Monday, September 15

Sir Tim looks at his creation

As the creator of html and thus the World Wide Web as we know it, Sir Tim Berners-Lee is entitled to a certain paternalistic view every now and then. Particularly when he has a point.

The web is a great means for exchanging information. This does not mean that the information is right. TBL was talking about the bizarre popularity of the claims that the Large Hadron Collider could produce a black hole that would swallow the Earth - he also highlighted the MMR myths, which have led to a resurgence of measles (and thus caused actual physical harm). He didn't mention climate change, but could easily have done - the web has a very different ratio between acceptors of the mainstream view : sceptics : flat out deniers than the science community has.

In practice, I'm not sure how the labelling would work. The Corporate Interests lobby in the US has shown time and time again its ability to set up seemingly academically based institutes to push their own interests. They'd be a danger that this could easily go the same way.

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