1 March 2009

Web 2.0: a magic Ponzi scheme from a demon haunted world

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Bruce Sterling at Webstock
Bruce Sterling keynoted last week on “The Short but Glorious Life of Web 2.0 and What Comes Afterward” at Webstock in Wellington.

No video is (yet) available, but American journalist Annalee Newitz was there and she reports:

Sterling began his talk by poking fun at Web 2.0, calling it mostly a social network of investors and developers. He complained that it’s not an ideology or set of aesthetic tenants; it’s just a little network – “a little network for the network.” He talked about how Web 2.0 uses the Web as a “platform” for services, and then dismissed that as an “utter violation of common sense” based on the kind of thinking, translated into the financial realm, that caused the current global financial crisis, where mortgages are aggregated together and turned into a kind of Ponzi scheme platform.

Sterling acknowledged that of course Web 2.0 is not the same thing as the financial system, “but that frail and problematic system was what funded Web 2.0. After all, Web 2.0 is supposed to be business.”

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Other local bloggers like Ben Kepes and Daniel Nations also wrote on Sterling’s talk but seemed not to have liked what they heard.

UPDATE:
Here is the transcript of the talk.

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