Tim Berners-Lee has started the inevitable fight to bring the web back under control.
I've reproduced the Web Foundation's starting position below, which is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. You can consider this the formal attribution.
Contract for the Web
The web was designed to bring people together and make knowledge freely available. Everyone has a role to play to ensure the web serves humanity. By committing to the following principles, governments, companies and citizens around the world can help protect the open web as a public good and a basic right for everyone.
Ensure everyone can connect to the internet so that anyone, no matter who they are or where they live, can participate actively online.
Keep all of the internet available, all of the time so that no one is denied their right to full internet access.
Respect people’s fundamental right to privacy so everyone can use the internet freely, safely and without fear.
Make the internet affordable and accessible to everyone so that no one is excluded from using and shaping the web.
Respect consumers’ privacy and personal data so people are in control of their lives online.
Develop technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst so the web really is a public good that puts people first.
Be creators and collaborators on the web so the web has rich and relevant content for everyone.
Build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity so that everyone feels safe and welcome online.
Fight for the web so the web remains open and a global public resource for people everywhere, now and in the future.
We commit to uphold these principles and to engage in a deliberative process to build a full “Contract for the Web”, which will set out the roles and responsibilities of governments, companies and citizens. The challenges facing the web today are daunting and affect us in all our lives, not just when we are online. But if we work together and each of us takes responsibility for our actions, we can protect a web that truly is for everyone.
Thank god for archive.org's Wayback Machine. At least something of the brilliance of Prof. Brignell's writing, statistical competence and engineering clarity will be preserved for ever. We have searched online and we know nothing of JB's status and pray that the demise of the site is a mere administrative glitch or at worst a decision on his part to let it rest in peace.
At Ingrate towers we would be happy to host the site in perpetuity, gratis, to preserve the great man's legacy should anyone in the know wish it. Our contact details are on our About Ingrate page.
Imagine you are one of the most powerfull and richest states in a world, where war is frowned upon and too damned expensive anyway. Imagine alliances have grown stale and you are no longer happy with the dominance of old enemies within the alliance, whose political direction has taken a dangerous turn. Imagine that the alliance is in reality no more than a protectionist cabal of self-interests dominated by the old enemies to the detriment of the rest. Imagine deciding to leave the alliance and the degree of diplomatic skill that would be required to manouvre safely from the complex web of mutual reliance without irritating old wounds. Imagine if a minority of your own people were trying to undermine the process, publicly and loudly because they were worried about themselves rather than the greater good. What to do?
In order to get a settlement that will sit well enough politically with our internal enemies the alliance must believe that those internal enemies have the power to undermine the negotiations. They have to believe that the best they can get is on the table already and that the only alternative is nothing. Thus, we manouvere our pieces, skillfully asking sacrifices of some of our oldest internal allies, whose dissent will be taken seriously byt the alliance. Even, have them stir the extremes into a believable frenzy so that the alliance can have no doubt that a viable internal oposition exists, whose aim is no deal at all. Finally, take the fear of worse to the very brink, feigning a fear of losing everything.
The very loud and well organised minority here, herded like sheep on our capital's quiet weekend streets will add to the illusion of a viable opposition to the whole process. The alliance will concede first, they have much more to lose. And then the UK will win and be free to conduct business globally at long last and our laws will slowly become our own again and our prosperity will no longer be constrained by the limits of a culturally incompatible cabal. Scotland will also see that the EU was a false God, the 20th century equivalent of the Act of Union and something equally to be free of.
Here, in Ingrate towers, we are genuinely humbled by the brilliance of the shadowy Steerpikes in the house of Groan.
It is clear that a cynical (fake news, dare I say) version of history has been created by the mass media and the remoaning desparati. Here is a simple reminder:
The question was deliberately simple by design. The European Union, although an administrative nightmare and self-serving money pit, is easily defined. It is all of those institutions that it governs or that it has set up to manage our affairs. It is not some politicaly vaguely defined entity at its heart, selectively makeing use of all those other institutions. Remaining members must belong to the customs union etc. Therefore, to belong to them is to be a member.
Now let's play fantasy referendums. Had this been the question,
what do you think would have been the result? Surely, much greater than 52% to leave, which is therefore all the more stunning as an outcome. The creation of the idea that the original question was not about leaving the entire experiment is the very worst criminaly deceptive obfuscation of the modern political era. It is, obviously, absurd and the fakery we have had to endure since has had an effect on the political movers and shakers that beggars belief. The Tory party is in turmoil simply because they forgot the question David Cameron dared to ask, which now suits the wealthy power mongers who have no interest in the effect on the people their puppets represent.
Are they really willing to expose these nations of ours to at least 5 years of the Corbyn smorgasbord of disunity to gain power in the long run? He is the conductor of a symphony of collective hate and minority grumblings that will hammer the final nail into this nation's cheap Ikea coffin. It is time for Theresa May to display a pair!
Because I'm in this parish anyway, tending to the borders, I feel a need to share that I believe president Trump does not need defending by the likes of me. When I make a statement as a challenge to vacuous criticism aimed at him, it is not because I like him or because I support all of his policies or because I don't recognise his failings; it is because he is the elected president of the United States and is still supported by the people who put him there. It's a democracy for feck's sake. The constitution determines how often you get to change the outcome!
Criticaly though, outside the USA, we are only seeing one side of the story and many of us are mourning the departure of his well-groomed, very slick, more statesman like predecessor. Obama's presidency was, of course, no less an offence to a substantial proportion of that electorate, around the same number as now find Trump to be an offence to their senses. This is the ugly side of politics, memories are very short and people are staggeringly fickle. What about Clinton and her genuine crimes?
The left thought they had a permanent victory in the election of Obama and are still seething. They are, each and every individual, sore loosers of the worst sort. All of us, including the people they care about are at risk, as a consequence, of their extremist reactions. They would clearly rather democracy was dead than lose a fight. The psychology of groupthink is powerful and very easy to manipulate. Watch the like of Blair picking off the pieces like a vulture at a lion kill, a skilled and massively talented picker of easy fights. Corbyn is doomed from without and within but a rudderless lefty-liberal cancer has no known cure.
An ammended post from the stuck-in-a-deceptively-old-fashioned branch of the Department of 'Modern' Design is a Passing Fad.
Our reader will have noticed that the Ingrates have been fiddling with the belly of the beast. We've changed the look and feel because a change is as good as a rest or its better than doing something useful with your time.
We consider ourselves to be trendsetters trapped in a time-space anomally that ensures the trends we set are always before their time somewhere and sometime. What looks good to us now is sure to have looked good to somebody else at least once or will in the future. Thus it is with all fashions and our general dress sense as our friends will surely testify. Fear not, we expect to change things again just before this place becomes a beacon of style in the netosphere. We have started with the home page and hopefully haven't done too much damage to the rest of the site before we extend the design to the full obscurity of the rest. We have attempted to maintain the principal aim of meeting the requirements of the responsive design movement. Try it on your phone!
Addendum: menu now devolved to something that was always OK anyway.
From the Department of Thank-God-It's-Friday-Even-Though-It's-Been-A-Short-Week; there is no longer any (much) doubt in my ever shrinking mind that, in the new post-truth reality of fake news and counter fake news, that fact is hard to come by.
Lending weight to a story or a bit of gossip, rumour or some light-weight scientific research, words like fact and its similies seem to be enough to satisfy the news hungry masses these days. Hence the success of heavy-duty committed blogging, click bait, spamming and other online scams.
Truth is, not much of it is Fact in any kind of objective or scientifically verifiable sense. When it is not a downright lie or deception, it is likely to be not much more than an opinion or wishfull thinking. The job of scouring the web for a cross section of opinion on any matter of interest to anyone at any level has become a taking-ones-life-in-ones-hands uber-perilous gauntlet jog through an endless stinking mire.
The more money there is at the source of any information, the more likely it is to be a tissue of invention.There is no obvious evidence that this whine sheet or any of its preferred sources are an exception. Happy New Year, by the way.
The Ingrate's only prediction for 2018.
Global warming is over because, although some of it might have been man made, pollution controls stopped it by the end of the 20th century. The overiding natural solar cycles are leading us into a long cold period in any case.