Questions to Vint Cerf from the EmakiNation

Author: Brice Le Blévennec

I’m one of the 7 persons who have the honor of being invited tonight to a diner and open discussion with Vint Cerf, one of the co-founders of the Internet.

To grasp a little bit of Vint Cerf personality and sense of humor, I invite you to read these memos : The Internet is for Everyone and A view from the 21st Century.

I have asked the EmakiNation the questions they would like me to ask him. I don’t have the answers yet as the diner is for later tonight, but I think the list of questions is already an invitation to think about the future of the Internet, which is also our future.

Here are the (unedited) list of questions, some are fairly technical, some are naïve. this reflect the variety of talents gathered under our flag, ranging from designers to technical geniuses :

  • Internet has democratized many things or at least enabled it. Knowledge in a larger sense and also entertainment forms like music, video,… Will it democratize democracy (in a state sense)? 🙂 What i mean is do you think internet will be the future to able provide direct democracy or some other new form of democracy? What do you think about the metagovernment projects popping up?
  • Which of the crowdsourcing strategies do you most believe in ?
  • What is your feeling about the latest attempts to ‘restrict’ the internet SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, CISPA, … ?
  • What of the technical chooses you made in the past would like to see corrected in the future?
  • What were unfortunate technology changes (you feel was more a regression than an improvement in your feeling)?
  • What is the most promising evolution of the internet you see today?
  • How could we spread the use of internet even further to third world countries and thereby spreading knowledge?
  • How are things evolving with the interplanetary backbone? (first successful test was already in 2008)
  • Do you believe education should incorporate critical internet interpretation?
  • In some countries like Belgium you have a minimum access to eg. water and electricity, would it not make sense to have a minimal access to the internet? Has it become that essential?
  • Will the traffic remain fair or will it be prioritized based on content or origin ? Ex: a packet send from Youtube treated in higher priority by a network node than a packet sent from my personal blog.
  • Evolution of social media platforms with the penetration of mobile: Is Facebook dead unless it goes full mobile?
  • Est-ce qu’on peut imaginer l’internet sans l’ICANN ? Se qui veut dire se retrouver avec plusieurs internet…
  • Does he think as well that “the web is dead”?! Cf. the Wired article:
    (e.g. I believe – or would like to believe – in the future of web apps because of their flexibility and +/- “device agnostic” philosophy, but not everyone has the same idea)
  • Will Google and Facebook really disappear in 5 years?! 😉 (as an American analyst recently sayed) And who will be next “big ones”?
  • As a general consideration, are the current technical evolutions supportive regarding non-industrial and emergent countries? Or will they rather reinforce the gap between those countries and the more “advanced” ones? (“advanced” is maybe not the proper word, but you know what I mean)
  • Does the Internet need kind of a “world governance”? (as e.g. Jacques Attali recommends speaking about an “Etat-monde” : Cf. http://www.attali.com/livres/essais/demain-qui-gouvernera-le-monde
  • Will the Internet keep its democratic & “free will” orientation? (cf. Google partially censured in China, the Pirate Bay and the Megaupload cases etc. – so both from a socio-political and socio-economical point of view)
  • In our knowledge society, is the Internet market strong enough (in the long-term) to allow European countries (and their “knowledge workers”) to keep some competitive advantage on the big coming ones like India, Brazil and China? (cf. a recent discussion with a top manager at Accenture who roughly told me that “Europe is dead”, and that everyone there thinks the same way…)
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