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Serendip's Evolving Web Principles
(January, 2001)

The Web provides, to anyone having access to it, a wealth of information, ideas, and perspectives orders of magnitude greater than was previously available to even the richest and most powerful human beings.
  • Every effort should be made to assure universal access
  • The Web provides the potential to create an equality of opportunity for every individual human which is enormously greater than at any prior time in human history.

The disorder of the Web is one of its greatest virtues. As a fundamentally decentralized system of information exchange, it makes available, to a much greater degree than any prior human institution, the widest possible array of information/ideas/perspectives in a diversity of forms which, for the first time, approximates the diversity of human users.

  • Every effort should be made to maintain and expand the free and decentralized character of the Web.
  • The Web should be used to encourage humans to further develop, as individuals, the capacity to pass their own critical judgements and to continually expand their own perspectives and understandings.

The Web makes possible a revolution in "education" in the broadest sense, by making available to all human beings not only information/ideas/perspectives, but also "experiences", of a kind which individuals can themselves learn from, rather than being told about.

  • Every effort should be made to assure that the Web increasingly becomes a rich and universally available body of experiences, from which all human beings can draw.
  • The Web should become a major contributor to the educational environments, both formal and informal, world-wide.
The interactivity of the Web is perhaps its most important characteristic. For the first time in human history, it is becoming possible for all humans to play an active role in world-wide cultural and intellectual interchange. This means not only that everybody's ideas/perspective can be made available, but also that people can develop their ideas and perspectives in extensive interaction with other people.
  • Every effort should be made to assure that all individuals have access to the Web not only as users but also as contributors.
  • All people should be encouraged to think of their ideas/perspectives as "in progress": to make them available as potential contributions to the thinking of others, and to make use of the thoughts of others as of potential significance to their own thinking.
  • See Serendip's Forums for further discussion.
For these reasons, Serendip will continue to try and evolve in accord with the following principles:
  • To make materials accessible to the widest possible audience
  • To provide materials which speak to questions of broad common human concern
  • To conceive materials not as "authoritative" but rather as encouragement and support for further thought
  • To assure that visitors to Serendip have opportunity and encouragement to contribute their own thoughts and perspectives.
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