- Web browsing feels slower because web pages today are doing much, much more than web pages as little as five or ten years ago.
- The protocols governing the transfer of data across the internet were designed, as Cringley points out, in the mid-1980s. At that point, the Internet was used to send large files over slow networks. Today, most web traffic consists of short files being sent over fast networks. (Streaming video is somewhat different, but we'll set that aside). Modern web browsers and quality websites play tricks to try to compensate for this, but there's only so much they can do.
It's like that Beatles song about things getting better all the time.