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Slice 1: The Dark Web

At the beginning, the cutting is easy. Enormous chunks can be lopped off the web without much remorse.

Slice 2: Analytics

The next slice of our x-acto knives requires a bit more precision. We are going to carve off analytics. No, wait. Stick with me. I know the thought of functioning without data seems unthinkable. Remember, this is just a mental exercise. Nobody is going to take away your data just yet. But let’s imagine the web without analytics and see how it looks.

Slice 3: Search Engines

With each slice of our blades things gets harder to eliminate. What would happen to the web without search engines? It would seem that search engines are indispensable, the front door to the web. Would the web be better without them?

Slice 4: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Our knife work is getting uncomfortable now, isn’t it? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram make up the entirety of the web for many of us. We rarely leave these silos. We love our communities and would rather slice everything else away from the web than abandon these platforms.

Slice 5: Wordpress

Would it be ridiculous to eliminate Wordpress from the web? How will ordinary people create websites without the user-friendly content management systems we have come to rely on?

Slice 6: Code

Now we are getting somewhere. With those giant pillars removed there’s nothing left to block our view of what the web is really made of. Let’s look around.

Slice 7: HTML, CSS, Javascript

Now we are down to the bare essentials, the most primitive components of the web. HTML structures our pages. CSS lets us style the HTML. Javascript makes things a bit more dynamic.

The End

Our journey to the center of the web has ended. We have stripped away everything from the biggest institutions to the most basic building blocks. I guess that’s it. There is nothing left.

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Adrian Hanft

Adrian Hanft

Author of User Zero: Inside the Tool that is Reshaping Dystopia