Tim Berners-Lee tells us his radical new plan to upend the World Wide Web [Fast Company]


on Solid.

I have wierd feelings on solid and tim berners-lee.

He seems super concerned with the technical ends of achieving storage decentralization and making money off of it. But he doesn’t seem terribly interested in examining the non technical ends of how or why we got into the current state of affairs; doesn’t seem interested in collaborating with current web standards like ActivityPub; nor does he seem to have articulated an economic model that the current megacorps would find compelling. Nor does he seem like he is really interested in toppling them.

His position on corporate control of the web and ultimately defending and approving DRM in the W3C’s HTML spec just two years ago makes him seem incredibly niave about corporate influence on the web at best.

I feel like we know how to make more or less ethical applications without Solid. Solid solves some novel problems. It just doesn’t feel like the holly grail Tim Berners-Lee sells it as to me.

Sometimes I wonder if Tim Berners-Lee looks back upon his creation; as if he was the mad scientist who started it all at the end of some bad monster flick; and solid is his last ditch attempt at a mia culpa.

If all goes as planned, Inrupt will be to Solid what Netscape once was for many first-time users of the web: an easy way in. And like with Netscape, Berners-Lee hopes Inrupt will be just the first of many companies to emerge from Solid.

Sometimes I wonders if it’s just the foundation of a vision for a new kind of infrastructure megacorp.

EDIT: Didn’t entirely mean to necro this thread for some reason I thought Discourse was showing it to me as new.


We can’t necro things on the fugue plane! ^^ I think an edit bumped the timestamp, but it works. Serendipity! ^^


yeah i’m really pleased you posted thoughts!!

this is incredibly sad. what is it? he doesn’t know? surely he must be aware. has he rejected it? is he not understanding what it is? we all want to make our own things, but the decentralized internet won’t be anything without everyone’s things. he should be excited.

me asking that question makes me ask: why do i need tim berners-lee to care about activitypub? i’m sad he doesn’t. why? i indulge in hero worship and this can be bad sometimes.

we are building the internet. we have less power than him, and less power than the corporations and the government, but we can build some things anyway.

Perpendicular thought: the part of the web worth salvaging is the part Berners-Lee created and shared with the world, and we otherwise don’t have to pay attention to the face of the academic-military-industrial-complex that created the nightmare surveillance platform we have today.

I’m… neutral, towards Berners-Lee. If e doesn’t shut up, I will be… critical.

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I believe his position at the W3C durring ActivityPub’s standardization proccess means that it can be taken as read he is aware.

I don’t think rejected it is the right turn of phrase. But he is very loudly ignoring it while he goes and constructs solid.

Yep. This, all the way.

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I’d just like to add, that I think I come off as a Benrers-Lee detractor and I dont mean to be. I have immense respect for him.

I do think his thoughts on DRM and the web were niave seeming at best; and I do consider myself as something of a solid critic. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the guy and think he has valuable and remarkable insight.

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I had just updated the title of the post. Doing that also rose it to the top for me. I didn’t realize that edits brought threads back up top. It must just be edits to the first post. So I necroed it! But i think talkgroup is good for that kind of thing. I like it, anyway.

This has been rattling in my head, and I think: does AP solve any problems Berners-Lee is trying to solve?

I don’t know, because I don’t know what Solid is trying to solve. I don’t even know what Solid is. :slight_smile:

This isn’t a gesture to deep dive here, it’s a flag: these folks aren’t like us. They certainly aren’t like me. They are solving problems I can’t even imagine, and some that I can and find disgusting.

I’m not sure AP solves anything for me. It certain seems to crack the federated messaging nut, but I’ve personally noticed that the more AP is adopted, the less I use it. The problems it is solving, the issues it now raises, they aren’t mine.

So maybe Solid is something worth ignoring AP for.

I don’t! :slight_smile: I mean, I’m not getting a zen-vibe, so any insights e has comes from exposure and the rocking life one gets for being an internet celebrity. Same with other computing creators, ne? They made good early decisions that allowed their thing to thrive, so now they should be quiet or go make a new thing or just be cool in general.

This last part about characters is musings, the first part about importance of tech is the good stuff. :sunglasses: