Originally, the World Wide Web was conceived as a universal means of information exchange, a common stock of ideas, a workspace for creative cooperation, or at least a way of self-expression. It was the place, where one could meet those who hold the same views, find new acquaintances, make friends or discuss the urgent problems of the present. Then, the mass surfer came, and the Web began to transform into sheer entertainment and a trade spot.
The technological development has significantly advanced the possibilities for efficient data exchange through the Web—but primarily, it lead to obscuring this principal idea and the dominance of appearance over content. The promoter logic suggests that a Web page does not need to be meaningful and have sense; it is only important how it will look like. Advertising is aggressively repetitive; it forces the informative fragments out of accessibility and virtually destroys the very mechanism of cooperation. It can therefore be considered as a DoS attack against the whole Web rather than a single resource.
However, the human history knows other similar phenomena. On the threshold of some cardinal changes in the economy and social organization, the general confusion will manifest itself in all kinds of decadence. The old culture is already felt to be obsolete, while the material premises for a new direction of development are yet to emerge. Quite probably, the present informational chaos is due to certain economic processes in the background, a smoke-screen for the forthcoming reorganization of the world.
The fundamental category of a socioeconomic formation has been introduced by K. Marx, who was first to find out that all the diversity of economic and social development reveals a sequence of distinct stages objectively arising in the history of any people. Each consecutive formation is hierarchical, containing several sub-formations superseding each other in an objective way. I suppose that there is an "ideal" counterpart for this "material" development, and I consider cultural development as an objective succession of cultural formations correlated with and relatively independent of the stages of economic development.
As far as I can judge, today, the humanity is experiencing one of such formation shifts, the transition to a higher level of economic and cultural development. There are indications that this is going to be the last phase of the capitalism, and the very its ubiquity means that there is no more room for adaptive modifications, and the next revolution is to annihilate the whole system.