The Internet is a mess. It encourages duplication, falsification, and excludes more than it includes.
Hi, Ann O’Keeffe.
I am titling this “The Internet is a mess. It encourages duplication, falsification, and excludes more than it includes.”
In the last 30 years I must have said to myself, a few million times, “Why are there so many topics where people all over the globe work on them, but never ALL together?”
I was tracing out scenarios for “cream cheese”. What do you think happens? The few companies who learned how to make it and sell it want to “capture the market”, “build a monopoly”, “make the most money with the least effort or cost”. At least this is what is often repeated. The people who make it from their hearts, study it and want to help the people who use it – are surely out there, but they don’t work together to extend the field and help people understand it deeply.
“cream cheese” (“science” OR “technology” OR “chemistry” OR “biology”) has 13 Million entry points.
But do you think anyone who buys it in the store can see that knowledge and use it? No, on the Internet it is “a mess”. When I review corporate, government, group and individual sites, a frequent comment, is their site “is a mess”. Library of Congress – “mess”. I can read most anything, I have an almost infinite memory for details, and I keep track of where and how I learn things. Their site, and many others, requires reading hundreds of separate things, not linked in obvious ways, requiring specialized training and experiences. So only a tiny fraction of the 4.8 Billion people who have some access to the Internet can read, let alone use what LOC.gov and similar sites post. I told someone there, it as though they tore out all the pages of all the books and documents and pasted them on the outside of their building. “Their Internet” is that disorganized. Not to hurt anyone’s feelings, I say that about every website on the Internet.
If the whole world (7.8 Billion brilliant, creative, caring and purposeful individuals) cannot even gather the value of “cream cheese”, what hope is there for “solar system colonization”, “covid”, “global climate change”, “Wyoming” or “Peru”? I have a heart for small places – cities, states, countries, villages, isolated groups, people struggling alone.
Having studied it so long, I think that every topic can be treated the same as any other. All that varies are the individuals and groups, data streams, models, purposes and interactions. It is NOT that large a problem in the calculus of the whole world. To help groups work together – fairly, openly, efficiently, audit-ably, globally.
I talk like this to myself every minute of every day. If sheer effort counted, I have tried most things, checked most things.
Hope you are doing well.
Richard Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation