Just Read This: Web Design – The First 100 Years

Just Read This – Why?

w100.068More is not necessarily a good thing. New is not necessarily a good thing. Internet-scale is not necessarily a good thing. That’s my paraphrase of this extremely insightful perspective on our digital world.

Need a bit more to get you reading? From Web Design – The First 100 Years. (I find this paragraph on youth vs. age particularly interesting because I was a member of the team that did the first consumer advertising program for email in 1983 — Easylink from Western Union – yes, Western Union.)

This contempt for the past also ignores the reality of our industry, which is that we work almost exclusively with legacy technologies.

The operating system that runs the Internet is 45 years old.

The protocols for how devices talk to each other are 40 years old.

Even what we think of as the web is nearing its 25th birthday.

Some of what we use is downright ancient—flat panel displays were invented in 1964, the keyboard is 150 years old.

The processor that’s the model for modern CPUs dates from 1976.

Even email, which everyone keeps trying to reinvent, is nearing retirement age.

I cheated by calling this talk ‘Web Design: The First 100 years’ because we’re already nearly halfway there. However dismissive we are of this stuff, however much we insist that it will get swept away by a new generation of better technology, it stubbornly refuses to go. Our industry has deep roots in the past that we should celebrate and acknowledge.

And this… for a good laugh…

w100.062So because powerful people in our industry read bad scifi as children, we now confront a stupid vision of the web as gateway to robot paradise.

Here’s Ray Kurzweil, a man who honestly and sincerely believes he is never going to die. He works at Google. Presumably he stays at Google because he feels it advances his agenda.

Google works on some loopy stuff in between plastering the Internet with ads.

Read, think, slow down, enjoy… That’s one of my mantras.

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