Tim Berners Lee Semantic Web
The developer, who created the web in 1990 while working for the particle collider project Cern in Switzerland, said that the web is a reflection of human nature elsewhere, but that he had hoped “that the web would provide tools and fora and new ways of communicating that would break down national barriers and allow us to just get to a better global understanding.
“Well, maybe it’ll happen in the future … Maybe we will be able to build web-based tools that help us keep people on the path of collaborating rather than fighting.”
Speaking to BBC News, Berners-Lee said that it was “staggering” that people “who clearly must have been brought up like anybody else will suddenly become very polarised in their opinions, will suddenly become very hateful rather than very loving.”
This week, the computer on which Berners-Lee ran the first ever website enters the Science Museum in London, as part of the organisation’s new exhibition on the “Information Age”. The small black cube, built by Apple founder Steve Jobs’ NeXT Inc, still has a label placed on it by Berners-Lee warning that “This machine is a server – DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!”.
As part of W3C, the consortium entrusted by Berners-Lee to oversee the development of the internet, the original web developer is now pushing for adoption of the “semantic web”, an evolution of the world wide web which focuses on easy collaboration when working with data, and a more rigorous understanding of who actually has the right to control their own information.
“I don’t want big companies who amass [my data] to be able to abuse it, ” he said in the interview. “In a way, I’m very happy if they use it to help me find, you know, the perfect present for somebody that they also know a lot about, in a way that’s us working together. But I’d like to be able to use my own data better.
“So I’m worried that my hospital data is in the hospital and it’s not in my computer. I’ve got my fitness data in the cloud somewhere, it’s not on my computer. I want to be able to pull all my data and use it for my own purposes, because I think – maybe this is crazy – but I think the value of my data to me is actually greater than the value to anybody else out there.”
Little Words: Their History, Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics, and Acquisition (Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics)
Book (Georgetown University Press)