Jimmy Wales helped create Wikipedia, the interactive online encyclopedia founded in 2001. Users write and edit Wikipedia entries themselves; the site also has a dedicated corps of editors. There are often “edit wars” over entries — some, including the one headlined “2006 Lebanon War,” have been edited and then re-edited thousands of times — and Wikipedia’s accuracy has been questioned by some professors and colleges, who forbid students to cite it as a source. But Wikipedia, with versions in 250 languages, is one of the top 10 sites on the Internet.
The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. He created the web in 1989, as a way to organize his own projects. The Web has grown rapidly since then. In 1992 there were 100 sites on it, as of last May there were 22,000. Berners-Lee is dedicated to keeping the Web open as a public good. He now works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he heads the World Wide Web Consortium, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing standards, protocols and new software for the Web.
I don’t know about you, but I find American life these days positively exhausting. Everything is always trying to wind you up, from political tweets and cable news to sports debate shows, thrill-ride movies and Internet headlines that will say anything to make you click on a link. Small wonder that many people are looking for things that don’t do that, but that offer what we might call counterprogramming to our whole troll-infested culture.
Audiences have found that in what may be the summer’s most surprising and beloved hits – “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” Morgan Neville’s moving documentary about Fred Rogers, the creator and star of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and “Nanette,” starring the Australian comic Hannah Gadsby, which has been called transformative by viewers, critics and her fellow comedians.
.. Born into money, ordained as a Christian minister, registered as a lifelong Republican, Rogers turned out to be a gentle radical whose mission was to embody and promote humane values. As Neville shows, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was inspired by Rogers’ dismay at the existing television shows for children, which he thought degrading, fatuous, thoughtlessly violent and designed to transform kids into consumers.
.. Then, she shifts gears, and we discover a value she shares with Fred Rogers, a refusal to play along with the rules of the medium of which they are a part. Just as he thought ordinary TV demeaned children, Gadsby explains why she can no longer do stand-up. She argues that stand-up works by ratcheting up tension with psychologically fraught material then releasing it with a punchline. And the demands of this process, tension and release, keep you from saying anything that doesn’t fit into that pattern.
.. neither Gadsby nor Rogers are scolds who hate art, which is, after all, a way of expressing feelings and truths that can’t be fully expressed any other way. In fact, both are consciously artful in what they do. But they also suggest that too much commercial entertainment is dehumanizing because it’s all about prompting an instantly pleasurable reaction. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and “Nanette” do precisely the opposite. They’re humanizing.