The web at 21: quotes and a reflection

Where the WEB was born.
Image via Wikipedia

I came across this post on Facebook from Daniel Pink:

MT @brainpicker: 21 years ago today, @timberners_lee published a proposal to create the World Wide Web http://t.co/cJaAglp0
If you hit the hyperlink you will go to the original proposal made by Tim (now Sir Tim) Berners-Lee to CERN, the organisation he was working for at the time.
I found this document fascinating but had to remember that I was looking at it from the point of view of someone standing in the world of 2011 which is immersed in the web in a game-changing manner from the world of 1990 where many of the things we now take for granted like the iPhone and the iPad would have seemed like the science fiction that they were in some way based upon. (Steve Jobs obviously liked Star Trek!)
I have done a bit of research (on the web of course) and have found some really interesting quotes about the web:
A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.  ~Author Unknown
I have an almost religious zeal – not for technology per se, but for the Internet which is for me, the nervous system of mother Earth, which I see as a living creature, linking up.  ~Dan Millman
The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.  ~Andrew Brown
The Internet is based on a layered, end-to-end model that allows people at each level of the network to innovate free of any central control.  By placing intelligence at the edges rather than control in the middle of the network, the Internet has created a platform for innovation.  ~Vinton Cerf
The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.  ~Eric Schmidt
The Internet is the most powerful magnifier of slack ever invented.  ~Author Unknown
The ‘Net is a waste of time, and that’s exactly what’s right about it.  ~William Gibson
First we thought the PC was a calculator.  Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII – and we thought it was a typewriter.  Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television.  With the World Wide Web, we’ve realized it’s a brochure.  ~Douglas Adams
I had a life once… now I have a computer.  ~Author Unknown
These quotes show just how different our views on the power, influence and goodness of the net is. In many ways I agree with them all. It can be a waste of time, it can be dangerous, it can lead to the decline of family interaction. It can also be a means for incredible communication, it can provide a source to have the world of knowledge at your fingertips instantly.
I am retiring soon and will be trying to spend a part of my time helping people who know little about the net to access its wonders, to find online bargains, to communicate with their cousin in Australia, to search into the history of their family. I believe that it does open up many many opportunities.. but as Eric Schmidt said in his quote it is anarchic, we don’t fully understand it and we don’t really know where its going and how it will change us… but I would really love to be around in 21 years time to find out!
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