The Web warps space and time

Thomas has evidently been reading David Weinberger. He points out that

The Web folds space in a way that (most of) human knowledge is within our arm’s reach.

He then asks how Frank Herbert would have felt.

Myself, I always ask myself, whenever I read a pre-Web SciFi novel, whether the author could have foreseen the Web.

In any case, it is true that the Web warps time and space. By that I mean that where, physically, the documents are is without concern for you. The Web also speeds up information retrieval tremendously.

Suppose you were the only human being with access to the Web as we know it. You would be able to pull out knowledge faster than any other human being. You would appear like a super hero. You can tell instantly the prices of a given product in hundreds of stores. You can get a satellite view of any house in your area, in seconds. And so on.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

2 thoughts on “The Web warps space and time”

  1. Does it make us (heavy Internet users) more knowledgeable? Do we benefit the time warp and learn in one year what someone in the 80s was learning in 2 years? What if we compare Phd thesis from the 1987 with that of 2007, would we perceive that it convey more information?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To create code blocks or other preformatted text, indent by four spaces:

    This will be displayed in a monospaced font. The first four 
    spaces will be stripped off, but all other whitespace
    will be preserved.
    Markdown is turned off in code blocks:
     [This is not a link](

To create not a block, but an inline code span, use backticks:

Here is some inline `code`.

For more help see