101 Things Brum Gave The World. No. 33: The Internet
We are under attack. Our very way of life is threatened. All because of the fucking Internet. Make no mistake, we are at war with the machines now, today. It’s already started. And there’s one sure fire way to stop a war: KILL HITLER.
The Internet is the biggest problem we’ve ever faced. Systematically it has killed the record industry and the newspapers, it has made men look at more pictures of boobs and it has killed conversation. We need to stop it, but we can’t, it’s too late – to stop the decline of everything we hold dear we’d need to go back in time to before this all started. We need to kill Hitler. But who is Hitler in this Nazi analogy? And where would we need to go to stop him?
The best way to kill Hitler, or John Connor for that matter, is to go back in time and to stop him from even being born. The Terminator had a hard time tracking down John Connor’s parents because most human records had been destroyed in the nuclear war between man and machines: the T-101 had to tear around California killing every Sarah Connor in the LA phone book systematically, going door-to-door in his search and even heading into town for a disco dance-off with the final target and her bodyguard. Fortunately for us we can turn the Internet upon itself. Using desk based guerrilla warfare we can seize the medium of our very oppression and we can track down the ground zero of the Internet revolution: Birmingham, UK.
So what’s the plan exactly? We’re not going to stop the Internet, but we’re going to stop the bit of it that you always confuse in your head with it. We’re going to stop the World Wide Web, which is the important bit, the bit that popularised using the Internet. Unless you’re an American watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony (in which case: “G’day Sport!”) you probably know who Tim Berners-Lee is (American friends: he invented the World Wide Web which for your purposes means “the Internet”). But did you know that TBL is a Brummie? Oh yes my friends, oh yes indeed.
Born in 1955 to glamorous computer science power couple Conway Berners-Lee & Mary Lee Woods, both of Birmingham, Brum’s own Sir Tim is our primary target: stop Conway & Mary from meeting, you stop Tim from being born and you save the world. But how will we do it?
Well despite Hitler’s best efforts, Conway had a good war during which the armed forces turned him into a ruthless high functioning mathematician and computer programmer. Mary’s life took a similar course, being pushed through an accelerated learning programme and packed off to Malvern to do things with computers. It was this training, forged in blood, that led to them finally meeting and working together in their post-war lives (in Manchester of all places!). I can only imagine what growing up in a house full of computing knowledge did to corrupt young Tim’s mind, and to set him on the wrong path. This all leads me to one conclusion: let’s kill Hitler.