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In the last twenty years, we've managed to nearly ruin one of the most functional distributed systems ever created: today's Web.
This might seem like a surprising statement. To many of us, the web has become an indispensable part of modern life. It's the portal through which we get news and entertainment, stay in touch with family and friends, and gain ready access to more information than any human being has ever had. The Web today is probably more useful and accessible to more people than it has ever been.
Yet for people such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, and Vinton Cerf who is often referred to as one of the "fathers of the internet", Doctorow's comment cuts right to the heart of the problem. The internet has not evolved in the way they had envisioned.
The centralised web
Their main concern is that the internet - and the information on it - has become increasingly centralised and controlled.
In the early days of the web, people who wanted to publish online would run their own web servers on their own computers. This required a reasonably good understanding of the technology, but meant that information was distributed across the internet.