As a member of a scientific community, Tim Berners-Lee never kept his disappointment of what the internet became as a secret, but let’s start from the beginning.
Humankind went through a few significant revolutions during the evolution. The first significant one was when we learned to capture the power of fire more than a million years ago. Then there was a cognitive revolution about 70 000 years ago. About 10 000 years ago the world went from hunting to agriculture, about 200 hundred years ago we had the industrial revolution. In The fifties we had a technological revolution and now, just about 30 years ago there was yet another one - the informational revolution caused by the internet.
It is easy to notice that the period of progress is getting higher, but this is not the topic of this article. Back in 1989 there was a lot happening around the World. Eastern Europe went through a Velvet Revolution, that sent communism to history and somewhere in CERN a young unsatisfied code developer with the name Tim Berners-Lee came up with something interesting.
Tim was not happy with the way the scientists shared information so he came up with a solution. The solution we know to be called “hyperlink”, and from today’s point of view it seems to be trivial. Back then it was however something huge. Tim never thought this small improvement would result in something we Today know as “World wide web”.
In an interview sir Tim Berners-Lee communicated his disappointment about how the internet is being misused. The most discussed part was terorism, pornography and hate crimes, but the list is much larger. On the other hand sir Tim Berners-Lee believes the positives of the internet are much higher than the negatives.
Let’s speculate and assume Tim would have gotten a patent for the hyperlink. This would mean, he would be something like an owner of the internet. There is no doubt he would be the richest person in the world, but there would be censorship. What kind of censorship? We assume a pretty tough one. For sure there would be an attempt to make the internet a “good” place.
Yes, I know what you might think. “You die as a hero or you live long enough to become a villain” or “the worst things in human history were done with good intentions”... but... But this time it might have worked a little better. Each existing website would serve the purpose of a higher good and websites with hurtful content would simply not exist.
When dangers are not as obvious
There is not doubt to which category belongs terorism, but what about gaming? Teenagers sitting 10 hours per day and wasting their lives is nothing you can label as positive. Gaming to relax? Why not? Gaming to waste your life? Indeed not. There is however a higher form of gaming. Pay to win or other topics are what I am talking about. Where do you draw the line? The things are legal, but indeed not right. We assume that gaming would not be found on the internet.
And what about websites that give advice on how to do better in the mentioned fields? Those fields would still exist in the offline world, so why not talk about it? Well, because talking about something is simply advertising it and supporting it. We however believe that the time of a good internet would not last too long.
When www gets replaced by other letters
Do you believe some countries would allow a monopoly of the internet? Of course not and even recently we see some countries try to cut loose from the www. Why? Censorship and the same reason would be at the beginnings of alternative webs. This is only speculation, but we strongly believe there is not really an alternative to the not perfect internet we know today and like it or not, it is inevitable.