Yes, Virginia, there is a Web 2.0

Yes, Virginia, there is a Web 2.0: I got this email from a young rexblog reader this morning, and I thought I should share it, knowing there are lots of children out there who this year are wondering the same thing:

Dear Rexblog:

I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Web 2.0.
Papa says, ‘If you see it on the rexblog, it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Web 2.0?


Here is my response:

Dear Virginia,

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measure by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Web 2.0. Geez, Virginia, it even has A Working Group. Web 2.0 exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Google Maps mashups! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias (or Chicagos, for that matter). There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Web 2.0! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire Tim O’Reilly to come over to your house and explain Web 2.0 to you, but even if Tim O’Reilly showed up and you didn’t understand what the heck he was talking about, what would that prove? So what if nobody can actually explain Web 2.0 without using techno babble and business buzzwords? That is no sign that there is no Web 2.0. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see — and that’s why they develop buzzwords. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Web 2.0! Thank Asynchronous JavaScript and XML! Web 2.0 lives, and Web 2.0 lives forever, or at least until Web 3.0. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, Web 2.0 (or, Web 2,000.0) will continue to make glad the heart of children who have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads.

Your pal,


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