Web standards are a collection of intangibles that we collectively agree to be true. They’re our stories. They’re our collective, consensus reality. They’re what web browsers agree to implement and what we agreed to use. The Web is agreement.
If you were to ask me what the crisis in the present is, as an evolutionary biologist I have to go back millions of years and try to connect all the dots, going back to man as a single-celled organism to present time, and saying what is it that is causing modern consternation? More importantly, is there a pattern? Has this happened before? Were there some ordinary people like you and I, shopkeepers in Rome, who were standing around and saying, “You know, our leaders don’t seem to be on top of our problems. They seem to be getting worse one generation after another.”
What I want to talk about is something that has plagued me and concerned me for a long time now, which I guess one technical term for it is “gradualism,” how much worse things have gotten very slowly. And I think it’s really true in the privacy/security area. It’s true in a lot of places that have to do with technology because normal people are a little intimidated by it and they don’t know enough to know what they should be watching out for.