• The Internet and the World Wide Web

The Internet and the World Wide Web

When I first heard of the Internet and the World Wide Web, I was dubious of their noble cause. I learned as a child that some people use nets to catch things. Likewise, spiders use webs to catch their prey. The World Wide Web was heralded as a good thing. The Internet was an essential tool of the Information Age, and this Information Age was to usher in information and knowledge more efficiently. Yet, somewhere in my Bible teaching, I remembered that the serpent told Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge Of Good And Evil and that humanity would become gods. The noble cause still seemed a possibility to me. Could it be that this so-called net and so-called web were figuratively a double-edged sword? Is the Internet and the World Wide Web an infrastructure for good or evil?

As Sir Walter Scott so famously wrote: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” So, what was the deception, and when did it occur? I am not sure it was a deception. It may have been a degradation. Google still has the motto, “Don’t be evil.” Some may argue that Google’s definition of “evil” has changed. Likewise, Facebook once had the motto: “Move Fast And Break Things.” Then, it became “Move Fast and Build Things.” After that, it became “Move Fast With Stable Infra.” Once more, it simply became “Move Fast.” I wonder if Mr. Zuckerberg ever heard the phrase, “Haste makes waste.” Then there was Meta. Not sure if this is an improvement or degradation. However, I believe the Internet and the World Wide Web have become tangled. Certainly, tyrannical predators are tracking speech that they consider a threat to their objectives.

Don’t always play it safe

My motto has been to try and be an open book. At least that way, I’m not too worried about some spying on me. If I can lead by example, then maybe I can lead my audience to a better life. Even if the spies are tracking my every move, I have more fear of becoming too dependent on the Internet and the World Wide Web than I do of evil forces chronicling my posts. Fear of being censored by evil forces muting my voice may be a better way to express it. Speaking truth to power is the right thing to do. I place more weight on doing the right thing than on the likelihood of success or the lack thereof.

If Esther had chosen to play it safe, King Xeres might have committed genocide against the Jews. Or, to paraphrase her cousin Mordechai, if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance may arise from another place, but you and your family may perish. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your position in life for such a time as this? So don’t worry about being snared by tyrants. Instead, concentrate on doing the right thing and doing it effectively. Speaking truth to power is the right thing. Using the Internet and the World Wide Web seems right despite the odds of success. Sooner or later, the truth will break free from censors.

The featured image is in the public domain, and the spider web image by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen is used without the author’s approval as per the license at the location below.