The Great Levelling: Introduction (03:56)
The Internet spreads across Africa. Dr. Aleks Krotoski travels with Sir Tim Berners-Lee across the continent. She reflects on how the Internet has affected us since its creation. In this series, Krotoski will meet with web pioneers.
Power to the People (02:29)
The original creators of the Internet saw it as an equalizing force that would evenly distribute power to those who used it. Approximately 25% of the world uses the web.
In Dixon, New Mexico, Einar Kvaran contributes to Wikipedia. Explore the pros and cons of a system that allows all users to edit information in an online forum. More than 65 million people use Wikipedia each month.
Counter Culture of the 1960s (02:37)
The Internet's roots stem from a culture of freewill and self-expression. In the 1970s, computers allowed the libertarianism counter culture to thrive on the early Internet.
The Well (03:23)
The Well was the pioneering online community that stemmed from the counter-culture of the 1960s. Founder Stewart Brand discusses some of the discussions that The Well offered to users.
John Perry Barlow (02:31)
Barlow, lyricist of the Grateful Dead, shaped ideas on The Well and increased membership. He shares excerpts from his manifesto, which declares that the people are already free and the Internet will allow them to spread their words freely.
Political Blogging (03:04)
The founder of Ushahidi explains how the website gave the people of Kenya a political voice. The site helped voice the concerns of citizens over the violence in their country.
History of the World Wide Web (03:47)
Learn how Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the Internet as we know it today. Prior to the invention of the World Wide Web, computers had to be linked via telephone lines to communicate.
Implementation of the World Wide Web (03:38)
Learn how hypertext links the web worldwide and how users access websites. This linking infrastructure opened up the Internet to anyone with a computer.
No Controlling Authority (02:58)
Users do not need permission to access the Internet or to post content. Berners-Lee's refusal to be paid for the creation of the web is a nod to the counter-culture that initiated the Internet.
Business Opportunity (03:58)
In the beginning of personal computing, software and the Internet were free. Bill Gates saw an opportunity to make money by selling the rights to use software.
Microsoft Monopoly (02:32)
Microsoft quickly took over the majority of Internet software. The company was embroiled in a legal battle that stopped it from becoming a complete monopoly.
Digital Content (03:49)
Shawn Fanning designed a software system that allowed users to share music collections. After legal battles, Napster was shut down. Today, there are many similar websites.
Internet Connects the World (04:14)
The web removed the middlemen by allowing users to connect directly to other users. Sites like YouTube allow everyone to be seen on stage.
The ability for anyone to write a blog supports the idea that the Internet is an equalizer. Those with money and authority can still reach the masses more easily than everyone else.
Distribution of Online Power (02:16)
View a computer-generated model of Internet traffic. Explore concerns about the future of the Internet and whether it will continue to be a free and unregulated place.
Checks and Balances (02:30)
Explore the difficulties that Wikipedia faced while trying to balance between acquiring consensus and fending off attacks.
Perpetual Innovation (02:24)
Listen to theories on Internet freedom and regulation. When one avenue becomes too regulated, a new cutting edge idea seems to come along.
Credits: The Great Levelling (00:41)
Credits: The Great Levelling
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