What is the Web?

The world is changing. It moved slowly at first, in a way only those of us constantly plugged into the machine could really see. But that change is approaching terminal velocity, and what was once a digital dot on the horizon, now surrounds us in our every day lives.

Where 5 years ago, to make your own blog required an intimate knowledge of a programming language and a particular database, now even my parents can do it.

Where 10 years ago, you paid a museum to view art, now a broken camera and a website can deliver creative beauty.

Where 15 years ago, to broadcast your own video required resources that only large companies could afford, now any teenager with a webcam can produce their own fight scene.

Its not just changing how we communicate, but how we share, how we learn, how we teach, and how we grow. The world is shrinking, and suddenly communities aren’t defined by geography or race, but by common interests and ideas.

The old way of doing business — in everything from the production of goods, to the development of entertainment content — is changing. Right now the Writer’s Guild of America is on strike because their employers refuse to acknowledge that change.

Data flows around us — off our fingers tips, through our ears and eyes, and back into the ether. It moves like nature, with a beauty most take for granted.

There have been many milestones in history that mark a new way of thinking, or that indicate a change in how we as people live. But I think, that if the politicians, the corporations and the greedy monoliths of the dead era we’re leaving behind, can be squelched and forced to adapt, when the history books are written about this age, it will be seen as a renaissance. A time when everything changed.

Author’s note: This post was originally intended as a random link-fest, but as I viewed the videos I’d collected to share with you all, I couldn’t help but wax a little poetic about the magnitude of what is at our finger-tips. I hope you follow those links, and watch those videos (especially the last one) and that they strike a chord with you too.

There’s a lot of crap going on in the world, but there’s a lot of incredibly cool things too.
One of God’s greatest gifts to as us as people is the capacity to learn and grow. This, among other intangible things, is what I believe He meant when He said we were created in “His image.” Nothing I can think of, in history, has harnessed this potential to collaborate and create, better than this world wide web.

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