The Web does not just connect machines, it connects people.
The web is more a social creation than a technical one. I designed it for a social effect — to help people work together — and not as a technical toy. The ultimate goal of the Web is to support and improve our weblike existence in the world.
I think in general it's clear that most bad things come from misunderstanding, and communication is generally the way to resolve misunderstandings, and the Web's a form of communications, so it generally should be good.
I don't believe in the sort of eureka moment idea. I think it's a myth. I'm very suspicious that actually Archimedes had been thinking about that problem for a long time. And it wasn't that suddenly it came to him.
Web 1.0 was all about connecting people. It was an interactive space, and I think Web 2.0 is of course a piece of jargon, nobody even knows what it means. If Web 2.0 for you is blogs and wikis, then that is people to people. But that was what the Web was supposed to be all along.
Anyone who slaps a ‘this page is best viewed with Browser X’ label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network.
When I invented the web, I didn't have to ask anyone's permission. Now, hundreds of millions of people are using it freely. I am worried that that is going end in the USA. … Democracy depends on freedom of speech. Freedom of connection, with any application, to any party, is the fundamental social basis of the Internet, and, now, the society based on it.
Let's see whether the United States is capable as acting according to its important values, or whether it is, as so many people are saying, run by the misguided short-term interested of large corporations.
I hope that Congress can protect net neutrality, so I can continue to innovate in the internet space. I want to see the explosion of innovations happening out there on the Web, so diverse and so exciting, continue unabated.
Tweeted during his participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony
We’ve lost a fighter. We’ve lost somebody who put huge energy into righting wrongs. There are people around the world who take it on themselves to just try to fix the world but very few of them do it 24/7 like Aaron. Very few of them are as dedicated. So of the people who are fighting for right, and what he was doing up to the end was fighting for right, we have lost one of our own. … We’ve lost a great person.
Aaron is dead. Wanderers in this crazy world, we have lost a mentor, a wise elder. Hackers for right, we are one down, we have lost one of our own. Nurtures, careers, listeners, feeders, parents all, we have lost a child. Let us all weep.
The web is more a social creation than a technical one. I designed it for a social effect — to help people work together — and not as a technical toy. The ultimate goal of the Web is to support and improve our weblike existence in the world. We clump into families, associations, and companies. We develop trust across the miles and distrust around the corner.
At CERN there was a credo meant to avoid unnecessary labors, it said that when acquiring new technology: Buy, Don't Build. There were several commercial hypertext editors and I thought we could just add some internet code, so that the hypertext documents could then be sent over the internet. I thought the companies engaged in the then fringe field of hypertext would immediately grasp the possibilities of the web. Unfortunately, their reaction was quite the opposite... it seemed that explaining the vision of the web was exceedingly difficult without a web browser in hand, people had to be able to grasp the web in full, which meant imagining a whole world populated with websites and browsers. It was a lot to ask. Despite the buy don't build credo I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to create the web on my own.
In an extreme view, the world can be seen as only connections, nothing else. We think of a dictionary as the repository of meaning, but it defines words only in terms of other words. I liked the idea that a piece of information is really defined only by what it's related to, and how it's related. There really is little else to meaning. The structure is everything. There are billions of neurons in our brains, but what are neurons? Just cells. The brain has no knowledge until connections are made between neurons. All that we know, all that we are, comes from the way our neurons are connected.
The trick... is to make sure that each limited mechanical part of the Web, each application, is within itself composed of simple parts that will never get too powerful.
He is a great visionary, but not actually always that good at explaining it … He is very technical, and always happiest when talking to other techies. All he really wants to do is write code, but now he has to go and meet world leaders and business people. I don't think he realised what they were doing at CERN would change the world this much. I think this is as big, if not bigger, than the printing press.