The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It

Until now, the web has been space-based, like a magazine stand; we use spatial terms such as “second from the top on the far left” to identify a particular magazine. A diary, on the other hand, is time-based: One dimension of space has been borrowed to represent time, so we use temporal terms like “Thursday’s entry” or “everything from last spring” to identify entries.

Time as a metaphor may seem obvious now. Especially because it’s natural for us to see our lives as stories, organized by time.

Yet it took us more than 20 years in computing to get here. The field has finally moved from conserving resources ingeniously to squandering them creatively. In this new environment, we can focus on the best way — instead of the cheapest, most conservative way — for the internet to work. —David Gelernter