November 8, 2002

Tim Berners-Lee Interview

Thanks to Shirley Kaiser I was able to find this interview with Tim Berners-Lee that was done on NPR last week. Tim, of course, is the inventor of the World Wide Web, the man who took the concepts of Internet connections and hypertext and markup languages and combined it all into this new idea, a web of interlinked pages, accessible from anywhere and expandable by anyone. It’s hard to imagine that something like the WWW, which consumes a large majority of my time and is so essential to the way so many things are done, has only been around for twelve years. And it’s only really had public recognition for seven or eight. And so it’s equally surprising to hear an interview with “The Inventor Of” something so huge and world-changing, and to find him so young, so vibrant, so full of new ideas. It somehow doesn’t seem right, like turning on the radio and hearing someone interviewing Thomas Edison or the Wright brothers.

The interview, though, is fantastic. He touches on so many topics, yet he describes them in such a way that I just start shouting out, “That’s right! That’s right!” Unfortunately, my brain isn’t up to the task of retaining so much knowledge, but hearing him talk made me want to jump up and start doing things, start learning more about the Semantic Web: XML, machine-readable documents, and the systems that can use them. I wanted to start contributing something myself — in a way, I guess that’s what I’m doing by writing here. But I especially think that effect was enhanced by the fact that it was in audio. It was totally unlike reading an interview on the screen, in that you can hear the enthusiasm in his voice when he is talking; you can tell how truly he believes in what he’s saying. You can even hear his English accent (or I should say his American accent) fade in and out as he gets more excited and more thoughtful. And, of course, without the audio, we wouldn’t be able to hear his impression of a modem handshake. It’s a gem.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (0)

Comments RSS - Write Comment

No comments yet

Write Comment