea that anyone helping to distribute USENET could be paid to do so by those only wishing to have access. University IT departments weren't really good at maintaining their USENET service - it would frequently clog up due to the IS

      • by pots ( 5047349 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @04:33PM (#55572723)
        It seems like you missed the point of the article entirely. The problem is not that people are doing what they want, the problem is that they can't. Or won't be able to. The idea is that, increasingly, it's these "gatekeepers" dictating to us what we should want. The article mentions the attack on net neutrality specifically, being something which prevents people from doing what they want. (Unless of course, what you want just happens to be exactly what will make the most money for ISPs.)

        I don't know how you could have read that and heard exactly the opposite of what the article was saying.
        • Read the Article? This is Slashdot man. You get folks to actually read articles before posting and God knows what will befall us.

          There's a chance that changing the conduct of Slashdot readers might set into motion a sequence of events that might require Slashdot editors to find real work. Do you really want to be responsible for loosing them on an ill prepared universe?

        • by doom ( 14564 )
          Like Tim Berners-Lee, I think ad-supported media is a bust, but then I always have thought so-- almost anything works better: government support, private foundation support, direct appeals for contributions, or even the old-fashioned charge-for-hard-copy. I would infer that Berners-Lee has been persuaded that since ad-support is a problem we need to go with pay-for-content, which wouild explain his support for DRM technologies.
          • by pots ( 5047349 )
            Well... If you read between the lines when it comes to what he's talking about in the article, I think it might be his odd form of idealism that led to his support for that implementation of DRM. His primary concern is with "gatekeepers" controlling dialog between people. Some of that is violation of Network Neutrality, and some of that is proprietary closed information networks like Facebook. Facebook has all of these incestuous links which just take you to other parts of Facebook.

            He wants people to use
      • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @04:34PM (#55572725)

        > It won't work, they won't care.

        Some people, perhaps even the vast majority, are frightened sheep who need a shepherd. The problem is we all think we know who the best shepherd is (frequently we imagine it is us) and everyone else is a sheep, and nobody can agree on a shepherd-identification method other than "they agree with my firmly held beliefs".

        Somebody needs to tell the mob when they're wrong, when they're hurting themselves, and force them to behave in their own best interests. The inability (and perhaps fundamental impossibility) to identify and accept the best leaders and then follow their lead does not change the fact that the average person is a short-sighted, self-defeating, ignorant fool who is easily influenced but incapable of deciding what best to be influenced by. It's amazing the species has gotten as far as it has, really.

        • The people are all frightened sheep, and they already have shepherds.

          People who think they would be better shepherds should focus on growing greener grass, instead of complaining about moral issues that sheep don't even words to talk about!

        • by epine ( 68316 )

          Some people, perhaps even the vast majority, are frightened sheep who need a shepherd.

          I've lately been reading Do No Harm by Henry Marsh.

          An overriding theme of the book is how truly, madly, deeply the average person wishes to blindly trust, like, and admire the consulting neurosurgeon the moment a small, dark shadow makes an appearance on an ominous brain scan. He even goes so far as to suggest that neurosurgeons experience a similar emotional response when the same thing happens to them. (This being a po

      • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @04:41PM (#55572785) Journal
        He isn't wrong, though. The Internet has become rather shitty, is getting shittier as time goes by, and if it keep up the way it's going, it's not going to be worth paying for anymore, not for the risks, intrusions to privacy, and other bullshit we're all increasingly having to try to work around and otherwise put up with.
        • The internet is like Las Vegas. It used to be a lot more fun and seedy, but now corporations have taken over and made it attractive to middle Americans and kid-friendly. People that miss the excitement of old know to look somewhere else, just like the internet today.

          • At least Vegas is still somewhat tolerable... Times Square was so devastated by Disneyfication people who live in NYC avoid it like the plague. As the dark corners disappear one by one, the internet will stop being like Vegas and become Times Square. The horror!
      • by sudon't ( 580652 )

        "Everybody is doing what they want instead of following my vision that they didn't share... the `system' is failing!" Well, maybe not. Maybe it is you that don't share their vision?

        I mean, I'm sure I personally prefer his vision, but why would "the system," ie everybody collectively, be following him? Should we also find all the engineers that built our cars and let them choose where we drive? It seems rather silly that an engineer building a tool would also tell us about policy and politics and business and all that.

        He complains about content and advertising, why isn't he publishing better content? It is open, people just aren't publishing what he wanted. He can fix that himself if he's actually talking about anything that is lacking; but no, instead he wants to tell people what NOT to publish. It won't work, they won't care.

        He’s lamenting the loss of a more democratic web, where all kinds of content was possible. You can’t compete with these huge commercial entities. Since the commercialization of the web, all these little one-person web sites have disappeared, and the ones that still exist have gotten harder to find due to the peculiarities of Google’s algorithms. Unless you have a million other sites linking to you, you’re pushed way down in the results. I don’t use Google, but it seems most peo

        • He’s lamenting the loss of a more democratic web, where all kinds of content was possible.

          All kinds of content is possible now, so that can't be it!

          You can’t compete with these huge commercial entities.

          Why would "all kinds" of content be competing with just one type of content? This claim only makes sense if your first point is wrong and he means something else!

          Very, very little of the valuable content that I find is "competing" with anything! Certainly not commercial content, as the reward feedback loops for commercial content do not encourage maximizing the information quality, or the quality of the user experience! A commercial training company

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What the W3C does is pretty much irrelevant, since they aren't really a browser vendor. (I think the Amaya project was ended years ago.)

      If any browser vendor is to blame for Chrome becoming the standard, I think that blame would fall on Mozilla.

      Firefox had some amazing momentum. It rapidly got to about 35% of the browser market, back when IE was its main competitor. But then Mozilla decided to throw it all away. They started making unwanted changes to Firefox, and continued doing this even after users screa

      • Right, the fact that Google pushed Chrome on it's search page didn't factor into it at all.

        Not to say Mozilla didn't/doesn't make any mistakes, but at least their users aren't the product

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Right, the fact that Google pushed Chrome on it's search page didn't factor into it at all.

          It really had no significant impact at all.

          Users who saw such an advertisement for Chrome would still have had to:

          1) Choose to download Chrome.
          2) Choose to install Chrome.
          3) Choose to try Chrome for the first time.
          4) Choose to continue using Chrome again and again and again and again, for years on end.
          5) Choose to not use Firefox, or Edge, or Safari, or whatever other web browser(s) they might have installed.

          Just seei

          • I'd argue that distributing Chrome as shovelware had more impact than the annoy nag on their homepage. It's also a lot more questionable from the "Do no evil" standpoint, not that Google follows that anymore.

      • it uses less memory

        One of the reasons why I use Firefox is because this machine only has 512MB RAM. A single Facebook tab on chrome grinds it to a halt while Firefox works smoothly.

  • ... it's the people that are failing.

    • Maybe they're not failing, maybe they were always vapid and shallow and lame and there was just less communication!

      Maybe this is the correct result of an "open" system?

      I know that what I see around me is exactly what I pictured the future being like when I first moved from the BBS to the internet! Lots and lots of vapid crap, and also some great content for people who are looking for it! Duh

      It may be that the problems he describes with fake news can be dealt with by regulating the advertisers in the places

      • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

        Look at what happened to CB radio (at least in the US), the original "open platform" for communication. It was eventually discovered that most people have absolutely nothing to say.

        The inventors of the TV also thought it would be used for the average person to see plays and listen to symphonies.

        • Look at what happened to CB radio (at least in the US), the original "open platform" for communication. It was eventually discovered that most people have absolutely nothing to say.

          The inventors of the TV also thought it would be used for the average person to see plays and listen to symphonies.

          They're not far off in my house, we only watch PBS! I mostly ignored visual media until youtube started getting good educational content. Now I use it to watch university lectures, and also amateur lectures that are just as good! And cat videos. I don't want to own a cat, thanks to all the people who share theirs online!

          Actually, on CB radio if you're on the right channel there are a lot of people who do have something to say, "Hey I got a flat tire on the ___ at the __ milepost, can anybody help me out?" A

        • The inventors of the TV also thought it would be used for the average person to see plays

          Well, yeah [youtube.com]...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cannot be considered a failure, ever

  • by Anonymous Coward

    GTFO off Social Media.
    Those who get their "news" from FB or Twitter are the problem.

  • But are those particular lies what's making people miserable? The Macedonians create them to earn money to make their lives less miserable, then the lies get lapped up by people looking for an explanation for why their lives are miserable. The lies are a symptom, not a cause,
  • Ban all online advertising and tracking.

    Maybe one day people will learn to have respect for themselves and tell corporations to stop profiting from selling data about them. Maybe.

    • by Altrag ( 195300 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @04:02PM (#55572473)

      They won't. Free stuff is more important to people than some random company somewhere knowing that they ate a salad for lunch or whatever. We might not prefer being constantly tracked, but for the vast majority of people its a minor concern, with a few exceptions (naked pictures, medical history and the such,) and vastly eclipsed by the convenience of the modern world.

      Online advertising isn't really a huge issue anymore either to be honest. Sure its annoying as hell, but Google does a pretty good job of ensuring its AdSense ads aren't too invasive (maybe not a perfect job, but far better than you'd get from the government introducing an almost-certainly-broken legal restriction) and you have AdBlock/uBlock/etc to minimize much of the rest of it.

      Really, the biggest problems with the internet are no longer corporate and haven't been for a while. Sure there's still some issues coming from that camp but right now politics is by far the more dangerous beast in the pit -- countries like China that wall themselves off as a way to control their populace, countries like the US that are about to intentionally break net neutrality purely to benefit a small number of large ISPs, countries like Russia that allow and even promote hackers breaking everything (you think those people just go back to a day job between US elections?)

      The internet was designed to work around physical damage, and it inherently works around data damage such as copyright restrictions due to massive redundancy, but its cracks start showing when the attackers are the major gatekeepers and ISPs since they're essentially attacking their own service. Sure in theory you could create your own off-the-grid "internet" as a workaround but even if you managed to scale it up to the level of the current internet, you'd just find that you're in the same boat and would be facing the same problems. Someone is always going to be in control of the fattest pipes, and those pipes in turn control basically everything in practice, even if not in principle.

    • Simple solution - Ban all online advertising and tracking

      Yes, what could be simpler than convincing hundreds of different governments and / or private entities (depending on who you think will be enforcing this ban) to agree on a regulatory framework? Good luck with that.

      If I may, I think I can propose an even simpler solution: If you don't like online advertising then don't visit sites that advertise. Problem solved.

    • Agreed, advertising is just modern day whoring...well, putting on a display by a brothel, for a brothel. It's drawing room like behavior.

    • Ban all online advertising and tracking.

      I wouldn't even go as far as that. Just banning all non-opted-in tracking would be good enough for me. Any tracking event Google gets can only be used if Google can prove the event comes from one of their opted-in customers. If it does, they can log it, save it forever and data-mine it to their hearts' content. But if they can't prove this link, they must delete the event from their system immediately; not save it, not correlate it, not sell it to other parties.

      Google can make "consent to tracking" a condit

  • But Berners-Lee's vision for an "open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries" has been challenged by increasingly powerful digital gatekeepers whose algorithms can be weaponised by master manipulators.

    And one of those gatekeepers, ironically, being Berners-Lee as a designer of a system inimical to authors. [youtu.be]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you cannot be bothered to learn some basic HTML for your publishing needs, chances are you have no serious intellectual power anyway.

      WYSIWYG stuff is mostly impossible to properly debug. Overcomplex, badly documented markup. Publishing for the DumbArds of industry.

      • Putting aside the fact that a lot of the stuff is hardly "basic" (ever seen MathML?), why the concept redundancy? Not wishing to do one thing in multiple incompatible ways and being able to focus on solving actual problems instead of pseudo-problems is "[having] no serious intellectual power"?

        WYSIWYG stuff is mostly impossible to properly debug. Overcomplex, badly documented markup.

        A red herring. No "overcomplex, badly documented markup" is needed because no markup is needed. Give me decent objects instead, like Smalltalk did. The Web, as it exists now, seems like a mediocre solution to the wrong

      • If you cannot be bothered to learn some basic HTML for your publishing needs

        In the past people said the same about writing in cursive. Technology should help us do things as easily as possible, not create obstacles that encourage false elitism.

      • If you can't be bothered to learn some basic machine code for your needs....

        Coders should just copy con: program.exe

  • Web 3.0 will most likely be built on blockchain technology, and resolve most of the issues mentioned above. e.g. advertising: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse... [linkedin.com]

    • by Altrag ( 195300 )

      I don't know about "most likely," given that the future of cryptocurrencies in general is constantly in flux (being unrelated to the real world has some benefits to be sure, but there's also some drawbacks.. and the capability of any old fool to invent a new cryptocurrency kind of dilutes the whole thing as well..)

      That said, it would be nice to have some alternatives to ad spamming. Especially if the websites implementing such a thing were up front about it (some sort of display to indicate how the mining

  • Of course, academic Marxists *are* delusional...

    Anyone who know a whit of history knows that an "open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries" is completely contrary to human nature and the economics it creates.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What you call delusional, some call idealists.

      A world without slavery, where women and men are considered equals, where conflicts between nations can be resolved through negotiation instead of war, where democracy is preferred to tyranny, where civilization trumps barbarism, is also contrary to human nature. Yet, all these goals are being achieved, albeit slowly.

      Why ? Because of "academic marxists" and other types of idealists who believe that, against all odds, humanity can rise above basic animal barbaris

    • by Altrag ( 195300 )

      I'd go ahead and disagree there.. mostly:
      - Economics: Modern economics exists purely because of scarcity. Nobody really knows what the world would look like if scarcity wasn't an issue. For a rather silly analogy, consider Minecraft: The real world is kind of like survival -- you have to face challenges and collect resources in order to progress and do what you want. A scarcity-free world is more like creative -- you just have as much of everything you want and everyone can do whatever they want. Sure

      • by Nutria ( 679911 )

        Nothing you wrote disagrees with what I wrote.

      • by ezdiy ( 2717051 )
        > Its really hard to imagine what such a world would look like though or how humans would adapt to it, since none of us have ever seen such a thing

        Free software.

        > he digital world will always, at some level, be based upon real world computers built out of real world parts and sucking up real world energy to operate.)

        Realistically, information has only value for as long it remains secret. Information-theoretic scarcity exists only for as long till the first copy is auctioned off (or stolen) an
        • by Altrag ( 195300 )

          I have to somewhat disagree with all of that. While the ideas may not be limited by scarcity, transmitting and storing those ideas is. Free software isn't "free" -- the guy who writes it is paying for it with his time, github and Sourceforge pay for their servers to host that free software via ads and the such, and so on. Now of course its much much closer to free (when dividing the author's time by all of the users) thanks to the lack of profit motive, but somebody, somewhere is still paying for it.

          The question is .. we have this ridiculous intellectual property nonsense

          Prim

          • by ezdiy ( 2717051 )
            > transmitting and storing those ideas is. > github and Sourceforge pay for their servers > then we might be able to have a discussion about truly free information.

            You mean cost of bandwidth, not cost of information as such. Typically, whoever makes-a-copy-pays-for-bandwidth are the rational schemes, not something ridiculously overpriced like a datacenter (those are expensive, though great for gatekeeping of artificial scarcity schemes).

            The cost of making a copy of popular information is triv
            • by Altrag ( 195300 )

              You mean cost of bandwidth, not cost of information as such

              No I mean the source-to-destination cost of everything -- the author's time, the hosting service they distribute from (even if that's just a reddit post saying "here's my torrent!", reddit servers aren't free either,) the ISP equipment between all of these points, your own internet and electricity bill, etc.

              The cost of making a copy of popular information is trivial

              Its very low yes, if you discount all of the costs mentioned above.. which a lot of people do because they aren't directly obvious as a dollar amount cost. But every ad you ignore on TPB when you're loo

    • Typical libertarian. The protocols designed by that "marxist" are the ones that allow you to freely pst your opinion here, and instead of recognizing that, you spit in his face.

      • by Nutria ( 679911 )

        Typical libertarian.

        ProTip: Marxists aren't the only ones who are delusional about human nature.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The financial incentive drove Macedonian teenagers with "no political skin in the game" to generate political clickbait fake news that was distributed on Facebook and funded by revenue from Google's automated advertising engine AdSense. "The system is failing

    So why aren't those Macedonian teens now facing charges for tax evasion or fraud? They surely didn't report correctly their income from these services. Right?

  • So, yeah, the web is dead. We just have the winners now, pretending they will rule forever with their caches full of all our data. My money's on a web 3.0 (no blockchain), not this attention/info stealing/ lifetime tracking nonsense.

  • by Zorro ( 15797 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @03:19PM (#55572079)

    Failure? It is the most efficient Pornography distribution system ever created!

    It was simply misunderstood what people REALLY wanted when there were no consequences.

  • Regulate advertising and you still have to deal with biases in "news" which are far more persuasive than online advertising. I honestly don't know how Trump won with the way the news portrayed him but I'm pretty sure online ads weren't a source of success. If anything an advertisement is a reason not to believe what something is saying because you already know there is an inherent bias. Enough diet pills have made false promises about losing weight that anyone of voting age knows they can't be trusted. Ne
  • As Expected (Score:5, Insightful)

    by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @03:27PM (#55572169) Journal
    "The inventor of the world wide web always maintained his creation was a reflection of humanity -- the good, the bad and the ugly."

    Consolidation of knowledge and power into a few hands.. sounds pretty run of the mill to me.
  • Look at the promise that television offered the world, and look what a cesspool that is now. TC garbage is popular enough that it's self-sustaining, even when it's managed by "professionals" who had better perform well or lose a paycheck. So apparently this is what the people want. There's even less motivation to be professional on the web.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's simple. Ban phones from the internet, or create new protocols which structurally exclude phone users.
    Phone users are simply too stupid to be allowed on the internet. The introduction of the iphone was the worst September since the first September. (Even though the iphone was released in July)

    Even if the user themselves isn't actually dumb as a fucking rock, the simple fact that they're interacting though a touch interface rather than their usual desktop shaves off at least 40 IQ points.
    Phones make you

  • What he is saying is sort of like claiming books and magazines failed because of ads or self publishing. People can filter out the dross. It's not hard and there are even plugins to help.

    It is also not really appropriate to claim he is the inventor of the Internet which is a combination of a huge number of things over a long period of time which evolved from long before his work to today.

  • The dangers that Tim Berner Lee describes are real. He call them gatekeepers. They are plain old monopolies. This is this classical situation when companies are taking advantage of infrastructures with decreasing marginal costs (e.g. rails). In the case of digital economy, marginal costs goes down to almost zero. That enables the creation and existence of monster sized companies with monster profits. On top of that their influence through search functions and social medias on public opinion is tremendously

  • “The way ad revenue works with clickbait is not fulfilling the goal of helping humanity...” (Berners-Lee)

    Advertisement in general is a scourge, because it corrupts the fundamental relationship in commerce between the purchaser of goods (the original client) and the provider.

    I would be entirely in favour of outlawing ad-supported anything: mass media, mass transit, schools, highway cleanup, politics, sports, you name it. Ads are everywhere, polluting space and minds and surreptitiously transferring any control formerly held by consumers to that of corporations buying advertisement space. Such prohibition would

    • Advertising isn't always evil. When it's working right, it informs people of the existence of stuff they'd like. Word-of-mouth would not be an adequate substitute. I imagine the economy would dive pretty rapidly if you categorically banned advertising.

      • You are right. What concerns me is the dependence on advertising revenue, not the desire to announce the availability of a product, which is quite legitimate.

        I would gamble that prohibiting (or severely curbing) paid advertisement would give rise to (or, rather, greatly strengthen) other forms of communications, such as unpaid/uncompensated reviews. Those are not immune to abuse, of course, but they can probably be reasonably well regulated in an enforceable manner. This would change the way we find product

  • how Russian and Chinese web fragmentation bring doom to these countries.

  • Tim Berners-Lee AND Roy Fielding.
  • Is there a name for this anti-pattern of writing?

    It's only ever journalists that use it - they attribute the quote to the speaker's role, not to their name. Anyone else would just introduce the reader to the speaker, and then use their name to identify them in the natural way.

To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.

Working...