The Webolution is an essay and audio essay first conceptualized back in 1998, which was inspired by Bill Gates’ book The Road Ahead. In a personal correspondence with Gates, I pointed to some aspects of the information highway that he had not addressed in his book, among them the cultural aspect of the Internet, and its amazing capacity to develop into a first-class publishing forum for self-publishing authors. Subsequently, I arranged and expanded my thoughts as an audio essay.
My vision of the Web has been largely confirmed by the technological and cultural development of the WWW, which proves now indeed to be a publishing opportunity for many authors who formerly either did not publish or published only locally, as they were rejected or overlooked by mainstream book publishing. In addition, the development of DSL, which in 1997 did not yet exist, and the flash technology opened the way to true multimedia publishing and directly playable video and audio content, without forcing the user to download and install third-party software.
The perhaps most important part of the essay is where I present a view of the Web in my quality as an international lawyer, and develop the idea that the Internet will most probably realize what the United Nations failed to bring about: a true bottom-to-top international community that communicates instantly and that is hopefully one day in state to take over the worldwide political arena in order to bring about world peace and true ecological, systemic and holistic solutions for our global problems.
It is of course not apparent that the Internet could really play the role of a social changer, on the political level. It has to be seen however that politics in last resort is what the old Romans called ‘res publica’ which means public affairs, the vital affairs in a republic that affect the public spirit and concern all the people in the metagroup.
In this sense, the Internet has become a political platform and it has and will have the power to influence existing power structures in society for a change to more diversity, more democracy, and more free speech, as well as more social integration.