“Peer-Reviewed for Your Protection.”


NOW THAT THE phenomenon colloquially described as “Web 2.o” is as common as the steam engine and the electric telegraph, experts are beginning to discuss the nature of its successor, which must follow as inevitably as one Pullman car follows another.

Dr. H. Albertus Boli, whose mammoth publishing empire is now entirely web-based, offers his readers an exclusive look at the Web of tomorrow. As Dr. Boli holds a doctorate in futurology from the Boli Institute for Advanced Studies, his predictions carry considerable weight among serious students of the Internet.

“The primary flaw of Web 2.0,” Dr. Boli explains, “has always been its vulnerability to attack. Simply put, the Web as it is currently constituted is not a safe place. You might enjoy visiting, but you would not wish to raise a family there.

“Security, therefore, must be the primary concern in the design of Web 3.0. For that reason, it seems inevitable that Web 3.0 will be paper-based rather than electrical.

“A work distributed on paper is nearly impossible to tamper with. A news site read by half a million, once committed to paper, presents an almost insurmountable problem to a hacker, who would be required to make manual alterations to five hundred thousand individual copies in order to draw an unflattering mustache on the face of the mayor.

“Similarly, financial transactions could be carried out on paper rather than by transfer of electrical impulses. Each depositor at a bank might have his own unique mark, which he would make on a paper authorizing a transfer of funds from his account, and without which no draft would be considered valid.

“The indexing of information might also be rendered enormously easier and more efficient. Instead of forcing the reader to sift through hundreds of thousands of irrelevant search results, Web 3.0 publications could be arranged according to the letters of the alphabet, so that a reader looking for information on the emu, for example, would know to find it somewhere after emporium but somewhere before emulsion.

“With these innovations,” Dr. Boli concludes, “we may confidently predict that the security problems associated with Web 2.0 will vanish, and the Internet will at last begin to live up to its promise.”

Many Web experts have welcomed Dr. Boli’s vision of Web 3.0, but some have dismissed his predictions as a little too utopian.

“It’s a matter of technology,” argues Dr. Timothy Neigh of Duck Hollow University’s Department of Computing and Food Service Studies. “We have the technology now to distribute news electronically, but what Dr. Boli is proposing would involve one single news source printing literally tens of thousands of copies, each running into perhaps even dozens of pages, of what we might call a news ‘paper’ every day. That is far beyond the capacity of our current technology, and I feel fairly sure in predicting that it will not happen in my lifetime.”