The World Wide Web Foundation has a broad scope as described in its one page concept paper, but in short, where the w3c focuses on technologies and interoperability the w3f looks to to focus on technology and society.
arstechnica.com: WWW creator Berners-Lee launches ambitious Web Foundation
BBC.com: Warning sounded on web’s future
The Register: Berners-Lee backs web truthiness labelling scheme
Wow. Talk about timing!
Take the current campaign for President. How could a labeling scheme help or hurt?
Take a walk outside of your political bias for a moment, and realize, you might not be part of the majority, nor may your take on ‘truth’ be the prevailing ‘truth’ as per attention influence on the Web (anyone with high SERPs on Google for example).
Marc Ambinder: What We Learned This Weekend:
The McCain campaign has gone thoroughly post-modern on us! Truth? Schmuth? It’s all a struggle for power.
ScienceBlogs.com: Cognitive Dissonance And Politics:
…dissonant facts made them double-down. It would be too painful to be wrong, and so they convinced themselves that they were right.
USNews: The Campaign, “The Matrix,” and the GOP Offensive Against Truth:
Among historians, there’s a raging Great Debate about the question of Truth.
Wall Street Journal: The Triumph of Culture Over Politics:
For this season has given us the first truly postmodern election. Modern political campaigns are amalgams of politics, spectacle and entertainment. Postmodern campaigns teem with fluid identities, unmoored meanings and blurred boundaries to the point that stable terms like “politics,” “spectacle” and “entertainment” barely exist as separate concepts. These innovations, if you will, are shifts in the culture, and the total submersion of politics in a cultural atmosphere is a trend perfectly suited to the party of organic culture.
Lies, Damned Lies, and Barack Obama:
In my book “True Enough: Learning To Live in a Post-Fact Society”, published earlier this year, I argued that in the digital world, facts are a stock of faltering value. The phenomenon that scholars call “media fragmentation”–the disintegration of the mass media into the many niches of the Web, cable news, and talk radio–lets us consume news that we like and avoid news that we don’t, leading people to perceive reality in a way that conforms to their long-held beliefs. Not everyone agrees with me that our new infosphere will open the floodgates to fiction, but it’s clear that the McCain camp is benefiting from some of the forces I described.
If postmodern behavior is just human nature (and I am not convinced), then ‘truth’ is in serious trouble since the Web mirrors human nature.
I guarantee you a labeling scheme, in the political sphere, would favor the those who could utilize attention influence the most effectively, and have little to do with actual ‘truth’.
Is the reason why Steven Colbert rocks so damn hard is because he confronts us with our lack of belief in a common ‘truth’ ?
YouTube: Stephen Colbert on The O’Reilly Factor
Google Video: Colbert Roasts President Bush – 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner
What to do or not do? Are there technological solutions, or does technology have no role to play? Or are we dealing with human nature at work, and if so, is it something to embrace, and we’ve come to a core reason why computer programming is so… flawed – that software is an attempt to model processes where there is no true or false, with a tool that only understands true or false?
And if it seems odd that I am making connections between tech, media and politics, well Dave Winer posted yesterday “People thought I stopped writing about technology but the technology and politics are all one and the same.”.
I’m just asking questions here, I have no answers. And probably need to drink less coffee in the morning.