Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Rob: Hello welcome to 6 Minute

  • English. I'm Rob.

  • Neil: And I' m Neil.

  • Rob: Now Neil, can you remember the first

  • time you ever used the World Wide Web

  • or as we often call it, the internet,

  • and what you used it for?

  • Neil: Oh that's a good question. I do

  • remember. And nothing really changes

  • does it? Because I looked up pictures of

  • cats!

  • Rob: Cats! Very useful, anyway do you

  • think the internet has generally been

  • positive or negative for the world?

  • Neil: Wow, that's a big question. A huge

  • question. I don't know if I can answer that.

  • Rob: Well one person who perhaps can

  • answer it, is the man who invented it -

  • British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee.

  • We'll find out what he thinks has

  • become of his 'child' shortly but before

  • that, a question for you all.

  • When did Berners-Lee first suggest the

  • idea for what would become the World

  • Wide Web? Was it?

  • a) 1985, b) 1989, c) 1991.

  • Neil: Tricky but I think it's earlier than

  • people think so I'm going to go for 1985.

  • Rob: Well that was a long time ago but

  • we'll reveal the answer a little later in the

  • programme. I think it's true to say that the

  • internet has been one of, if not the most

  • important technological developments

  • perhaps of all time. Would you agree Neil?

  • Neil: Well it's hard to imagine living

  • without it. Not impossible, but not nearly

  • as convenient.

  • Rob: These days we take the internet for

  • granted. We share our lives on social

  • media and not just with friends and

  • family. And that isn't always a positive

  • thing according to the father of the

  • internet, Tim Berners-Lee. In a recent

  • BBC Tech Tent programme he talked

  • about his concerns with the internet and

  • particularly the companies that control its

  • information. Companies which he calls

  • 'internet giants'. What does he say he

  • thought these companies had to do?

  • Tim Berners-Lee: Initially I felt the main

  • thing an internet giant had to do was just

  • to be neutral, just be a platform and

  • humanity, once connected by

  • technology, will do wonderful things. And

  • clearly it doesn't work like that. If you

  • connect humanity via Wikipedia then they

  • do produce, in general, wonderful things.

  • If you connect people by social network

  • where they have anonymity, then it can

  • bring out the very nastiest of people.

  • Rob: So what did he say he thought these

  • internet giants had to do?

  • Neil: He said that he thought initially, that

  • they just had to be neutral. Initially means

  • 'at first', 'in the beginning' and it also

  • suggests that later he changed his mind.

  • Anyway, he said that he thought they just

  • had to be neutral. Neutral here means

  • that they didn't need to do anything, they

  • didn't need to control the internet or

  • information. He thought it would be a tool

  • to connect people and ideas and information

  • and it would be wonderful.

  • Rob: But it's not all good, is it?

  • Neil: No. He does say that giving people

  • access to sources of information is

  • generally a good thing but that when it

  • comes to social networks,

  • social media, people have anonymity.

  • Rob: Anonymity?

  • Neil: Yes. It means that on the internet

  • people can hide their true identity or

  • personality. Some people write things that

  • they would never say to someone in

  • person because they think there

  • will be no consequences. Berners-Lee

  • says anonymity can bring out the nastiest

  • side of people. People saying horrible and

  • terrible things to each other.

  • Rob: Berners-Lee does have some

  • suggestions for how this could be

  • changed. how this could be changed. And

  • it's based on the idea of likes and shares,

  • which he calls kudos. What's his suggestion?

  • Tim Berners-Lee: The different social

  • networks and different platforms are

  • in different situations and in some cases

  • they have acknowledged there

  • is an issue. I think they realise that the

  • issue could perhaps be hugely ameliorated by

  • tweaking the way the thing works by

  • changing the way retweets are

  • propagated or changing the way

  • people get kudos - give them more kudos

  • for being constructive for example.

  • Rob: So how does he think companies

  • could address the problem?

  • Neil: Well, he says that some of the social

  • networks have agreed that there is a

  • problem and they know what could

  • improve it.

  • Rob: He didn't use the word improve

  • though, did he?

  • Neil: No he actually used the rather formal

  • verb ameliorate, which means 'to improve

  • or make something better'.

  • Rob: So how does he suggest the

  • problem could be ameliorated?

  • Neil: By tweaking the way in which people

  • give or receive kudos. Tweaking means

  • 'making a small change to the way

  • something works'. Much of what

  • happens on the internet is driven by

  • our desire to get likes and sharesthis

  • is the kudos that Berners-Lee talks about.

  • He feels that tweaking this could lead to

  • a better experience. For example, getting

  • more kudos for constructive or positive actions.

  • Rob: Mmm, interestingbut I wonder

  • who would decide if something is

  • constructive?

  • Neil: Well that's another big question for

  • another day, I guess.

  • Rob: For now though, let's have the

  • answer to our small question. In what

  • year did Berners-Lee present the idea for

  • what would become the World Wide Web?

  • The options were a) 1985,

  • b)1989 or c) 1991. It was in fact 1989.

  • Now before we go let's have a quick recap

  • of today's vocabulary.

  • Neil: Initiallymeans 'at first - in the

  • beginning'. Then we had neutral.

  • Rob: In this case it meant 'not controlling'

  • or 'not taking any action to control'.

  • Neil: Then there was the noun anonymity

  • which is the state of having a hidden

  • identity or personality.

  • Rob: Next, to ameliorate a situation is to

  • make it better.

  • Neil: To tweak something is to make a

  • small change to the way something

  • works.

  • Rob: And then we had kudos. Kudos is

  • praise and appreciation for something

  • you've done.

  • Neil: Well kudos to you Rob for today's

  • programme. Thank you very much.

  • Rob: Well, thank you Neil and thank you

  • everyone for listening. That's all we have

  • time for today

  • but you can, find us on Facebook,

  • Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and of course

  • our website bbclearningenglish.com! Bye for now.

  • Neil: Thanks for joining us and goodbye.

Rob: Hello welcome to 6 Minute

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 UK rob berners kudos anonymity wide web tweaking

Learn how to talk about the World Wide Web in 6 minutes

  • 8179 512
    colinsyuan posted on 2018/04/27
Video vocabulary