My Defcon 31 speech, delivered August 12 in Las Vegas.
I have a confession to make: I am old. I turned 52 last month, the full deck of cards. I have two artificial hips. I have cataracts in both eyes. I’m old as dirt.
You may know that the AARP has a squad junk-mail ninjas that track you down on your 50th birthday to try to sell you a membership. Less well known is that the AARP also issues every 50 year old with a license to complain about how much worse things are today than they used to be in my day
I know that complaint is trite, but I think it’s true when it comes to the internet. I think the internet used to be better, back before it turned into what the Kiwi hacker Tom Eastman calls “five giant websites filled with screenshots of text from the other four.”
I miss the old, good internet. But this isn’t a talk about bringing the old good internet back. It’s a talk about what a new good web could be.
It’s hard to convey just how revolutionary Google Search was when it debuted in 1998. It blew rivals — from AskJeeves and Altavista to Yahoo — out of the water. It was so good, it was almost spooky, surfacing the best of the web with just a few clicks.
Today, Google owns the search market, controlling more than 90 percent of searches. Its worth hovers in the trillion-dollar range, and it employs some 180,000 people in offices all over the world. Almost every online journey we take starts with a Google search.