Who designed the Internet? Pretty much all of us

Posted on 24/09/2013



(I liked this article in Culture Digitally about the origins of the web, SO MUCH, i decided to paraphrase it down from 600 words so that more people might enjoy it)

Nothing can polarize opinion quite like ownership. The humble sandwich has been claimed by pretty much everybody, football by the British, Italians, Chinese and many others besides, and ice cream by at least 6 countries.

You can imagine the politics at play when a figure like Barack Obama suggested earlier this year that the US government built the Internet. In the online debate that resulted, four groups emerged:

  • No, businesses built the Internet (capitalists)
  • Yes, the US government did build the internet (bureaucrats)
  • No, clever individuals built the internet (entrepreneurs)
  • No, developer communities built the internet (computer engineers)

In his article, Adam Fish adds a fifth claim: that human nature produced the web

“an unintended consequence of the human need for communication”

Human nature results in more than you mighty imagine. It’s funny to think that something as odd as the net could emerge from people being people but it happens, and not just with people. Bees build hives, Beavers build intricate dams and … have developed intricate ways of communicating. Social cohesion can build some pretty powerful things.

So it’s not just governments, companies, pioneers or coders who make amazing steps. People (the users, the financiers, and the developers) drive the formation and adoption of social utilities and establishments. No single person or institution invented language; equally, no ONE group invented the Internet.