What centralization? The web isn't centralized. Consumer culture is centralized. Consumer culture on the web is what's failing. Facebook and Google and similar services are not "The Web" and they are not "The Internet" and the people who can't exist outside of those bubbles will burn down with them, so what? The internet will survive it, the web will survive it. These things happen in nature all the time, it's interesting to see it happens online, a non-natural man-built ecosystem, as well.
I wonder what the web would have looked like if TBL had the visionary powers of RMS.
Yeah, I heard some bunch of assholes green-lit DRM in the Web.
Oh wait, that was Berners-Lee and the W3C. He must be taking about some other systemic failure here.
Has there been any effort to objectively measure the supposed centralization of the web over time? Although I've no doubt it is happening, the article doesn't seem to provide any hard evidence for the claim. Interesting to think about how to do it, e.g. you could measure clustering in the global page rank graphs over time, but that wouldn't incorporate info about Facebook etc.
For the most part, I think the conclusion that "a regulator is needed" is usually reached by people who have very little experience with one.
Regulators are more flexible than legislatures, but are still not very flexible in practice. The difference is mostly that they can enforce rules more effectively, but the rulemaking itself is not generally very good.
Causation runs at least partially the other way, but think of the current industries that are heavily regulated: banking, medicine, tobacco...
Second, "compliance" becomes a power word, within companies. The lawyers and bureaucrats get much more powerful.
Also, regulating industries is almost always big firm and incumbent friendly. Calling these businesses hard to enter is an understatement. You basically can't start a tobacco company or bank unless you already are one, or are well connected and wealthy.
Idk what the solution is, but I doubt it is this. We'll see how GDPR plays out, but I'm not holding my breath.
The problem (imo) is that the internet is a communication technology. These have network effects, and centralisation tendencies.
In a perfect world, the solutions to the problem (I agree with tbl about the problem) are protocols, browsers and the like.
If email wasn't a protocol/standard, it'd have been invented as a proprietary service. But, since the standard existed and was popular...it lives. Building onto emails, in an open way, generally failed. So, email lists gave way to proprietary services.
There are still parts of the internet that are open like this. Podcasts is an interesting one. It gained a lot of ground recently in the mature web era.
On the business end, podcasts seem to be much better for the content makers than YouTube or other distribution methods. Interesting. They seem like an echo from an older internet.
A lot of things could have beeen standards, app stores, social networks.. a lot of things could have been solved by the browser, including half the stuff "regulators" are trying to fix now. Ultimately, online tracking works because browsers & standards let it happen.
It's just hard, and the incentive to grab a little internet fief is too strong. In some ways, it's surprising the web is as open as it is.
No mention of the semantic web. I wonder if developments in AI replaced the need for it.
Full Text of the Open Letter from Tim Berners-Lee here : https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/12/tim-be...
Wasn't our dear Tim for disbanding net neutrality or some other very stupid thing recently?
is this the same guy that signed off on DRM YAY?
This reads like an unbearable collection of news headlines, combined with political slogans that mean absolutely nothing.
I remain committed to making sure the web is a free, open, creative space – for everyone.
That vision is only possible if we get everyone online, and make sure the web works for people.
The web is not free - I have to pay an ISP to access it. Who is 'everyone' in this instance? I don't know what 'open' means exactly, and creative how? Because I can post pictures of cats on reddit? What is creative about 'the web' specifically?
What 'vision'? Why is it only possible if 'we', who is we? get everyone online? Why is that a prerequisite? 'Make sure the web works for people'? What does that even mean?
Props to the guy who was the human vessel that brought us concepts like HTTP. But I don’t buy into his hero worship.
His solution to the problem of centralized control is to add more control (most likely in the hands of a few) via a regulator? Let me guess...that regulator should be him?
It sounds to me more like someone who is struggling for relevance in a changing world he doesn’t understand.