Re: Leading the web...elsewhere?
On Jun 12, 2004, at 1:10 PM, Danny Ayers wrote: > The W3C's motto is "Leading the Web to its Full Potential". Ok, so > assume the detractors are right - drop the Semantic Web vision (it's a > pipe dream) and technologies (we have RDBMSs and pointy-brackets > already). It goes without saying that you can drop the "Leading" (way > too self-important) and "Full Potential" (outrageously optimistic). > > But then where does the web go from here? I heard something last weekend http://www.wnyc.org/onthemedia/transcripts/ transcripts_060404_google.html that I keep thinking about in this context. (It's an interview with James Surowiecki, the author of "The Wisdom of Crowds.) "BOB GARFIELD: When the people in-- on Wall Street discuss this phenomenon, they say that the "tape knows." The aggregate of all the information by all the people buying and selling is greater than that of the greatest experts on the market. And I guess that's true, but there's a difference between a crowd and a mob. JAMES SUROWIECKI: Yes. BOB GARFIELD: The bubbles and the crashes in the Stock Market are the work of a mob. Out of control lynchings are the work of a mob. ... JAMES SUROWIECKI: ... what distinguishes a crowd or a group from a mob is that mobs are sort of single-minded, and that instead of people thinking for themselves, they're all moving in the same direction." I think the Web should be led by the "crowd" of people with problems looking for solutions and solutions looking for problems, and not by a "mob" of people led by Gates, Berners-Lee, or anyone else. Right now the Web doesn't need to be led anywhere. That's not to say that it's just fine as it is, but to suggest that the people in Redmond, Cambridge, and elsewhere should be listening for what the real problems are, and proposing experimental and tentative solutions, rather than universal platforms or standards that they want to lead people towards.
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