Picture: Balthas Seibold

Picture: Balthas Seibold

The “Webwort” Collection

This collection contains random “Webworte”, meaning “Words of the web”, which I have collected over the years. The collection is also a tribute to the name of the first incarnation of my web presence, which had been dubbed www.webwort.de. Enjoy reading – and feel free to suggest future “Webworte”.


  • “A society of large tools cannot be democratic, egalitarian, socialistic, humane, and just. It must be hierarchical, exploitative, bureaucratic, and authoritarian. If the day comes when all of humanity’s wants can be supplied by a few giant tools, the people who tend them will rule the world.” John Holt
    Planet Economics section of 1974’s Whole Earth Epilog, as quoted by WIRED 2018.
  • He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper [candle] at mine, receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson
    Letter to Isaac McPherson, 13 Aug. 1813
  • Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist Kenneth Boulding
    Found in 2011 by Michael B. - For more on Boulding check his Wikipedia Entry
  • And the only word there spoken was the whispered word In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” prophet still, if bird or devil! Edgar Allan Poe
    Found in 2009. Honoring Poe's 200th birthday. No copyright! The poem is in the public domain, collected by the Project Gutenberg
  • The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place George Bernard Shaw (attributed)
    Found in 2007 in a critical ICT4D paper. Nice.
  • Chaque homme de culture a deux patries: la sienne et la France Thomas Jefferson (attributed)
    Found in 2005, just having moved from Paris to Bonn Bad Godesberg. Attributed to Thomas Jefferson, who was grateful to the French after their fleet helped him win the battle of Yorktown (1781) against the British.
  • La nature du Verbe: On parle dans sa propre langue, on écrit en langue étrangère. Jean-Paul Sartre
    Found in 2004 in Sana'a, Yemen. Source: Jean-Paul Sartre's
  • Die moderne Welt ist zu kompliziert, der Probleme sind zu viele, die Debatten werden zu lang, das Leben ist zu kurz, und die Probleme können nicht warten Walter Lippmann 1925
    Found in 2004 by Michael, who is taking advice from the early communication scientist Lippmann in the preparation of his thesis.
  • Lift not the painted veil which those who live / Call Life; though unreal shapes be pictured there / And it but mimic all we would believe … Percy Bysshe Shelley
    Found in 2003, while researching the issue of the islamic veil. This is the start of a 1834 Sonetts of Percy Bysshe Shelley.
  • Der Gottesmann ist trunken ohne Wein, der Gottesmann ist satt ohne Fleisch. Der Gottesmann ist verwirrt und fassungslos … Rumi: "Diwan" of Shams - Full text
    Found in 2002 by Jakob and often cited on the tour of Hardy and Balthas in Iran. Check Hardys Blog.
  • Es geht nicht darum, das zu erreichen, was man sich auf die Fahnen geschrieben hat, sondern darum, diese Fahnen vor sich herzutragen Own
    Random thoughts while contemplating public relations of international organizations.
  • If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. Ernest Hemingway to a friend, 1950
    Found in 2002
  • Either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing Benjamin Franklin
  • Experte wird man – durch Ernennung Prof. Dr. Tono Eitel on qualification in international diplomatic service
  • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, known in English as Juvenal
    Found in 2001, when I was tortured by a professor of political science in my final exams - the issue was of course: politics and power from the Greeks to the UN
  • Im Anfang war das Webwort – In the beginning was the Web-Word Gospel of John, 1.1 - or wasn't it?
    Found in 1999, when this site was first founded at "webwort" - in reverence to the true beginning.

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