International Journal of Inactivism (now supplanted by Decoding SwiftHack)


Web 2.0 is fat?

cite as: F. Bi. 2008. Web 2.0 is fat? Intl. J. Inact., 1:190–192

lolcat-exodus32Well, Al Gore thinks that this “Web 2.0” thing can help stop global warming, restore democracy, and bring balance to the cosmos. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that I like the idea of stopping global warming. Alas, things aren’t that simple. For one thing, some “Web 2.0” techniques such as AJAX and Adobe Flash like to guzzle lots of CPU power, which means more CO2 emissions and thus more global warming.1

A bigger problem is that “Web 2.0” and the “New Media” — well, the kinds of stuff normally associated with these buzzwords — don’t really give me a good way to do what I want. I’ve been thinking, “hmm, how can I make it easier for myself (and others) to maintain the think-tank diagram?” I figure that what I’d really like is

  • a more automated way to collect the information we’ve been collecting — domain name to IP mappings, IP to domain name mappings (canonical name lookups at least), hyperlinks between sites, etc.;
  • a proper database system to maintain this information; and
  • a way to allow people who aren’t me to add to this information, and to easily process the updated information into a pretty little diagram.

And here’s the rub: no combination of Facebook, YouTube, WikiWikiWeb, Movable Type, etc. will be enough to achieve this.2, 3 What will achieve this, well, is some good old programming gruntwork. That is, unless some of you have better ideas… 🙂


  1. Except for those who have moved to 100% alternative energy sources, or who harness these techniques to avoid even greater power consumption elsewhere.
  2. And come to think of it, the RealClimate wiki may suffer from a similar problem. It’s supposed to be a collection of links to debunkings of inactivist nonsense, indexed by topic, by myth, by author, and by media outlet — probably a tailor-made database structure will be more suited for this than a wiki.
  3. “But Frank,” one may say, “Web 2.0 isn’t just a hodgepodge of technologies; it’s a philosophy, it’s a mindset, it’s a way of life! And what you’re trying to achieve is perfectly within the spirit of Web 2.0! Don’t criticize Web 2.0; improve on it!” No.


  1. I saw you were looking to store a doubly linked list in a DB File in perl for this. If you need perl or programming help, I’m available and can help (gratis, of course). Just loafing around. Won’t have too much time til Christmas but some.

    Comment by Markk — 2008/12/20 @ 00:57 | Reply

  2. Markk:

    Thanks, though I have no idea what stuff you’d like to work on. I should probably be able to manage by myself for now, but if you’re feeling really bored, let me know! 🙂

    (Also, I decided that using a DB_File probably isn’t such a good idea. I’m now thinking of using a more proper DBMS. (-: )

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/12/20 @ 04:19 | Reply

  3. The first two parts are done. 🙂

    Comment by frankbi — 2009/01/03 @ 07:51 | Reply

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