THE more things change, the more they stay the same
ALTHOUGH he had been investigating the sharing of information via computers whilst working for the CERN laboratory in Switzerland and then following employers, it was not until 1991 that Tim Berners Lee saw the first website that he had conceived set up by CERN entitled Info.cern.ch, which basically explained the concept of the internet.
Today, 25 years later, the world is without question a different place, and the man who was knighted in 2004 and became Sir Tim Berners Lee has a lot to be thanked for and a lot to be blamed for, as the World Wide Web is both a blessing and a curse.
There is no doubt that the world has become not only a smaller place, but also one that is much more impatient and demanding with privacy becoming less and less possible.
Children and many adults spend their time glued to social media and interactive games, emails have to be responded to immediately, terrorists can post their litany of hate and show the execution of innocents, conmen can steal from bank accounts, and pornography can reach every home.
On the plus side, for those who wish to broaden their knowledge, it is possible to learn about almost anything through specialist sites, as well as the ever growing Wikipedia and those who are apart geographically can keep in contact with families through such outlets as Skype and WhatsApp, so it certainly isn’t all bad.
Fortunes have been made (and lost) with companies using the internet, and it is now possible to buy almost anything online which has seen a number of weaker companies go to the wall. Music and films are available to download almost instantaneously and large amounts of money can be won or lost on gaming sites.
To sum up, in the words of Isaac Newton ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’ and this seems to be the situation with the internet, although it is those who use it, rather than the system itself who are the saints or sinners.