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In the first 4 chapters of "Weaving the Web", Berners-Lee gives an alternate , albeit accuarate perspective of how the internet was born. He talks about specific parts, like the WorldWideWeb, the http protocol, and URL's. Personally, I like how this book is starting , relative to how Blum started out his book. Firstly, Berners-Lee is giving a personal narrative, which frankly makes him a more credible author, not to say that Blum should not be trusted. Its just nice to hear it from the inventor himself. Secondly, and this is completely my personal opinion, not something I'm trying to convince you of, but I always thought that Blum's sense of mysticism about the internet was misplaced. I just really found it tedious to follow Blum's train of thought as he was reflecting on the internet: past his double-negatives, and saying something, then challenging its base assumption. I just felt he got nowhere a lot of the times. A good example of that is "The internet is everywhere, but nowhere". Now, again, I have no problem with undefined problems or things that might come out from a stereotypical psychedelic hippie, I've just never thought about it that way , (I'm a CompSci major). But that's really just me.
But going back to Berners-Lee, I also thought it was aprapos that a few of the pieces that make up the internet were made in CERN, which has been on the forefront of physics. When the people in CERN thought it might be better for him to write that phone directory software in each of the computers instead of putting it out on the web, I was a little shocked. I mean sure, it was just 1990 or something, but it was just a little hard for me to visualize people having a choice between the internet and the way things were, and then PICKING the old way. I guess I thought the internet was accepted instantly after it was born.


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I would have to agree with you that Tim Berners-Lee does a better job at catching the reader than Blum did. I also think that Blum's train of thought was incredibly difficult to follow, I feel Blum was all over the place with his thinking, while Tim Berners-Lee has smoother transitions.

I was really surprised about this too! I think that whenever he mentioned a date, usually in the 90's, I thought, how was the internet, as I know it not even accepted yet and being rejected? The people specifically working with hypertext lacked so much innovation to better it or connect it with the internet, they would just readily say it was not doable. CERN did pretty much the same thing, even with Berners-Lee's multiple presentations. Though he did mention that at CERN there were so many projects and experiments going on that the acceptance for something new was difficult due to the high competition of all the physicists.

I agree with you on Berners-Lee's approach to this narrative. With his background and knowledge, it gave him more credibility in an effortless way. Blum did not seem as genuine in his search for the physicality of the internet, I felt that he was trying to hard to get his readers on board with his fascination of where to pinpoint the internet on a map. Berner-Lee describes his journey through his struggle and rejection to lure his readers in.

I love your take on Blum's mysticism. I hadn't thought of it that way at the time, but it could well be part of the reason why the book wears thin.

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This page contains a single entry by rizkx008 published on February 12, 2013 7:29 AM.

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