Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the Web

In just over 5 minutes, TimBL sons this dude something hard for not knowing what Net Neutrality is (an interviewer should at least understand the topic they’re asking questions about), then he goes on to mock the interviewers blatantly biased follow up question.

Finally, TimBL articulates what’s so magical and fascinating (on a scientific level) about the Web and how to most it’s just seen as a toy or a form of entertainment – but really, there’s something brilliant and technologically out of our grasp about the Web (it is where technology meets a truly democratic and free, open society). And it may take another 25 years for us to truly come to understand that social dynamic that TimBL stumbled upon while trying to improve scientific research in Physics. His original vision for the Web is, in essence, what Wikipedia is today – a wealth of free knowledge and open to all to contribute and improve upon.

(There’s so much I want to say about this video by PBS – from the incorrect naming of the video to the obvious misunderstanding of the very subject they’re interviewing TimBL about, but I won’t waste the time. Instead, I’d like to focus on the latter portion of the interview snippet.)

As companies like Apple slowly try to recreate TimBL’s invention of the Web and patent it and control it through their apps ecosystem on their iOS walled garden, I look up to great minds like Tim Berners-Lee for inspiration of how I want to be remembered. And while I admire what great tech companies like Google and Facebook are accomplishing for the Web – at the very grand scale I can’t help but feel distrust from their use of social engineering tricks.

The First Web ServerI fell in love with the concept of the Web as it was presented to me just a few years after Tim Berners-Lee invented it. I’m married to the idea of free information, free knowledge, and an open network that is a wealth of a resource for anyone interested in learning about anything (the Wikipedia model).

Over the last few years working full-time as a Web Dev I’ve grown leaps and bounds in my craft, but as I look back on what originally attracted me to learn what it is that I do – I realize it’s not about likes or shares or subscriptions or followers. Social Media has changed the landscape greatly, but I can’t help but view social media the way Apple views the Web (as something that was created long after I showed up at the party and I secretly want to recreate).

But to get back to TimBL’s awesome point about studying what the Web is – not on a technological level like most Web Developers do (on how to create cool gadgets, sites, apps, etc.) but on a social and societal level. This kind of thinking is what helped lead to Twitter and other great and open Web companies.

My hopes are that Net Neutrality gets figured out for the betterment of the Internet and a free society (not one you have to pay extra for access to certain sites by the ISPs), and finally that over the next 25 years we embrace the connectivity the Web brings us and we become a more close and scientifically literate world.

Here’s to the next 25 years of the Web (and to many more)!