Speculating on the future of the Internet

It’s very tempting, at the moment, to assume the worst about the state of the internet, particularly when most of it is owned by a small number of companies with more leverage, data and money than many countries. This interview with Tim Berners-Lee cuts to the heart of the problem – when a small number of companies hold all the power, it stifles progress and concentrates issues such as hate speech.

Berners-Lee suggests that companies should be split up for their own good, though he doesn’t try to suggest how this would be done. Perhaps corporations like Google will fall apart of their own accord, or would outside pressure have to be put on them? There have been multiple attempts by individual countries, or blocs such as the European Union, to put checks on these companies, but it seems they will always be doomed to failure when the internet exists outside some of those countries, and it is always going to, even if the United Nations ruled on it. But Google or Amazon losing the favour of some of those countries would absolutely force them to a change of tactics (I think we have yet to see the full fall-out of the Cambridge Analytica scandal on Facebook’s bottom line). The only question is, what would prompt a political change of heart like that?

Much of the major legislation against internet giants so far has surrounded copyright law and data protection, but not so much against their financial dominance; the way they can simply buy out competition, and influence governments just by physically existing. Cities vie for Google and Amazon offices just for the prestige of the name and even if it creates little in the way of real new jobs and investment. It’s the Olympics bid of the business world, and it will take a lot more negative press and public feeling for that to change. But it absolutely could, if these companies continue to ride roughshod over communities online and offline, and disappointing people as they have disappointed the original creator of the internet.

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Happy New Year

Firstly, Happy New Year!

I hadn’t planned to make a post today at all, but suddenly I felt the urge to set a few short words down before bed.

I know many people probably look on New Year as something of an arbitrary date – yes, it changes a bunch of numbers on the calendar, but in terms of turning over a new leaf, setting goals, or making resolutions, these are things that you could decide to do on literally any other day. Yet, something about today did feel like it was pushing me to be productive and feel uplifted (the unexpected sunny weather definitely helped). I went for a run for the first time in a while, and it felt great. Part of the way through, it occurred to me that my new job being in the grounds of a massive country estate opens up all kinds of possibilities for taking running more seriously as a hobby, at least once it starts to get light in the evenings.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m looking into doing a PRINCE2 Project Management qualification in 2019. I haven’t yet picked a week to do it, because I need to start my new job and then sort out time off, so in the meantime I’ve decided to get started using some of the free material available on the website, and two books I found online, PRINCE2 Made Simple and Prince2 for Beginners. I’ll fully admit that I don’t know if these will help yet, as they’ve been delivered to my Kindle which isn’t presently with me, but I’m hoping that they will get me through the basics of project management before I spend a lot of money on doing an examined course.