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Making a better Internet: a story in three acts

Making a better Internet: a story in three acts

In this talk I weave together a story about the current state of Internet discourse. At the end I'll tell you how I think we can make it better. And then we'll most likely all go back to what we were doing and forget about it. Despite the likely futility of this exercise I'm going to do it anyway. Because I love the web and I really don't want us to destroy it.

Rian van der Merwe

September 06, 2012

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  1. “IOL has closed comments on this story due to the

    high volume of racist and/or derogatory comments.”
  2. What surprises me the most about the bottom half of

    the internet, that place where all the angry comments go, is that so many of the people writing them turn out not to be rabid murderers but ordinary mild people who casually fire off drive-by verbal shootings in their lunch breaks. Sophie Heawood
  3. There’s a rule in the Council that no resolution can

    be debated on the day that it’s first proposed. Otherwise someone’s liable to say the first thing that comes into his head, and then start thinking up arguments to justify what he has said, instead of trying to decide what’s best for the community. Thomas Moore, Utopia “
  4. People The web is a technology, but more importantly, it

    is People constitute and maintain the network. Frank Chimero all the way down It is widespread and distributed, but it is very delicate. Like a real web, it needs constant maintenance to keep from tearing.
  5. Remember not only to say the right thing in the

    right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. “ Benjamin Franklin
  6. If we are going to ask people, in the form

    of our products, in the form of the things we make, to spend their heartbeats on us, on our ideas, how can we be sure, far more sure than we are now, that they spend those heartbeats wisely? Paul Ford