The web is virtually (pun intended in hindsight) humming with Net Neutrality think pieces churned out at a rapid pace, and I sit here wondering why almost no one knows of Tim Berners-Lee. Like you, dear reader. Berners-Lee, in short, invented the World Wide Web, and created the first web browser. At CERN, in 1990. Here is the very first website: http://info.cern.ch. While Berners-Lee has lived an illustrious life after his creation, he is completely absent from popular culture in a way that boggles the mind. Yet the implications and importance of his invention are impossible to understate. His creation greater than the advent of the printing press, and he greater than Gutenberg himself, yet almost no one knows of him. For all of history, the human race suffered under a dearth of information, now it is submerged in it. I sit here with instant access to all the information known to the world. Every source, every fact, every theory, without having to leave my seat or go searching through a dusty library.
It’s unbelievable. More fascinating than the moon landing, the wheel, maybe even the invention of soap. Before the web, where did most people obtain their news? Was there a wide spectrum of opinions, provided with an unrestricted comments section? It was Paleolithic compared to what I have at my command right now. A comments section itself is revolutionary. Before the net, people consumed the news in isolation, with no forum to voice disagreement or alternate views. Now we have lively comments’ sections pointing out errors, directing readers to other sources of info, and ripping apart propaganda. This all benefits us, the reader. Never trust a news site with no ability to comment.
The web was developed over a period of several decades in a climate of almost zero regulation. It has reached its current glorious state only due to the hands-off approach it has received thus far. If it is to continue its evolution and continue providing the world with the unrestricted flood of information, then hands must remain off of it. Net Neutrality is a first-step towards government control of the internet. Just ask yourself what will come after Net Neutrality, do you really think government will stop wanting more control after Net Neutrality? Laissez-faire!