The Internet may be our finest tool for inculcating the highest values in ourselves—but before cultivation comes freedom.
“Software should be written to deal with every conceivable error, no matter how unlikely; sooner or later a packet will come in with that particular combination of errors and attributes, and unless the software is prepared, chaos can ensue.”—Internet Engineering Task Force, “RFC 1122”
When lamenting how hard it is to communicate across divides, remember TCP/IP: this suite of protocols, powering the Internet, is essentially an agreement 1. to collaborate and 2. on how to do so, facilitating universal communication, despite language, nation and politics.
The totality of hyperlinks between webpages is arguably the most interesting informational structure ever created. It should be the our common inheritance but, because modern Web hyperlinks go one-way only, this system is mostly invisible, or sold back to us, flawed, for profit.
This is my proposal for a set of principles that describe how to have interoperable conversations.