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Is Web 2.0 the Advent of the Post-Modern Internet? 175

jg21 writes "Web 2.0 Journal has an essay on 'The Post-Modern Rhetoric of High Technology' in which the author contends that Web 2.0 is nothing less than 'the advent of the Post-Modern Internet. Will Web 2.0 be a revolution or a mere rebellion?" From the article: "Web 2.0 can take two distinct directions, and it is perhaps the rhetoric of it all that will define the path. Web 2.0 can be the French Revolution of Technology or it can be the American Revolution of Technology. Joseph Schumpeter's winds of creative destruction are blowing especially hard in the Internet technology world today, with remarkable improvements to our daily lives. But these winds can blow too hard too often, and an even older economic law, the Law of Diminishing Returns, begins to take over. Our wild-eyed radical phase must ultimately give way to some replacement. We cannot permanently be the rebels."
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Is Web 2.0 the Advent of the Post-Modern Internet?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:45PM (#16525403)
    1) What is the author's take on the idea that critical distance and the potential for real objectivity are unattainable? This question can be seen at work in both Haraway's comments (see below) about what she sees as Jameson's main thesis on postmodernism, and in Laclau's mapping of an "analytic terrain" where the "given" is no longer a viable myth. Pejoratively put, this collapse of critical distance is decried as "aestheticist" or as aestheticizing ideology in many discussions (Norris). The usual implication is that the culprits are decadent, apolitical and dangerously irrational. The historical antecedents referred to are often Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde's "dandyism" and the "Art for Art's sake" movement. Whereas for many differently oriented commentators those same decriers of aestheticism are often themselves denounced as totalitarian rationalists, modernists, "mere" moralizers, reactionaries and unsophisticated know-nothings (Haraway; Giroux).

    2) The terms postmodern, postmodernity and postmodernism can be seen to associate or conjure different meanings: the term postmodern is inclusively ambiguous of what people mean when they talk about issues that come up in discussions of postmodernity and postmodernism. Postmodernity is a sign for contemporary society, for the stage of technological and economic organization which our society has reached. Postmodernism then can be, as Eco says, a "spiritual" category rather than a discrete period in history; a "style" in the arts and in culture indebted to ironic and parodic pastiche as well as to a sense of history now seen less as a story of lineal progression and triumph than as a story of recurring cycles.

    Analogously, and only for purposes of illustration, the condition of modernity is often spoken of as the rapid pace and texture of life in a society experienced as the result of the industrial revolution (Berman). However, modern_ism_ is a movement in culture and the arts usually identified as a period and style beginning with impressionism as a break with Realism in the fine arts and in literature. Prior to modernism one finds periods and styles associated with other distinct aesthetic movements, e.g., Romanticism and Realism. For instance, both Blake and Balzac, Romantic and Realist representatives respectively, could be said to have had some experience of modernity, to have lived during the early stages of the expansion of bourgeois or industrial capitalism and technology and science, whereas no one thinks of their respective arts or modes of expression as obviously "modernist."
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Umbral Blot ( 737704 )
      I can't tell if you are serious (in which case I feel pity for you) or if you are brilliantly mocking the article.
      • by Spasmodeus ( 940657 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:16AM (#16525581)
        I believe this is the output of the Postmodernism Generator [elsewhere.org], which, in a fit of recursive postmodern irony, is virtually indistinguishable from the output of genuine postmodernists.
        • by Sage Gaspar ( 688563 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:45AM (#16525739)
          I think in these comments we've achieved post-irony.
        • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:32AM (#16525955) Journal
          Boy, I hear your music.

          I'm getting just sick and tired of hearing about "Web 2.0" as if there were *any* advance or defining characteristic thereto. So far, all I've seen of "Web 2.0" is some incremental advances in the quality and utility of websites using javascript. Neat and fast, but also easily done using "1.0" technologies such as flash or java.

          So, it's somewhat faster - wow! This is going to change the world!!!??!?

          This is a slew of buzzwords looking for meaning. Asking about Web 2.0 is like asking about god - ask 10 different people, and you'll get 10 different answers!

          1998 called - and they want their meaningless hype back. Call me when there's some substance!
          • by FuturePastNow ( 836765 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @02:47AM (#16526305)
            All right, the buzzwords do get old fast. And you will get different answers from different people about what "Web 2.0" is. My answer is, Web 2.0 isn't about the technology, and people who think it is are way off. AJAX = yawn

            Web 2.0 is about psychology, the way people use the now omnipresent network for communication on multiple levels. The internet started with researchers sending each other electronic mail. Now it's everyone talking at once, sharing all of their knowledge, opinions, and experiences with the whomever will listen.

            One answer down, nine to go.
            • by trifish ( 826353 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @04:41AM (#16526683)
              Now it's everyone talking at once, sharing all of their knowledge, opinions, and experiences with the whomever will listen.
              Just for your information, these activities took place on Usenet back in the 1980's already. And if you say that masses didn't have access to it, then remember then second half of the 1990s? There were things called forums (web-based) and chat rooms. These things which you would call "Web 1.0" allowed you to do exactly what you said only "Web 2.0 psychology" brought: "everyone talking at once, sharing all of their knowledge, opinions, and experiences with the whomever will listen".

              You ultimately proven what most of us here knew alread: Web 2.0 is yet another empty buzzword.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward
                The hype:
                Web 1.0 + smoother graphics + AJAX = Web 2.0

                Web 2.0 changlelog (last revision 1.0):
                - Added XML and standards compliance to existing DHTML (AJAX)
                - Added New artwork

                The reality:
                Does the difference warrant a 2.0 (as in, this is a new version/feature set)? No,
                it's probably more of a 1.3. One bug fix and now with new artwork!
            • by badasscat ( 563442 ) <basscadet75@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @10:33AM (#16528067)
              "All right, the buzzwords do get old fast. And you will get different answers from different people about what "Web 2.0" is."

              Whenever I hear someone talk about "Web 2.0" (and I *work* in web production, so this is becoming a real problem), I just substitute the term "Bubble 2.0" instead.

              Everything that people talk about when they refer to Web 2.0 is something that's going to "change the paradigm" of how we live. YouTube is going to put traditional TV out of business, for example, because everything is now on demand. Google Maps makes Rand McNally redundant. MySpace will bring an end to the neighborhood book club. (And heck, Second Life will bring an end to MySpace while we're at it.)

              This is all the same talk I heard back in 1998, and most of it was just PR hype designed to get VC money flowing in. When I see what's happening with something like Second Life right now, it is *exactly* the same thing. Whole lot of hype, huge backlash. Eventually, much of this stuff is going to come crashing down just as it did in 2000.

              Because the fact is while a lot of these things are useful, they're at best increments to the way we already live, not wholesale changes. They're not replacing anything or "changing paradigms", they're augmenting existing paradigms. Worse, a lot of these companies still haven't figured out how to make money and are just relying on the hype and VC to keep them going (again, a lot like 1998-99). And the dirty little secret is, like the original Napster, nobody is really going to miss any of these things when they're gone. If Second Life or MySpace shut down tomorrow, it's not going to keep any of those people from socializing some other way, be it in real life or online or both.

              So really, I don't think branding something as "Web 2.0" is at all positive. It's thinking about the web in the wrong terms - it's saying "ok, Web 1.0 didn't work, so let's come up with another set of features that promise much the same things and hope it works this time." That's not the way successful companies think about the web. The web is a continuous thing, there is no "1.0" or "2.0" or "2.1" or whatever. There is a timeline, and the technology is continuously advancing and so are user expectations. When you start trying to pre-package and force a bunch of features down peoples' throats rather than letting things develop organically, you are first going to end up with a lot of features nobody wants, and you are second going to face a backlash even against the features people do want. (This is the argument we're having at my company on a continuous basis - management's thing is always "what new features can we have that nobody's tried before and that'll look good in a press release?" And the old guard's reaction is always "let's try to actually give people what they want and do it reliably first".) The first internet bubble set the web world back probably 5 years, and this one's going to do the same thing.

              "Web 2.0" as a concept has to be the product of marketing MBA's, which is a whole class of people that the world would probably be a better place without.
          • Web 2.0 is not a technological advance. It's a state of mind, experienced by people of an artistic bent who want to feel that they are experiencing history in the making, regardless of what form it takes, as long as it's somehow technological, because technology is the new spirituality.

            I think I'll quit while I'm ahead.
          • Isn't "Web 2.0" just DHTML [wikipedia.org]?
          • Well, the great thing about Web2.0 is the fact that you can have a nicer (looking, more interactive etc.) web site by using Javascript and CSS and not Java or flash or any other non-free technology. This means that a site like GMail works on more than one browser and more than one OS. Hopefully this will mean that no site will depend on you using IE to view it.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nine-times ( 778537 )

            I disagree. It's true that the term "web 2.0" gets thrown around a little too much, but it seems to me that it is an attempt to label real changes happening to the way people use the internet.

            The first thing going on is that people are making web applications that actually work, without using dumb plugins. That's the cool thing about AJAX. It's not he fade-in and fade-out techniques; It's about Gmail and Basecamp. Real web applications that can load/save data in sensible ways, process the data without

          • This is a slew of buzzwords looking for meaning.

            I believe you misspelled "money".

          • Anyone who says "web 2.0" in seriousness is actually saying "Fork over wads of cash and we'll all get rich, rich I tells ya!" These are the people who missed out on or want to relive the glory days of web 1.0, with the Aero chairs and the pinball machines in the lobby. Come to think of it, except for the part where investors lose all their money, that doesn't sound half bad...

            New from spun, InnerWeb 3.14159! It will leverage the vertical integration of new paradigms! It's ACID compliant and the googles do e
        • by pilkul ( 667659 )
          ... to people who have never actually read their writing.

          It would also be very easy to produce a mathematical paper generator that would be indistinguishable from a genuine one for the layman. Would that prove anything?
      • May I ask, why would you actually feel "pity" for him? I'm curious about this anti-intellectual streak.
        • Communicating badly and then acting smug when you're misunderstood is not cleverness."-Randall Munroe on postmodernism
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:55PM (#16525463)
      Translation:

      The appearance of the "Web 2.0" jargon is a strong candidate for being the moment when the Internet jumped the shark.
      • by rts008 ( 812749 )
        Concise, succinct, informative, cuts through the BS...Good job!

        Why this was modded funny instead of insightful... oh yeah, you said "jump the shark". (it was kinda funny, though)

        Can we get some Karma building mod points here for this one?
      • by prockcore ( 543967 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @05:08AM (#16526751)

        The appearance of the "Web 2.0" jargon is a strong candidate for being the moment when the Internet jumped the shark.


        What I find ironic is that slashdot, a site dedicated to all things technological, has become the homebase for a group of people who seem to be against change of any kind.

        They want to turn back the clock to the days when the web was basically the same as gopher.

        It's a very utilitarian outlook. Just black text on a gray background without any interactivity at all.
        • Re-read (Score:5, Insightful)

          by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <[gro.daetsriek] [ta] [todhsals]> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @09:38AM (#16527781) Homepage
          There is a big difference between being against change and being against marketing buzzspeak.

          If you read the authors comment (and most around those lines here), you will see what we hate is not the change, but the false labels associated to it.

          WTF is "Web 2.0"? It's nothing. Everything going on today has been done before, its nothing new, it's just buzzwords.

          People point to MySpace and YouTube, and I point to Geocities and Shoutcast. Only difference between the two is that we have more hardware and bandwidth today so we can deliver richer content (richer interface for developing personal pages, richer media - video vs. audio) - there is nothing *fundamentally* new or revolutionary about most of the web now compared to the web 5 years ago. Sure, there are some bright spots, like Google Maps/GMail/Flickr. But these things emerged gradually - some have been around in one form or another since the 90s. You can't just pick some point in time and go "Oh, it's web 2.0 now".

          It's just marketspeak. And we hate marketspeak cause it is meaningless.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by alienmole ( 15522 )
          There's more to it than that. I don't think many people on Slashdot are arguing against technological advancement. It's more a question of arguing against the characterization of what's happening. Web 2.0 seems to be more of a social phenomenon than anything else, and many characterizations of Web 2.0 seem completely out of whack with what's actually happening, or what's actually changed.

          Also, the Slashdot audience is more aware than most of the horrible technical kludges which underly Web 2.0: for examp
        • When exactly was that? I did a look around at some of the the developments in social computing, online community, and interactivity kicked around as characteristic of "Web 2.0" and I'm seeing things that came into existence in the infantcy of the WWW. WikiWikiWeb? 1994. eBay? 1995. Flickr and YouTube? Binary exchanges going back to usenet. CSCL/W software that could handle multimedia and document attachments predates the web.

          The fact of the matter is that social networked computing has over a decade of hist
        • Its the meaningless marketing speak and buzzwords that annoys real techies. Its like when you non-technical friends read some William Gibson and start waxing philosophic about the same web they've been using for the past decade. Or when the hipsters over at boingboing treat every little object script in Second Life as the "biggest thing evar!!!" Its tiresome and sophmoric. There are some interesting things going on in technology right now and some interesting commentators but you probably wont hear them ov
        • What I find ironic is that slashdot, a site dedicated to all things technological, has become the homebase for a group of people who seem to be against change of any kind.

          Being against empty buzzwords that convey no meaning is not being against change.

          They want to turn back the clock to the days when the web was basically the same as gopher.

          Having used gopher and the web when it was very young, I feel pretty confident in saying that the web was never basically the same as gopher. Plus, no one here that I ca

    • by veg_all ( 22581 )
      Since I cant mod this AC up, having already posted an inferior rebuttal, I'm gonna just note the characterization of "postmodernism" proffered by my chosen reference, the late Lyotard, which I think was a pretty good embodiment. Can't find the book just now, but roughly, for him, postmodernism meant a "suspicion of metaneratives." That is, the unspoken stories underlying assertions. What the fuck that has to do with DHTML I haven't the slightest.
      • The Lyotard book was titled (in English) The postmodern condition .

        Anyway, I think the idea is that DHMTL is to HTML what pomoismo is to the merely modern, to wit, New-n-Improved! More whizz for your bang! and all that.

    • by badzilla ( 50355 )
      You sir are an idiot not to see that the truth is the EXACT OPPOSITE of your admittedly well-thought-out essay.
  • I'm not remotely tempted to read the article, but how is 'post-modern' different to 'version 2' or different to 'revised'. This has to be a joke. Ern Malley, is that you.

  • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:51PM (#16525435)
    A series of buzzwords.
  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:52PM (#16525439)
    From TFA:
    The Post-Moderns concerned themselves with the demolition of power-relationships, authority-structures, even the architecture of language itself. The results have been decidedly mixed. The nihilism of The Bomb, the ethical bankruptcy of eugenics and similar traffics in human suffering are examples of its negative effects.

    Wow. So nuclear science is "post-modern".

    No. This is another is the series of crap articles which claim that X is "post modern" because saying so makes you sound cooler and more educated than everyone else.

    Post-modernism cannot be defined except by saying what it is not. It is not modern; it is what came after the Enlightenment.

    If you cannot define something, you do not understand it. But feel free to claim that technologies are "post modern" because it masks the fact that you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

    Beside, when you get paid by the word, you really need something that you can pull a lot of words out of.
    • by jpardey ( 569633 ) <j_pardey&hotmail,com> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:08AM (#16525531)
      Post-Modernism has a perfectly clear definition that makes perfect sense. It is, however, too stupid for any words in any language, except maybe Klingon.
      • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:37AM (#16525705)
        Post-Modernism has a perfectly clear definition that makes perfect sense. It is, however, too stupid for any words in any language, except maybe Klingon.
        :)
        That's really funny!

        The thing is that "postmodern" has a "definition" in art and philosophy the same as the musical genres "rock", "techno", "trance" and "rap" have definitions in music. And they're just as useless when describing technology. We know that "Web 2.0" cannot be "classic rock" because that was created years ago. But it cannot be "new wave" because that is almost as old. "Industrial" has come and gone so that was probably "Web 1.5". Rap is hot right now. Or is it hip-hop? No. "Web 2.0" is definitely "Celtic Fusion Invasion". And now I'll write an article saying that it is.

        Web sites can be viewed as "art". But the technology is just technology. Paint brushes were used in "Classical" and "Romantic" and "Postmodern" art. Yet no one is claiming that paint brushes or canvases are "art 2.0" or "Postmodern".

        Do websites have a "philosophy"? Is that philosophy shared amongst all Ajax-based sites? No. Ajax is the technology. Technology is not a philosophy.

        And so forth.
      • Would that be "Dap"?
      • by rts008 ( 812749 )
        What have you got against Klingons? They are straight forward, in-you-face types...no BS or name games.
        Now if you had said Farengi....
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by jpardey ( 569633 )
          Did I say I had anything against Klingons? No. What I do have a problem with is these fakers who write some language and PASS IT OFF as the real Klingon language, so they can scam Star Trek fans out of even more money for dictionaries and... then again, that is kind of cool, in an L. Ron Hubbard kind of way.
    • by ghastlygray ( 968662 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @06:19AM (#16527005)
      If you cannot define something, you do not understand it. But feel free to claim that technologies are "post modern" because it masks the fact that you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

      Although this maybe applies to TFA, I beg to differ on your general point. There are plenty of words and concepts which you understand and use perfectly but are incapable of "defining". Words like "Ethics", "Justice", "Religion" and "Morals" are important in our language and in our everyday behavior, but most would be pressed if asked to "define" them. The early Socratic dialogues of Plato (in which such a definition for such concepts was sought in vain) only illustrate this point. The same goes for almost any philosophical movement, not just postmodernism. It's hard to define what "Hegelianism" or even "Logical Positivism" is. The case of postmodernism is special only because its disciples say upfront that they shun any definition of their occupation. But again, this does not mean they do nothing, say nothing, or mean nothing. It may be the case that they do, but you are in no position to judge, just because they shunned a holy "definition".

      On the other hand, I do know one thinker who would agree with your exact wordings of the demand for definition, and that would be Leibniz. His ideal was indeed that every concept would have an exact, almost mathematical definition. When in dispute, we would simply say "let us calculate", and resolve any conflicts by analyzing the definitions of concepts. Which could have simplified a lot of Slashdot. But even Leibniz was more pragmatic than that in real life, you know.

      • A few general remarks;

        I generally agree with what you say and think a lot of the time definitions are accepted when they are purely negative, although I think that there are quite a few good goes at defining "justice"... especially Nozick's Principle of Justice in Transfer!

        I also worry about this quote in the GP post "Post-modernism cannot be defined except by saying what it is not. It is not modern; it is what came after the Enlightenment" I thought that was the romantics, and then you have at least
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by ghastlygray ( 968662 )
          I don't want to stretch this discussion much further, but I agree with all of your points. Nonetheless:

          No doubt the article's statements "Post-modernism cannot be defined except by saying what it is not. It is not modern; it is what came after the Enlightenment" is outright ridiculous.

          However, my point was not to argue that a definition for justice CAN'T be given (by Nozick or Rawls or others); The mere fact that we ARGUE about it, means we have some understanding of it prior to trying to define it ("
  • by EricTheGreen ( 223110 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:53PM (#16525449) Homepage

    "Web 2.0 can take two distinct directions, and it is perhaps the rhetoric of it all that will define the path. Web 2.0 can be the French Revolution of Technology or it can be the American Revolution of Technology. Joseph Schumpeter's winds of creative destruction are blowing especially hard in the Internet technology world today, with remarkable improvements to our daily lives. But these winds can blow too hard too often, and an even older economic law, the Law of Diminishing Returns, begins to take over. Our wild-eyed radical phase must ultimately give way to some replacement. We cannot permanently be the rebels."


    Didn't we get rid of Jon Katz years ago? Who invited him back?

  • by ben there... ( 946946 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:53PM (#16525453) Journal
    ...the New-Age Technological Philosopher. One who can pose abstract theories about the state of technology on their blog and have it linked to on major sites across the globe.

    Now if I could just find one worth reading.
    • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:08AM (#16525537)
      Skinner Layne is Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of NeXplore Technologies, Inc., a Web 2.0 Social Computing company based in Frisco, Texas. Prior to moving to the Dallas area, Skinner served as Campaign Advisor and Strategist to U.S. Congressman John Boozman, as well as managing and consuluting [sic] several statewide and state legislative races in Arkansas. He was educated at the University of Arkansas, where he was a Chancellor's Scholar, studying Economics, Political Science, and Philosophy. Skinner served as President of the Student Senate and Chairman of the Campus Council during his years at the University.

      "Chief Strategy Officer" ... when the titles of CEO and COO are already taken, you get to be the "CSO". And do ... nothing.

      And what idiot lists his "campus council" work in his bio once he's gotten his first job?

      And for the ultimate humiliation ... do a Google search on "NeXplore Technologies" and see whether their website is in the top 10 hits. After all, they're all about the web 2.0, right?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)


        And what idiot lists his "campus council" work in his bio once he's gotten his first job?


        You're assuming he's had a real job before now....for my [limited] money, running around reviewing opinion polls for various politicos hardly qualifies as such.

        • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:48AM (#16525757)
          You're assuming he's had a real job before now....for my [limited] money, running around reviewing opinion polls for various politicos hardly qualifies as such.

          From his bio ...

          "Skinner Layne is Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of NeXplore Technologies, Inc., a Web 2.0 Social Computing company based in Frisco, Texas."

          See? He's the CSO of a company that he co-founded. A Web 2.0 Social Computing company, if you must know.

          A Web 2.0 Social Computing company that doesn't have its web page listed in Google's search. Which only returns 24 hits anyway.

          Does being paid $5 by Mom to babysit your younger brother count as a "first job"?
      • by pipingguy ( 566974 ) * on Saturday October 21, 2006 @03:38AM (#16526481) Homepage
        In fluid processing industries, CSO [cheresources.com] is also a TLA for "car-sealed-open" (from old railroad car sealing technology; opposite is "car-sealed-closed", naturally) which refers to a valve which is locked in the open position, able to spew whatever content is in the pipes. Or tubes or trucks.
  • Oh, criminy. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by veg_all ( 22581 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @11:56PM (#16525475)
    As we watch the advent of the Post-Modern Internet embodied in the Web 2.0 movement, we will see its effects reverberate throughout society.


    What, oh, what will society do without a back button? This is possibly the most vapid article I've read in months. The analogy is weak and no attempt is made to develop it. The author has little comprehension of what the term "postmodernism" ever meant, even if it ever meant anything, apologies Jean-François Lyotard. Doesn't Zonk have something better to do with his time besides posting this kind of tripe? Oh, wait. I must be new here.
  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Etherwalk ( 681268 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:02AM (#16525503)
    Oh, ridiculous.

    First, postmodern means something different in different disciplines. In Literature and Film, it tends to be about breaking things apart into lots of little pieces and then doing critical analyses that pretend to be meaningful but aren't. (Actually, I think we're getting to a post-post-modern phase, where the tools of post-modernity are being used in a non-post-modern way. Garden State was a good example of this--it felt very post-modern, but it wasn't really post-modern.)

    Second, the article exerpt (I didn't read the RTFA) says "Web 2.0 is slowing down, possibly a sign of it's reaching maturity. The boom is over!" Using bigger and more annoying words. I'm sorry, but the use of bigger and more annoying words makes me immediately think it's really stupid--not because of the presence of big words, but because of the ratio of syllables to content.

    Third, Web 2.0 was more about integration and user-generated content than it was about... hmmm... well, okay, `integration of user-generated content' could take a hint of a stab at claiming to be something postmodern--but honestly, the content is too uniform to be postmodern. Ten million kids whining about their school day...

    Hey, that does sound kind of postmodern. But they have to do it at the same time, wearing glaring colors. And maybe there should be a tuba?

    I wonder if I can post that thought in a journal? I'll need to add more words... and colors. But they'll give me a Ph.D. Hmm...

    An evil journal...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      First, postmodern means something different in different disciplines. In Literature and Film, it tends to be about breaking things apart into lots of little pieces and then doing critical analyses that pretend to be meaningful but aren't.

      Acutally, what you are refering to is deconstructionism [ontruth.com], not postmodernism.
  • I mean, shit, the internet is crawling with child molesters. So, Foucault would just adore the internet.

    Does any half-way intelligent person take Postmodernism seriously? Postmodernism is the String Theory of philosophy, one of those theories that nests itself in a safe defensive position where nothing can really be proven or disproven.

    When you get into nuts and bolts stuff, there's no point even exploring PM.

    PM can easily be summarized in the grand cliche "think outside the box".

    Wow! Maybe we can have p

    • doubtful (Score:3, Insightful)

      Having been in hackademia just as pomo was losing its sheen -- about 15 years ago -- I've heard all sorts of juicy stories about Foucault. Still, I've never heard that he was a pedophile -- unless you meant in the French-slang sense, where pede = homosexual man.

      But aside from that, I don't think Foucault would approve of the Internet. He'd probably classify it as an architecture of surveillance, like the school or the factory. Can't say that he'd be completely wrong about that, either.

      Mark Poster wr

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sage Gaspar ( 688563 )
      Well, all correct and consistant theories if you get down to "nuts and bolts stuff" nest themselves in safe defensive positions where you can't prove or disprove anything, otherwise they'd either be incorrect or inconsistant. I think postmodernism is a natural evolution into trying to explore these areas, and this is where I agree with your string theory analogy -- it's elegant in a sort of masturbatory way to the people doing it, but many academics would agree that neither are worth the expenditure of time
    • by hey! ( 33014 )
      Does any half-way intelligent person take Postmodernism seriously?

      My take is different.

      Postmodernism is what happens when the rate of intellectual change approaches C'.

      C' is something I just made up, which represents an absolute maximum rate of intellectual change in the way c represents an absolute maximum speed of travel. It's the rate at which new paradigms are generated at a rate equal to the rate at which they can be understood.

      This inability to consider ideas to any great degree before they become o
      • by jc42 ( 318812 )
        Postmodernism is what happens when the rate of intellectual change approaches C'. ... C' is something I just made up,

        I think you've illustrated the primary problem here.

        There is a rather old distinction in logic, philosophy and linguistics: the symbol/referent distinction. This is the difference between a symbol and the thing that it represents. There are a lot of logical errors and social problems that are based on confusion of these.

        Much of the problem is the tendency to think that if something has bee
    • Does any half-way intelligent person take Postmodernism seriously? Postmodernism is the String Theory of philosophy, one of those theories that nests itself in a safe defensive position where nothing can really be proven or disproven.

      Postmodernism is, insofar as it is theory at all, a critical theory rather than a scientific/empirical one, and critical theories aren't propositions that are proven or disproven, but frameworks for interpretation. (It's a completely distinct use of the word "theory".)

  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:05AM (#16525517) Homepage Journal

    Our wild-eyed radical phase must ultimately give way to some replacement. We cannot permanently be the rebels.

    What on Earth is he talking about?

    Enlightenment thinking was clear and organized. There were disagreements amongst the thinkers of the Era, but the Era itself was definable.

    So he says, but is unable to recognize it's principles as they are applied to software freedom. There's a straight line between the US Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the "rhetoric" of the internet liberating electronic expression from Government control. Business and economic success are simple byproduct of freedom. We can and must all be rebels so long as others would tax and control us without consent. Making money off the result is secondary.

    The name calling is more understandable if he's forcasting the next big company caused IT meltdown. The so called "bursting of the internet bubble" was a direct result of bad laws which allowed public resources to be stolen by the likes of Bellsouth. The laws which allowed them to crush the DSL companies were bought with the promise of shiny fiber to the curb networks which were charged for but never appeared. Other companies, Netscape etc, were crushed in much the same way. As the next set of shitty laws are passed in the name of fighting terrorism and big dumb executives gloat at their expected revenues, I suppose it's time to crank up the "wild eyed rebel propaganda." It would not do to crush "small business innovators" and "mom and pop shops" now would it?

    • And now we wait for the anti-twitter trolls to show up, despite the fact that twitter didn't actually say anything arrogant. RMS's statements are very similar to those of the Founding Fathers at least in form.
      • No, he didn't say anything arrogant. However, you just said something stupid.

        RMS, the Founding Fathers? You have to be kidding me.
  • Pompous ass (Score:4, Funny)

    by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@@@tpno-co...org> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:28AM (#16525653) Homepage
    Someone thinks pretty highly of themselves and their place in the world.

    News flash; Code and end user interfaces will always change.

    The biggest news flash would be if they actually changed for the better.
  • by the_rajah ( 749499 ) * on Saturday October 21, 2006 @12:31AM (#16525665) Homepage
    I'd have to run a new cable connection to the Internet version 2.0.

    According to Wikipedia, "Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004[citation needed], refers to a supposed second-generation of Internet-based services such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies that let people collaborate and share information online in previously unavailable ways. O'Reilly Media, in collaboration with MediaLive International, used the phrase as a title for a series of conferences and since 2004 it has become a popular (though ill-defined and often criticized) buzzword amongst certain technical and marketing communities."

    Ill-defined hardly describes it. If it's that nebulous, don't bother me with it, especially if it's from that guy on Fox or some marketing dweebs.
    • by rts008 ( 812749 )
      I hear ya.
      And this, WTF?:"...share information online in previously unavailable ways."

      Previous unavailable ways? Does this mean Star Trek-like tech we haven't even thought of yet- WTF is he smokin'?
      Him and Dvorak need to partner up, maybe hire on to Sony to fix the battery problems, or sumthin.

      Why yes, I DO post drunk!
    • Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004[citation needed], refers to a supposed second-generation of Internet-based services such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies that let people collaborate and share information online in previously unavailable ways.

      The problem is that quite a few people were doing this long before "Web 1.0" came along. Once Web 1.0 came along, it was almost immediately picked up as the medium of choice for most people building this kind of
  • Postmodernism reduced to talking about postmodernism: self-reflexive solipsist monadism, a hall of mirrors.

    FWIW, Modernism gave way half a century ago. Web 1.0 was already Postmodern. If <IMG SRC="http://images.slashdot.org/topics/topichumor. gif [slashdot.org]"> isn't Postmodern, then I'm not a series of letters on a computer screen.
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:11AM (#16525863) Journal

    ...have my secretary deconstruct the article and send me an executive summary of said deconstruction, so I can ignore it later.

  • by oohshiny ( 998054 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:25AM (#16525919)
    Web 2.0 can take two distinct directions [...]

    Back button and forward button?

    Upstream and downstream?

    Bears and bulls?

    I'm sorry, I give up: I can't figure out from the verbiage that follows that statement what those two directions are. Perhaps that particular kind of English major that this guy represents should not write about technology.
  • by intrico ( 100334 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:25AM (#16525921) Homepage
    I do believe they meant post "m-o-d-e-m", since most pages on the "2.0" Internets now require enough bandwidth to make those stubborn "I'll never leave leave my beloved dial-up!" (Most of us know someone like this) users switch to Cable or DSL! Oh, and before you argue - there is no such thing as a "cable modem" or "DSL modem" - those are really bridges or routers.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Oh, and before you argue - there is no such thing as a "cable modem" or "DSL modem" - those are really bridges or routers.

      Yeah, you're right. DSL and Cable modems only MOdulate and DEModulate analog carrier signals to encode/decode digital information. That's completely different from a MODEM [wikipedia.org], which MOdulates and DEModulates an analog carrier signal to ... oh, wait.
    • by Ztream ( 584474 )
      One can always hope that they meant "post-mortem".
  • Speaking of "blow[ing] too hard too often"...

    Maybe this is part of a contest to see how seriously someone can take themselves without exploding.
  • Wow. You guys (the editors and posters) got taken for a huge ride. This is absolute drivel - it makes no sense whatsoever and is almost incoherrent. American and French Revolution? At the surface it made sense, but how he continued to do so did not in the least bit.

    Skip it if you haven't already; it's not worth your time.

    My ass is post-modern; it transcends obsolecense.
  • All I know is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by abes ( 82351 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @02:26AM (#16526225) Homepage
    The Web 2.0 revolution will not be televised!

    Last I checked, Web 2.0 was AJAX, which was a way of making a medium that was originally mean to be static, less static. I feel it's more akin to compiling a bunch of photos into a flipbook rather than the actual creation of a TV.

    Sure, javascript will do your dishes for you now, but it's not really anything new. I mean, back when javascript was livescript, or actionscript, or somethingscript, and Java was a seed planted in someone's head, there existed things call programs that could *still* communicate over the interweb. Did they do it over web page? No, but I'm still not sure why having it display in a web browser makes sense. Does the back button taken the place of undo? If I hit reload will my essay get better?

    If you *really* want to credit apps in web pages, I think Java and M$ should get the prize. Java, with the whole language that could run an app anyhwere, and M$ with OLE/COM/DCOM/ActiveX/VirusCom. The whole excel spreadsheet in a web page, once again, didn't ever especially appeal to me. If I wanted to edit something on a remote server I would much rather: (a) access the remote file system with something like NFS, or (b) run the actual application remotely (ala X Window). And no, windows remote desktop is not the same.

    So why the Web 2.0 crazyness? My suspicion is: (a) it's easy to start (though I would argue not to finish) an interface, (b) no need to compile anything, download anything, etc. (c) automatic file sharing (i.e. the whole internet thing again).

    Java's success has been mixed. I don't think many people would argue that when it was first released, the press it received was overblown. The AWT, IMHO, leaves much to desire. While Swing did come along and resolve some of the issues, compare to a full featured toolkit like Cocoa, and I think it's still hard to compare. But it does provide one thing that no other toolkit does: a cross-platform app without major licensing issues or recompilation (I'm sure someone is going to complain that I fail to mention Tcl/Tk).

    Google opening up their APIs to third party apps might actually for once and all start to solve these issues. You can access your data from any computer, you don't need to install anything (AJAX interface), but you can use a more sophisticated interface if needed.

    Though I would love if someone actually made a cross-platform VM that had a GUI on the same level as Coca, but easily allowed any language to compile for it (yes, I know, you can compile any language for the Java VM with the GNU toolkit [e.g. gcj]).
  • by religious freak ( 1005821 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @02:56AM (#16526335)
    Sweet Jesus, I thought web 2.0 was a useless enough term... now it's being described as post-modern. What's next? Pics of Linus Torvalds in technicolor ala Andy Warhol? Maybe we could enter into a deconstructionist movement and port the entire 'net over to run on an Altair 8800?
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @03:12AM (#16526409) Homepage Journal
    Are they kidding or are these people stupid ?

    What you call web 2.0 is just a way of making client side do a little more work when serving web pages, and pretty widgets. Thats it.

    Apparently to some metaphors and analogies are too cheap to spend them in that vulgar manner. French revolution - check out the immense exagerration here.
  • Web 2.0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @04:55AM (#16526721) Homepage Journal
    My own interpretation of "Web 2.0," (although I usually hate such buzzphrases) is that it describes a type of website which utilises what I could describe as "swarming collaboration." This is something very strikingly demonstrated by digg's Swarm visualisation.

    To me this is the single main characteristic of sites described by that term, though...Sites that have completely peer to peer or submitted contact which is either exchanged or cross-pollinated between users at extremely high speeds. It's extremely group-oriented in nature...these sites are multi-user by definition; they can't exist with only one person using them at once, because they rely on users to provide the actual content.

    Are they a good thing? For communication and collaborative problem solving, certainly...but there have been a number of times when browsing digg in particular, when I've developed a headache and have begun to feel severely overwhelmed...there is just *so much* data constantly flying around.

    People have talked about digg being preferable to Slashdot, but I believe they both have their place. I can't cognitively tolerate digg for more than short periods; like I said, it's simply too much. Slashdot on the other hand allows me to pace the rate at which data comes to me; Articles are long enough that they can be read one at a time without there being more on the screen...and despite the idiotic "humour" which is present here at times, there is still a lot more substance and insight in the topics here than I've seen on digg so far.
  • give us well formed definition of "post-modern" and we'll give you an answer.
  • Many of you are obviously in need of a basic text on post-modernism, and the late great Malcom Bradbury wrote it. It is short, witty and enlightening, It is called 'Mensonge'. It may at first sight look like a novel, but it isn't. Once you have bought it and read it, you will buy several more copies to give as presents.

    What a loss that man is!
  • From the article:

    Video-sharing has made it possible for lay people to produce satire and political speech with budgets of almost nothing.

    When the net (Web 0.9, if you will) came online, there was the risk that it would "democratize" the world and destabilize existing power structures. There was the hint of a world filled with micropayments that would result in a meritocracy for those whose content was popular and that everyone wanted to see.

    But then AOL and its ilk (CompuServe, NetZero, and so on)

  • I applaud the author of this article for using the spelling "post-modernism", which I've found by and large to mean "Something modern, and then some, which considers itself something unique, special, magical, and a complete shift in paradigm that will in some small way completely change the way we do things, or flop on its face because it's pointless and boring."

    This, in contrast to "postmodernism," which falls more along the lines of... bah, it's too early in the morning to have fun with the real postmod

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