The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Discussion Group

Debate 5A.Thirty years from the invention of the world-wide web, has it been a force for good?

We have a number of potential questions linked to coronavirus but it would be nice to discuss something else whilst working our way through some coronavirus questions.

So this week, I would like you to tackle 2 questions:

5A.Thirty years from the invention of the world-wide web, has it been a force for good?

5B Should we risk upsetting the Chinese leadership by blaming them for the spread of the pandemic?

As before please let me know your answers to each Yes, No or Undecided and (if possible) a sentence or two on why you have voted this was.

Question

Debate 5A.Thirty years from the invention of the world-wide web, has it been a force for good?

Answers

Yes.....9
No
Undecided....2

Comments & Views

1. YES -  a force for good but the future must develop systems to take down and remove the corruptions and evils.

Tim Berners Lee’s Dimbleby Lecture stresses this point, as only he can.

2.Yes re internet overall. There is a dark side of course but it has opened up knowledge for people and in current situation a real means of keeping contact with family and friends during lockdown.

Possibly less knowledge of everything going on in the world could be a good thing sometimes.

But I would hate to be without it.

3. Yes - It is easy to see the good when the internet has allowed people to stay in touch with family and friends.

Easy access to educational material is also a major plus.

There are risks and concerns particularly over privacy and the unforeseen misuse of the science for the circulation of misinformation and cyber attacts etc.

It may be too late to impose any great discipline.

Unfortunately the internet does provide a platform for the criminal fraternity and extremists etc.

There are some controls but frequently after the event.

I don't use social media but there appears to a great downside despite the popularity.

4-5. Undecided either way - We feel that the internet is a mixed blessing with almost matching advantages such as remote working, Skype, zoom and Facebook to accessing knowledge and disadvantages such as cyber bullying and misuse of social media, so like a curate's egg, good in parts as very few things have a monopoly of all plusses and no downside

6.YES - The WWW is a tremendous force for learning , communicating to search for information.

There are some bad points about it, but these are outweighed by the benefits.

7. Yes. Although I would not call it a force for good, in spite of many downsides, on balance the good outweighs the bad.

8. YES. In many ways the web has transformed the world and has been a force for good. Communication and education in particular, have taken massive leaps forward, to an extent that was unimaginable pre 1990.

Helping to fight crime and improve healthcare are just two of its major benefits.

Used by billions of people with good intentions, the web has also enabled ‘world wide’ abuse, providing criminals with new tools and opportunities to attack vulnerable people, but on balance its invention has been a force for good.

9. Yes. On the whole I believe it has been and at this time it is helping people keep in contact with family and friends.

However, there does need to be serious action on prevention of fraud and privacy and security infringements.

I believe the problem is, that technology has developed so quickly, governments are having to play catch up and don't have the expertise required. Instead of jailing hackers maybe they should use their skills and employ them . Most of them do it just to prove they can, rather than making gain.

10.Yes - The world-wide web’s short life span has been accepted by all as a force for good.

For individual use a number of areas could be improved, eg: producing access to lighter laptops, and moving the keyboard onto the computer screen, similar to a ‘smart’ TV to reduce the amount of space required.

Also, access to specific information within certain websites could be made far less complicated. The NFDC website is a good example.

11. Yes - It is a power for great good, but it needs to be policed better.

Review of Week

Thank you for your contributions. 11 this week which is really good.

A clear majority thought that the worldwide web was a force for good but a number of concerns and potential improvements were identified.

Tim Berners-Lee thinks that there is still scope to restructure his invention but it seems wishful thinking:

Tim Berners-Lee

Colin Bower
11 April 2020

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