Tim Berners-Lee & the World Wide Web
The Briton who shaped today's world
We should all deliver a hearty message of thanks to Tim Berners-Lee.That's because it's thanks to him that you're reading this. If you checked your email today, looked up something on a search engine, checked your online bank, placed an order online, wandered onto Facebook or did hundreds of other things that we do every day, then Berners-Lee is the person responsible.
The man who shaped our world
He was still in his early thirties when, as a computer scientist, he thought about all the data that was housed in all the computers in the world and wondered what it would be like if they were all hooked up and that information was available to all. Not just to politicians, scientists, computer experts or world leaders but to us - you and me.
Helping people work together
What comes across so strongly in this book is the author's modesty; he says that the necessary components were already there and 'all' he had to do was to put them together. The other aspect you'll notice is his vision. He wanted to create the world wide web not as a tool for computer experts or geeks, but for ordinary people so that they could help each other.
Can you imagine life without it?
Think about the things we take for granted now; developments that would have seemed like pure science fiction to our grandparents or even parents. My grandmother never quite got used to the telephone. Today, grandparents all over the world chat with, email and see photographs of their grandchildren no matter where they are in the world. My granddaughter who is eight can email her great-granddad who is ninety.
We are privileged to live in the times we do. And Tim Berners-Lee has been honored for the way in which he has enhanced our lives. The man who, as small boy in London, taught himself about electronics by playing with a train set, is now a Knight of the British Empire. Oh, and thanks to him, you can easily order his book from this very page :)
You may remember the Olympic Opening Ceremony in London back in 2012.
Unfortunately, the American TV channels chopped it to bits and there were some lovely sections that were cut out of the live coverage. One of these was the clip you see below.
The Olympics that year were hailed as the first social media Olympics and the person who developed the opening extravaganza, Danny Boyle, created it as a showcase of British history and achievement.
The clip you see below is poor quality but you'll see Tim Berners-Lee live onstage sitting with an elderly computer. He sends message to Twitter which is displayed throughout the stadium instantly:
THIS IS FOR EVERYONE.
See pages from the bookClick thumbnail to view full-size
More recommended British books
- Best British Books
Here's a rather eclectic selection of British books, chosen by this site's writers. Do you agree with our choices?
- John McVicar: The real story
John McVicar was once public enemy number one in the United Kingdom. He had escaped from a high security jail and had disappeared. A film was made about him - but it was completely untrue...
- Profumo Affair: Sex, scandal & politics
In 1963 the Profumo scandal shook Britain and the world. Read about this scandal which involved call girls, government ministers and Russian spies.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson