The Internet was created for connecting and sharing — initially, connecting research networks and sharing (computing) resources. Ever since it “escaped” the research lab, it has provided a basis for individuals of all age and background to connect and share in ways previously unimagined. The things we’ve seen in the last twenty years would surely have been deemed impossible, except that they have been achieved. As long as the Internet remains open and non-discriminating to all-comers, the people (individuals, communities and organizations) of this planet will continue to amaze each other with the creative uses to which they put the Internet.
It’s that openness and accessibility of the Internet that we need to preserve if we want to see our brightest possible future.
Of course, the Internet is no static thing — not in technology, use, management or culture. When the thinkingcat.com domain was first registered, it was an era where people had login names that reflected their favourite activities, beverages, fictional characters, etc (as opposed to systematic e-mail addresses based on first and last names, for example). As the Internet increasingly underpins our daily lives, we have greater expectations of reliability and security, and the question of who and how to govern the Internet in order to meet those needs (across geopolitical boundaries) promotes the expectation of change: in how the Internet is run, or how societies organize, or both.
Since its initial registration in 1996, thinkingcat.com has been the Internet test lab for Leslie Daigle, as she has pursued a career in Internet technology and leadership. It has also been the home for the physical-world occasional business “Les Entreprises ThinkingCat/ThinkingCat Enterprises”).