January 16, 2003
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The echoes of the Bauhaus manifesto ("The ultimate aim of all creative activity is the Web site!") struck a chord. I snuck it as a summary of my IA Summit talk into yesterday's RSS feed, and lots of people picked it up on weblogs here and there.

And why should it not? "Wonders are many, but none is more wonderful than Man. The foaming windswept sea is our conquest: our ships cleave through engulfing waves. We have conquered the earth with ploughs that never rest from year to year. We have science beyond our dreams, which we use for good or ill. We have built the Web." -- Antigone said this 2500 years ago.

We can focus so tightly on our failures and inadequacies that we don't appreciate the accomplishment. The Web, on the whole, is superb. It is replete with reliable information, well organized and elegantly presented. It is filled with services we can use and stuff we can buy. When things are wrong, we are surprised. When things go wrong, we are annoyed.

If the Web was as bad as people say it is, we would expect things to be wrong, and we wouldn't be annoyed when things turned out badly.