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CONSPIRACY: "DID CERN REALLY 'FIND' the FIRST WEB PAGE?"

Posted by Chris Muema on

WHO REALLY CREATED THE FIRST WEB SITE?

In early 2013, a conundrum engulfed syndicated media concerning CERN (http://home.web.cern.ch/). The problem was (and we think, still is), CERN could not trace the first-ever Web-Page.

 

Somehow, magically, after international appeal, CERN “found” what they now call “the first Web-Page” and that version of story-telling is published. Thus CERN republished the very-very-very-first web-page, supposedly originated in 1989 as shown here @ http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html. The fact that the hyperlinks work suggests it is also a website.

 

THE PROBLEM IS, Nobel Laureate, Tim Berners-Lee’s (Tim BL) apparently competing account of the first Web-Page: See the link ahead.

 

Clearly, there are plenty of problems with that official “CERN narrative of the first Web-Page.” Did CERN attempt a re-write of history? Just because CERN says it is, is it really?

 

For too long now, we’ve seen many science and technology narratives challenged because of “bad data”: often omitted or even false data. Now, at this point, the reader may be thinking this is another conspiracy theory, but that is further from the truth. There is no conspiracy theory, just holes in the CERN version of storytelling. There’s ample evidence of CERN possibly re-interpreting, “What is the first-ever Web-Page.” The following are obvious clues exposing the CERN story reversion or revision:

 

Clue #1:

  • The so-called “first Web-Page” bears the CERN brand, but more accurately, branding is CERN’s claim to the creation of the first Web-Page . . . YET, there is a different historical account by Tim Berners-Lee (Tim BL).  The differences between what is "the web" and what is "the internet" can be confusing at best. We'll leave that discussion for another day but for a clinical guide (keen geeks only), read the Webopedia definitions.
  • Organizational Branding of innovations that were performed by individuals is a common practice and a dead-giveaway to the re-telling of accounts. In corporate lingo, it’s called the “Official Story.” But in politics, it’s called the “Doctored Story.”

Clue #2:

  • Tim BL’s own account of the history of the "web" is starkly different from CERN’s account @ http://www.w3.org/History.html
    • According to Tim BL’s own website, he created the very first web-page, in 1980, during a 6month contract at CERN, and that web page features as a hyperlink from Tim BL’s own website @ http://www.w3.org/History/1980/Enquire/manual/
  • Tim BL has won several awards in support of his “web” narrative, although it's difficult to have a conversation about "the web" without citing "the internet." To the average "main-street" person, "the internet is a web" . . . I just works!
  • CLEARLY THERE IS A CREDIBLITY PROBLEM: There’s the CERN account and there’s also Tim BL.
  • Which narrative do you believe?

Clue #3:

  • Innovators are individuals, not machines, and individuals tend to use their preferred names (real or alias) for their own innovations.
  • For example, investigative journalism by a Paul Jones reveals that Tim BL not only created the first web page, he also created the first “client-server” network using protocols still in use on the internet today (the backbone architecture for the internet). Again, we see "web" and "internet" converging . . .  To "main-street" it just works!  See the Paul Jones story @ http://www.ibiblio.org/pjones/old.page.html

Clue #4:

 

THEORY on COMMAND & CONTROL for the INTERNET

The narratives above certainly point to the problem of human memory, yes, BUT more importantly, is the problem of “INSTITUTIONAL TENDENCY for COMMAND & CONTROL.” From the standpoint of the CERN versus Tim BL nexus, it is clear the narratives are very far apart on who, where, how and even when the first web page came to be. But history shows that the pattern of “Command & Control” is manifest a lot more by institutional frameworks than by an individual. Even then, an individual requires institutional capacity to execute a Command & Control structure.

 

All that said, if we accept North American and European copyright rules as noble, “That the first-to-publish is entitled to the copyright,” then by that rule alone, Tim Berners-Lee has the copyright to the first ever web page: because his publication of the “First Web-Site” precedes that of CERN’s claim by nine-years (1980 versus 1989).

 

And that begs the question . . . That CERN “Lost ‘a’ Website” is very plausible. Organizations lose documents routinely. But for CERN to claim that it was the first-ever website? Hmm!

 

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