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Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Internet, is most surprised by all the cats

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Tim Berners-Lee, the (real) inventor of the World Wide Web, is surprised by some of the directions the Web has taken over the last 25 years. According to a Reddit interview on March 12, 2014, Redditor "totharescue" asked the question: "What was one of the things you never thought the internet would be used for, but has actually become one of the main reasons people use the internet?"

Berners-Lee replied: "Kittens."

That spurred a long discussion as to whether he meant actual cats and kittens, or if he was talking about porn. Porn is ubiquitous; but the Internet is the first thing that cats ever took over. We didn't have cat magazines gracing magazine stands and racks everywhere. We couldn't rent scads of VHS tapes of cats. There were cat postcards and greeting cards, and cats in movies, but they weren't everywhere.

Today, unless you don't use the Internet at all, cats are, indeed, everywhere.

Why is this? There are several theories, ranging from the origins of "Caturday," to the possibility that the Internet didn't create our fascination with cats, it just gave it a new outlet. Other theories include the idea that young kittens actually resemble human babies, and the fact that cats' faces and eyes are very expressive. Their expressions closely resemble human expressions.

Cats are even mentioned in the Rules of the Internet (home of the vaunted Rule 34). Part of Rule 354 says that some think the Internet is made of cats. And Rule 440 says that LOLcats can't cure depression.

The Internet is also home to famous cats like Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub, Piano Cat, the late (but great) Colonel Meow, and so many more. These cats, with their incredible expressions, talents and general uniqueness, would never have found fame without the viral nature of the Internet.

It's no wonder that Berners-Lee was most surprised by this. However, an article in "The Huffington Post," which summarizes the Reddit discussion, mentions that Berners-Lee is more of a dog person. He's never posted a cat picture online.

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