After reflecting on “Long Live the Web” and “As We May Think”, it is most apparent in my mind that keeping the Web open regarding access and data is essential for human progress. This is especially true since with greater knowledge being gleaned from the data (through advances in technology and increasingly better collection and analyzation), that it will be necessary in a world where specialization is leading progress. This is especially true for the physicists who worked on the Higgs boson, and scientists working on folding DNA and finding a cure for AIDS. With increased connectivity on the planet and unthrottled reliable access, “a new profession of trail blazers” will arise “who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world’s record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected.” (VANNEVAR BUSH)
The difficulty for the individual in this increasingly connected world would be not only keeping current on knowledge (as expressed by many doctors and physicists alike these days), but also the privacy and rights concerns that arise. “We should examine legal, cultural and technical options that will preserve privacy without stifling beneficial data-sharing capabilities”…. especially since “the goal of the Web is to serve humanity. We build it now so that those who come to it later will be able to create things that we cannot ourselves imagine.” (Tim Berners-Lee)
With this sentiment in mind, we should go forth envisioning and creating a civilization that elevates the human spirit, profiting by the inheritance of acquired global knowledge.