I'm not really all that mysterious

web 2.0 and server-based applications

Shel Israel asks a very Zen-like question: what is web 2.0? I don’t know, but that’s my personal definition of web 2.0: server-based applications, which Steve Yegge briefly discusses in his article discussing programming language choice and Paul Graham mentions (in 2001, mind you!) in his article discussing programming language popularity.

What I mean by server-based apps are services that we use that rely on the processing power of the server rather than the client (your desktop computer). For example,, or Google and their multifarious spin offs (Gmail, Talk, Maps, et al), or Friendster/Myspace/Facebook/etc.,, the list goes on and on, but I’m not that inured in the Brave New World yet. (Ridiculously, I’m actually quite conservative when it comes to technology—mostly, though, I think it’s laziness. As they say, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?)

The ironic thing is that in some ways, we were in this exact same position in the pre-microcomputer (AKA pre-desktop computer) era, reliant on server processing. Sure, cel phones, and even mp3 players have much more processing power than the first microcomputers (my very first computer, the Commodore 64, ran on a 1 MHz CPU and only had 38k of RAM free—in contrast, my cell phone has at least a couple megs of RAM, and my PDA which I never use has a much faster processor than my first IBM compatible computer which ran at 33 MHz) but ultimately, if you think about it, they are really just like dumb-terminals of the mainframe and minicomputer era. All you need is a browser (and an Internet connection)—you could be running on a wristwatch for all that it matters.{: #watch}

We have plunged headlong into an era where it kind of doesn’t matter whether you’re running Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X, unless we’re talking about games. The only people who probably sad about this work at Microsoft. It will be interesting how they adapt to the Brave New World—being the behemoth they are, I’m pretty sure they’re going to adapt.

But, yeah, if you want a less vague idea of what is meant by Web 2.0, I think that’s what it is, although it would be interesting if I ran into some counter-examples.

posted by Author's profile picture mahiwaga

how far can a people be pushed?

Issa reminds me about Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whom I actually randomly met in the U.S. when she was still a Senator, trying to push extraordinarily broad suffrage—where even Filipino Americans who have long been U.S. citizens would be allowed to vote. I remember parts of an interesting conversation with her daughter, which would be quite typical amongst people in their late teens, but which has interesting undertones in someone involved in politics, in fact, whose family has been a political dynasty. (Like George W Bush, GMA is the daughter of a former president.) We were discussing how it is that our parents have so much say in our destiny when it comes to choosing what we end up doing in our lives. In my own case, for example, it is no accident that I ended up in health care. Both my parents are in health care, and so are almost all of my aunts. I swear it wasn’t until I was almost in college that I realized that there were other careers available out there in the world. But I wonder about what that means for someone who is part of a political family. Do you feel inexorably driven to do the same, to seek the power and the responsibility of leading?

Now I don’t know about GMA—she really strikes me as a bad photocopy of our own beloved W—someone out of touch with the Will of the People, who nevertheless clings tightly to the position of power they find themselves in, by fair means and foul. I remember scenes of GMA’s inauguration intercut with scenes from W’s inauguration (and considering the amount of security and armed guards present in Washington, D.C. because of the unprecedented magnitude of protesting, it was kind of difficult to tell which one was the third world country—I use the term because it tends to be synonymous with rampant corruption.) And I had a bad feeling about it all. It’s all turning into something like Marcos-lite, except I have serious doubts that the CIA will helicopter her to Hawaii, too.

Which reminds me how there is little mention of this particular front of the War on Terror. After all there are some U.S. Marines involved in the ongoing standoff between the Philippine Armed Forces and the Mindanao separatists. The basis of this front is because the separatists are Islamic, and a few of them actually are funded by AQ. Of course, no one ever mentions the fact that the separatists have been Muslim since the Middle Ages, and have been fighting a war against Western imperial aggression ever since the Spaniards came to town.

But I just wonder how much more the Filipino can stand of tyranny. I know that there is a strong cultural drive to believe in hierarchies and to respect power and that this results in few people wanting to rebel, but when the vise squeezes so tightly that you really don’t have any freedom at all to live a semi-normal life, what happens then? I am constantly reminded of a quote from JFK: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” I think this should serve as a warning to GMA, and probably to W and the neocons, too. If you really believe in Freedom, you’ll understand what this means, and why tyranny will always eventually be overthrown.

Mabuhay ang himagsikan, mga kapatid!

posted by Author's profile picture mahiwaga