It was 1989 when a scientist working on the CERN facilities in Switzerland came up with a revolutionary idea: create a hypertext based protocol to exchange documents and freely access data from anywhere on the world through a telephone connection. The name of the man is Tim Berners-Lee, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and his creation is the World Wide Web. The Internet.
A few years have passed since TimBL (his internet nickname) unleashed into the world the most powerful and revolutionary idea since the creation of the written language. Today Internet cultural impact is so deep that not even the most prestigious scientist dare to predict its future ramifications. The only thing known for sure is the fact that, without internet, modern society will surely collapse.
We use TimBL idea to exchange data, to transfer money between bank accounts, to pay our taxes and buy books, to read comics and university level texts for our professional development, to see war movies as well as live feeds from war zones. We have become addicted and repulsed, all at the same time, to the omnipresent and seemingly omnipotent Internet.
Internet based industries and services stockpile one above the other, becoming the core of how we do business and relate nowadays. You need to send a mail? You use an e-mail not a physical letter. You need to find some data about a company or a possible client? Google it. You need to talk to a love one that is thousands of miles away? Skype with him. Internet is all over our lives, and TimBL creation has become a fundamental part of humanity.
The existence of an unified -sort of- data center for the entirety of the species its something without precedent. Perhaps the bees and the ants could match up, to a local degree, the amount of interconnection among individuals and society that we currently have. We live in a collective hive of data that is the world wide web. Its potential is such, that many people believe that the arrival of Internet marked humanity first rational step towards a total species ideological unification, a global government and a planetary consciousness, key elements that science-fiction writers such as Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft deemed crucial before mankind could launch himself into the Galactic Exploration, the final frontier for humanity.
For everybody, for free, forever.
And there is a powerful truth behind this idea of “planetary consciousness”. Thanks to social networks, and their power to spread and “viralize” data, today we have seen the first cases of “Global Trends”. Moments caught in time and space where a majority of the human species was talking, or at least was well aware, of a determined situation. The 9/11 crisis, the war on Syria, the Río 2016 Olympic games, all have been followed in real time through Internet by people from all over the world, digesting the same feed, the same data. This is not the 60’ or 70’ when five or four big international TV Networks offered a “Live Feed” transmission that was seen by, at the best case scenario two continents. The Munich massacre of 1972 was saw very differently under the “Capitalist” world than it was transmitted in the territories of the former USSR, or even under the special transmissions done by the jewish media to the people in Israel. Nowadays everybody, all over the world, have access to the same video, to the same picture, to the same data.
Sir “TimBL” created something amazing. And the funny part is that, contrary to popular belief, the truth is that he knew it from the very beginning. On a letter to a friend, days after he launched the HTTP protocol -the hearth of Internet- he said “I know the power behind this. I want it to be free. For everybody. Forever. This is for all of you” prophetic words, that does not fit the speech of a scientist, but rather the mind of a benevolent god beholding his creation.