What We Are Reading

Learn From Tim Berners-Lee's Mistakes

What It Is:

On the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, The Atlantic published “The People Who Hated the Web Even Before Facebook:  As the World Wide Web turns 30, a look back at its early skeptics,” by Alexis C. Madrigal.

 Why It Is Important:

For future designers, there is much to learn from revisiting the early decisions that shaped the Web.   One founding flaw may have been a dewy-eyed faith in the goodness of human nature.   For example, the Web did not have to be as dependent on surveillance and advertising as it is now.   That was in no small part an unintended consequence of a focus on “free.”   Nor did it have to be so resistant to dealing with bad actors.   That was in no small part an unintended consequence of an idealistic focus on “open.”  When designing the future, learn from your predecessors’ mistakes.  Including deciding what a “mistake” was. -- JG