Tim Burners-Lee, the creator of the internet, recently wrote an open letter in the Guardian newspaper saying how the internet he created is not working as he had intended with universal access and control, but rather just “a handful of companies control how ideas and opinions are shared.”
He makes the point that the internet is being harmed by centralisation, where large companies buy out any rival start ups, which stifles innovation and creates a monopoly. He also says how these large companies shouldn’t be able to create central bodies to make moral decisions about what is true or not, which may then influence what is published and thus what we read.
As Tim is the creator of the internet he cares for it, and wants it to be used for the good purposes that he designed it for.
We are currently looking at humanity in our series at Christ Church and we have learnt how God is creator of everything. He created it with good purposes and for His glory and originally “it was good”, however after mankind messes up, it’s now tainted by us, we use the world for our own glory and things go wrong.
But the world is not working as God intended, and actually it’s for exactly the same reason that the Internet is not working. We tend towards sinful selfishness. We tend to turn good things into god things that we worship and seek to exploit. That is what we have done to the world.
One of Burners-Lee’s main ideas is to “assemble the brightest minds from business, technology, government, civil society, the arts and academia to tackle the threats to the web’s future.” This may work to improve the internet but history would teach us that where there are opportunities to make money from large numbers of people there will always be companies ready to exploit the opportunity. The internet will always be broken, in the same way our world and lives are broken.
But however much we can improve the internet the utopian dream of a democratic united society is not within our reach, even with the brightest minds.
What Tim Berners-Lee points us to is the desire for a world without sadness and no flaws. A world which we can only experience if we trust in Jesus as our saviour.
This is the world we all want. This is the world Jesus Christ invites you to become part of.
(This post was written by Tom Warburton)