It might have started with a couple of old cans tied with a long string. We sailed the Atlantic ocean using radio waves and broadcast the second world war to the new world. Can we even call it a world war without the spreading influence of radio? Then Mr. A G Bell took the old can and string concept seriously now and invented the telephone, taking connect to a personal and instantaneous level.
Personal kasi one individual speaking to another individual, instantaneous kasi it's live. Live in the sense that you respond to it immediately.
But then we were responding to each others voice. We were responding to an auditory stimulus. Wouldn't it be good if we could see the person? As it turned out the second world war also produced the cathode ray tube - the television, stupid. Of course the movies were there long before the television but the big difference is that watching a movie in a movie theater is a community experience while watching a television is more personal.
So far we have done something about the messages we send, we took our image to send it across space making the moon landing dramatic and communal (communal because it was an experience shared by the world). We accumulated all this data and it is out there somewhere - in books, magnetic tapes, vinyl records, micro films, film negatives, paper photos, our individual memory and our collective memory. We then made our connection with our data. Well first we organized them into databases and realized we could do more if we connected the machines that hold those data. The first generation net was born.
We could have happily stayed with this setup but then somebody asked if we could make it sturdier. Oh I don't know maybe withstand a nuclear exchange between the United States and USSR. So MIT engineers and military scientists started design on how to connect their computers in a new way so that destruction of the entire network is virtually impossible. The Web is born.
Today, we are entering our social security numbers and credit card numbers in computer terminals without a second thought. Social networking sites know who our friends and best friends are. Music sites know our music preferences, online surveys about our eating habits, our reading habits(if we still do that), everything about our personal lives are now being encoded into the Web.
The Web is this big machine we invented to do something about the vast data about us. Hopefully, the Web makes the right connect decision for us.