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Mon Nov 25, 2019, 01:31 PM

I Invented the World Wide Web. Here's How We Can Fix It.

My parents were mathematicians. My mother helped code one of the first stored-program computers — the Manchester Mark 1. They taught me that when you program a computer, what you can do is limited only by your imagination. That excitement for experimentation and change helped me build the World Wide Web.

I had hoped that 30 years from its creation, we would be using the web foremost for the purpose of serving humanity. Projects like Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap and the world of open source software are the kinds of constructive tools that I hoped would flow from the web.

However, the reality is much more complex. Communities are being ripped apart as prejudice, hate and disinformation are peddled online. Scammers use the web to steal identities, stalkers use it to harass and intimidate their victims, and bad actors subvert democracy using clever digital tactics. The use of targeted political ads in the United States’ 2020 presidential campaign and in elections elsewhere threatens once again to undermine voters’ understanding and choices.

We’re at a tipping point. How we respond to this abuse will determine whether the web lives up to its potential as a global force for good or leads us into a digital dystopia.


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Reply I Invented the World Wide Web. Here's How We Can Fix It. (Original post)
Zorro Nov 2019 OP
mahina Nov 2019 #1
Igel Nov 2019 #2

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 03:41 PM

1. K and hope filled R

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 04:32 PM

2. Same's true for every technology.

Printing, mail, phones, radio, tv.

Somebody invented steel. Great--now we can make sharper tools and work stone better.

And make swords. And really great knives for stabbing.

Planes? Move people! And drop bombs!

Even the originator of the process that produces most of the nitrogen fertilizer that enabled the Green Revolution was ultimately responsible for producing a very nice fumigant for reducing pests in crops and increasing crop yields. The fumigant was used in Auschwitz for people that the Nazis considered pests, as well.

Imposing (a particular) morality and set of virtues on a population is a common totalitarian impulse. It should be resisted.

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