The World Wide Web Almost Got Called “The Information Mine”

March 13, 2014 | Andy Cush

In a Reddit AMA yesterday, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee revealed the terrible alternate names he considered for his most famous creation: “The Information Mine,” “The Mine of Information,” and “The Mesh.”

“None had quite the right ring,” he added.

He also offered up opinions on more consequential topics. On Snowden:

I think he should be protected and we should have a way of protecting people like him. Because we can try to design perfect systems of government, and they will never be perfect, and when they fail, then the whistleblower may be all that saves society.

And the future of a “neutral, free, and uncensored world wide web:”

I think it is up to us. I’m not guessing, I’m hoping. Yes, I can imagine [a future in which net neutrality is gone] all to easily. If ordinary web users are not sufficiently aware of threats and get involved and if necessary take to the streets like for SOPA and PIPA and ACTA. On balance? I am optimistic.

Will the ways in which we primarily interact with the web — like browsers — ever move forward in a significant way?

I think that is a really good question. I don’t have the answer off the top of my head. Also think when your vision can be completely surrounded with pixels so small you can’t see them, a very powerful interface — how can we use that — and to be creative together, not just watch? Inter-creativity I called it early on. Still don’t have it.

And what’s something the internet is used for today that he could never have predicted back in the ’80s?