Herein, a brief rant. It may be bubbling up from the fact that I’m 48 today, and therefore approaching curmudgeon status. It may be from the past week’s news: an eG8 summit that looked more like a circling of wagons against the open Web; an attempt in Washington to conscript DNS into the intellectual property wars.
Whatever the cause, I’m entering my 49th year with a deep, burning anger over the forces arrayed against the open Web.
The open Web is under assault from hilariously broad and ill-conceived patents; from the push to hand conversation and online identity over to closed, unaccountable platforms; from the incessant effort to separate the network capacity into first-class and economy; from the narrow view of the Internet as a means of delivering entertainment and extracting credit card and marketing information…and from much more.
I’m not going to say the open Web is the greatest creation in human civilization…but it’s one of them, right up there with antibiotics, written language and Better Off Ted. Yeah, we use it for LOLcats and Farmville, but we also use it to bring people together in ways our ancestors could never have dreamed of, to achieve feats of collaboration, conversation and creativity that constantly push new boundaries of ingenuity and impact.
Sometimes that impact is commercial or economic; sometimes it’s social or civic; sometimes it’s artistic or expressive. Or technological. And even when you strip away the layers of hype and evangelizing, you’re still left with something breathtaking…and worth fighting for.
End rant. Cue cake.