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January 16, 2015 | 0 comments

Dai Davies brought Internet connectivity to the academic and research communities of Europe and then to other regions of the world, and continues doing so today. In fact, throughout his entire career he has been expanding networks worldwide, connecting people and encouraging what he calls the Internet’s “freewheeling spirit.” So how can that spirit of creativity and open development be preserved?

In a recent chat via phone, he pointed out that three main groups have roles to play in that effort.

The first is engineers. “They are extremely creative, but they have to understand that the things they make are used by non-engineers. Early Internet engineers thought they were connecting engineers to one another, but what the Internet actually did was create connections between people,” he said. “Back in the 70s, when interconnectivity began, the Net was designed by and for us – the engineers. But engineers make a huge mistake in assuming that the average user of their product is an engineer.” What the Internet actually achieved, Davies notes, is vastly different from what it was originally meant to do: “It achieved a global connectivity that no one foresaw.” People began using it for sharing photos, finding directions, playing games, watching movies. He suggested that Internet...