Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Clifford Stoll: Why Web Won't Be Nirvana - Newsweek: 15 years ago

What the Internet hucksters won't tell you is tht the Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don't know what to ignore and what's worth reading. Logged onto the World Wide Web, I hunt for the date of the Battle of Trafalgar. Hundreds of files show up, and it takes 15 minutes to unravel them—one's a biography written by an eighth grader, the second is a computer game that doesn't work and the third is an image of a London monument. None answers my question, and my search is periodically interrupted by messages like, "Too many connectios, try again later."

Won't the Internet be useful in governing? Internet addicts clamor for government reports. But when Andy Spano ran for county executive in Westchester County, N.Y., he put every press release and position paper onto a bulletin board. In that affluent county, with plenty of computer companies, how many voters logged in? Fewer than 30. Not a good omen.

So... let me get this right? You were totally totally totally wrong. You were amazingly astoundingly wrong. You were wronger than wrong. Missed it by a mile.. by a country mile. Way off base... not even in the ballpark.


It was in Newsweek?


Well... ahem. That explains so much.


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