Sir Tim, world peace -good piece!!

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, has told The Drum that he hopes a more peaceful society will be the lasting legacy of his invention.

In a wide-ranging interview, the British-born computer scientist opened up about his aspirations for the web and his thoughts on its progress so far ahead of his induction into the UK Digital Hall of Fame at ad:tech in London next week.

Speaking from his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sir Tim said: “Hopefully [the web] will make the human race work more efficiently in many, many ways: we’ve already seen acceleration of commerce, and the acceleration of learning.

“The big question is can we use it to accelerate peace? One of the worrying things when people go online is that they tend to interact with their own kind: race, colour, creed, sexual preference and so on.

“People tend to stick to their own on the web. So the big thing is to get people to connect across cultural borders.

“If you’ve just been in conversation with somebody, or somebody’s parents about some common interest – whether it’s bird watching or global warming – you are less likely to shoot them.”

Sir Tim said the growing availability of mobile phones would help realise this ambition of a more connected world.

“The web going mobile will bring the people using the web from 25% to 80%,” he said.

“I think people in the developing world will start with phones then may want to move to cheap tablet PCs. The price of devices is generally falling.

“It has always been a mantra of mine that when you make a website you should make no assumptions of what sort of devices people will be using.”

You can read the full interview with Sir Tim in the latest edition of The Drum magazine, which is published today.

Read more at http://www.thedrum.com/news/2012/09/14/sir-tim-berners-lee-hopes-peace-will-be-lasting-legacy-world-wide-web#pQy4xM6iWAeI6zVD.99

Relevant, to Village People

Relevant to village people.
The knowledge revolution claims more victims and wins stunning victories by the day.
The 3m plus views of a Scottish school girls meals was seen around the world, in spite of the local councils effort to ban her innocent record of the dinners they served. The dinners have, of course, improved immediately!
The puzzle of the internet causes much disturbance in the ether. All the Internet does is enable human beings, with their hundreds of years of behavioural development, to do what is ‘only human’ but in a greater number, faster than ever before. What they use to do it, twitter, Facebook, google +, etc are merely tools we use……not unlike savannah mans club or zettabyte mans iPad, or the new nexus 7.
But what the Internet cannot do is ignore the basic human rights of individuals laid out, after much thought, in the US constitution, the UN charter of Human Rights, or heaven forbid, the mighty tome of the European version! The Internet is our Internet, and subject to the rule of law, our freedom of speech. So what? The massive power vested in the new hi-tech companies are struggling to balance justification for staggering valuations with these basics. Neither the ‘government’ or ‘corporate’ bodies quite knows how sure they are of their positions. All the while millions of us mere mortals click our way in a microsecond to that which satisfies our needs. See the Wikileaks dilemma and the desire to see and know everything we do on the Internet ‘in our interests’. What is demonstrably true is that when we instinctively feel we cannot TRUST our favourite app we consign it to the ‘old app bin’ How many apps have you got on your kit that you no longer use but hesitate to delete?
On Exmoor there are the remains of once thriving iron ore mines and their villages. Once upon a time the Phoenicians came to the West Country for our ores and minerals. Nowadays we take it for granted that they come from somewhere else. We farm sheep now, but we did export them to Australia and New Zealand and we now get it back frozen in the supermarket. Imagine the locals gossip while this decline went on, when someone suggested taking sheep to the other side of the world! They don’t talk about it here now but they do in the global village. China is spending trillions opening up mineral rich Africa – and not at Exmoor or Australian standards. See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100167865/gina-rinehart-saves-the-world/.
There are more cities of over a million in Africa than in China. There are enormous populations, in India, China, Indonesia and all over the Far East who are grabbing the knowledge revolution with open arms and their mobile devices. Nowadays Exmoor deals direct with the world – unthinkable only a few years ago. The problem is the urban mind set. ‘everyone I talk to says the same’ – yes,in a city but now they have the Internet in common. The extraordinary rise of single issue political sites such as the Pirate Party are shaking the solid beliefs of politicians all around the world. Suddenly it does not matter what the people of Athens, Rome,Moscow, Sydney,or London think – it’s what a large numbers of ‘followers’ think – the global village. But it was ever thus. Jaw, jaw is better than war, war; even if what the latest feed from iPhones in Syria shows us is horrible. But we see it, we feel it, as if it was in our village and the world has had enough. The greater good of the greater, Internet connected world will reach new levels of human achievement – see Aristotle blog previously ! Go well!

Monday Muse

The Jubilee break is over. I am reminded by the scene of 1.5million happy,loyal,faces marching up the Mall of the comment of our Internet politico hero, William Hague, who was heard to mention to the visiting heads of state being entertained by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: ‘Look, 1,000,000 people marching on the Palace – and all with peaceful intent, smiling happy and cheering their ruler”. So, we leave Gloriana to return to shells and bodies in Syria while the world looks on. And, it does look on because of the Internet. How many social networks have that sort of instant ‘hit’ power?
The population of the Internet is now over a third of the planet, and we have only reached the foothills. I was asked by a friend recently; ‘where is all this Facebook, Twitter and email going? He proceeded to add all the usual and ‘only human’ concerns. My reply, in the vein of Savannah Man to Zettabyte Man ( see previous), was to take him back to Dulverton,Exmoor in the 15th century. There was a thriving village culture; families, business, law and order but also ‘only human’ culture. Charlatans were readily identified, gossips ‘ducked’ and all enjoyed the pleasures and discomforts of Shakespearean England! Twitter is no different – you don’t have to follow people you are not interested in, but you can follow the ones you are. You may feel a small fish in a big pond but you are important and have your rights . Martin Ivens (Sunday Times 10/6/12) “Long to reign Over Us :the super-rich” quotes Tyler Cowen on the uber rich : “ Yet we don’t really resent the super-rich because we don’t want to work as hard as them ….Envy is directed at the guy down the hall who has got a bigger raise…it’s directed at the husband of your wife’s sister, because the brand of beer he stocks costs $3 a case more than yours” He goes on to quote Gore Vidal: ‘Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies’. Only Human!
The internet is our internet, our input is our internet.

Facebook and others of that ilk should re think their core values. Truth and integrity are timeless values and you mess with them at your peril. The bungled flotation of Facebook is a lesson as is their attitude to our data -see recent twitter/posts. We the people own the content. We grant you rights to use it when in our
interest. Break the trust and integrity barrier and we will simply withdraw. Googles ‘Do no evil’ is a tough call so, good luck guys! Must hide there’s a drone overhead!
You will wake up one morning and we’ve gone, we vote with our clicks – so don’t be a social nitwit!

The Anglo-sphere (See Dan Hannan review @DanHannanMEP : Winston Churchill: the father of the Anglosphere). “The Anglosphere peoples believed, because their institutions had taught them to believe, that individual liberty, limited government and the rule of law were worth preserving – with force of arms if necessary”

Rule one of the Internet – if you tell lies you will be found out. So to my friend I would say; you have choices; Ignore it and enjoy the peace and beauty of Exmoor (www.marinerslodge.info !), join in and enjoy it – but, above all make sure its true and has integrity or you will be found out. If you care about you or your tribes (companies, groups) identities promote yourself! But don’t bullshit.
“The internet gives politics the opportunity to return to the village hustings” W Hague. Watch the extraordinary progress of the Pirate Party in Germany. We don’t cheer or throw rotten cabbages today; we blog, tweet or email. Following twitter over Levison reached a new height that encapsulates all the above. Who told the truth? Murdoch or Brown? This will run and run,- or run out because the suns come out at last!

Warren Buffet is bucking the trend again by buying up regional Newspapers…does this recognise the very same ‘village gossip’ above?

Its all back to RELEVANT (see Taxi – are you relevant? previous). We must be getting near the ‘silly season’ as Martin Amis talking from the Hay festival was musing on age; when you get to your late fifties the only certain thing is death so you better not waste these years as you may have your youth’ Ah Ha!

Aristotle Epicurus and the Internet debate Join in!

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In ancient Greece you would have found yourself without wi-fi – and a lot else, but you would have been able to sit at the feet of two great and influential figures, Aristotle and Epicurus.
Aristotle believed we, living beings, special function was to reason. Used properly leisure enabled people to realise human nature at its best. The exercise of reason for its own sake – intellectual reflection practised by excellent people (like us today, of course!)

Epicurus, had a different view: we are a random collection of atoms, which desire pleasure. Leisure is a means to find pleasure- a sanctuary from the hassles of public life.Simple pleasures produce a healthy body and a tranquil mind best appreciated by his followers, children and animals.(like? fill in the blank……)
What would the two have made of the Internet? Aristotle would have surely eulogised about the potential for all to use the universally available knowledge to realise human nature at its best. But, what would Epicurus have said? ‘stick to Facebook, Twitter and angry birds for innocent amusement only?’ Discuss.

Any similarities to present day circumstances are purely coincidental.
Or, nothing really ever changes….what do you think?
Post your thoughts below:

Shareholders are Revolting! The worms that turned…….

The recent rash of shareholder revolts in companies such as Barclays, easyJet, Trinity Mirror, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup is just the start, ‘but more looks like the start of a trend’.

‘So while the bosses made millions, the people they are supposedly working for made nothing’
”Eventually shareholders are going to become fed up with a stock market that rewards the people who manage companies but not the people who own them.’
Matthew Lynn www.moneyweek.com 4th May 2012.

Oh, the revolution again….Pensioners who have saved all their lives are seeing minimal returns, when they expected comfortable twilight years. Then they discover what charges were taken from their returns. Governments seeking to clear their deficits by allowing inflation rates of 3%+ while deposit holders receive a pitiful 1% are seeing anger and frustration in recent polls. As for Greek, Spanish and other European countries – well, they are revolting. The US elections will be upon us soon, and the tax hikes will become Obama’s nightmare.

The talk around the board table will be all about ‘doing something’. The rise of the revolt led by Internet ‘noise’, will see a growing number of corporate charm offensives using a means new and unknown to many – the Internet. They dip their toe into ‘web water’ with misgivings at best and a naive innocence at worst that spells danger. If you, as a director, can put your hand on your heart and say, we know where we are, why we are doing it, where we are going to, and – most important, – that all of us are committed together to our shareholders (and our staff who are also in many case shareholders) then a properly portrayed web presence and message can be vital, virile and effective. If there is the slightest doubt or lack of integrity, you will not just be found wanting, but double the risk of being found out with consequences posted for all to see. Who’s for the ‘muppet award’?

Frightening, but full of potential to get it right. If you know how, great, – you will be a world leader, if not its risky. Talk to the experts – talk to us!