Herein, a brief rant. It may be bubbling up from the fact that Iâ€™m 48 today, and therefore approaching curmudgeon status. It may be from the past weekâ€™s news: anÂ eG8 summit that looked more like a circling of wagons against the open Web; an attempt in Washington toÂ conscript DNS into the intellectual property wars.
Whatever the cause, Iâ€™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 informationâ€¦and from much more.
Iâ€™m not going to say the open Web isÂ the greatest creation in human civilizationâ€¦but itâ€™s one of them, right up there with antibiotics, written language andÂ 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 itâ€™s social or civic; sometimes itâ€™s artistic or expressive. Or technological. And even when you strip away the layers of hype and evangelizing, youâ€™re still left with something breathtakingâ€¦and worth fighting for.
End rant. Cue cake.