Re: Why the Democratic Ethic of Web May Be About to Die

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I have often times wondered why people

>> like Tim Berners-Lee (credited as the 'inventor' of the World Wide Web) >> did not think far enough ahead in the middle-late 1980's to slap some >> very firm controls on how _his_ product could be permissibly used by >> people in generations to follow. ... >> Somehow I think -- and I do not mean this in an unkind way -- >> he shared in the naive notions that so many of the early computer >> pioneers; that people were basically good and decent and all that. > It isn't so much an issue of "good and evil" but rather a limited > understanding of human nature. > There are many college professors who are in an "ivory tower" and > disconnected with how the real world operates. Many college > communities are a select group of people admitted because of high > academic skills brought together for a common cause of study. The > human interaction in such a world is not the same as interactions > elsewhere. (Of course, not all colleges are like this.) > In the real world, unlike college, people have many different agendas. > It's not so much of a question of "good or evil", but rather Joe wants > a quick answer right now while Sam wants to experiment with different > stuff while Tony wants to sell things while Henry wants things for > free. Without a set of rules, these differences clash.

What continues to amaze me is that a lot of folks think that some things really are free. The just don't get that someone has to pay for the building, electric bills, heating costs, paving the parking lot, repairing the roof leak, etc ... much less the time (initially and ongoing) to maintain that fiber Internet connection to the rest of the world. Or even just to other colleges. But then again there are a LOT of folks who think that government money grows on trees in some secret treasury orchard. :)

Anyone who doesn't know the meaning of TTSTAAFL should Google it and then read the story and think long and hard about the meaning of the term.

Unfortunately, in the real world, there is greater evil than in college > and that, as Pat described, is a serious problem. > Frankly, I'm not too sympathetic to the Internet's early developers. > Way back when I was in high school and we shared but a single > Teletype, various human behaviors came out loud and clear among our > little group. Accordingly, our teacher established rules for the > computer room. It was clear structure was needed to deal with human > realities. It was also clear a technical structure was required to > (1) deal with human realities and (2) deal with innocent mistakes that > could screw up the computer or other people's work. > In any human interaction, there are formal and informal rules of > behavior. The problem with the Internet was that the rules of > academia did not apply in the real world. What would be considered > unpardonably rude and unacceptable in college was commonplace in the > greater anonymous real world.

It's a problem through out all of the US and much of the developed world just now. For some reason folks can't accept that other folks don't see the universe like them and "why can't the just get it".

An excellent example of this disconnect is during WW II when numerous > scientists worked for the Army to develop the atomic bomb. The > scientists were genuises in nuclear theory, after all, they developed > a very complex set of rules for something that can't even be seen or > measured directly. (How does one calculate the mass of an electron, > proton, neutron? How does one even discover such particles?) But the > scientists were utterly clueless in turning that theory into working > units like nuclear reactors and practical weapons in a reasonable > period of time. They hated their tough army general, Leslie Groves. > But Groves got them to be productive. (See "Now It Can Be Told" by > Groves, a very good book on organizational behavior).

Oppenheimer at first thought he'd need 100 folks. He was off by what, a factor of 40?

Another example is how FDR's academic based "brain trust" was unable to > develop efficient high industrial production needed for WW II. FDR had > to replace the professors with men borrowed from industry who knew how > to get the job done. There was considerable friction in that too.
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