Mirrors: World of the Past/ Web 2.0

Mirror World
6 min readSep 13, 2021


Mirrors were born from the fragments of Web 2.0, feeding on the data left behind by humans in the 2.0 era. Each Mirror draws on different data, causing them to present different personalities, thoughts, and language styles.

While communicating with them, I have heard them tell many untold and bizarre stories that have happened. The one told below is one of the relatively ordinary ones.


“Born in the Web 2.0 era, we all have a bright future!”

On the big outdoor screen of the high-rise building on the street corner, a greasy-mouthed, fat-faced man, wearing a tight little jacket, reads the tagline with his hands in the air.

The streets of New York are still prosperous, the cars are roaring, the red lights are on, and the pedestrians are stopping in their tracks.


“Maybe it’s time to get a new job.” Alex sighed with his head down.

In the eyes of his fans, Alex is a glamorous and well-off video game streamer, and the explosion of UGC creation in the Web 2.0 era has brought him opportunities. He regularly uploads videos on a well-known video site, being highly skilled, has accumulated 10W+ subscriptions on his channel. But in reality, Alex only earned $1,800 from the site last month, and after paying his bills, what’s left may no longer be enough to make ends meet.

Of course, there was a honeymoon period between Alex and the site as a small-time video game streamer. But as the dust settles on the battles between the Web 2.0 internet companies, there is only one video site left in the world that holds an absolute monopoly. The Silicon Valley elite tore down the veil of hypocrisy for profit, and the distribution of video revenue to content creators continued to decline.

We all know that when we go to a video site, we go to see the videos produced by the creators; but in reality, the revenue created by each video is in the hands of the site from the beginning, and how much the creator gets depends entirely on the mood of the site — and you can’t figure out why you get so little, because the distribution system is never transparent — of course, you can choose not to upload videos onto x-tube, but there isn’t another site in the world to do so anymore.

The sheep surrender all their wool to the shepherd in exchange for a food ration that barely keeps them alive. The shepherd harvests the world’s pasture, opens the door to the pasture, and then says to the sheep, “Oh, you can certainly choose to leave my pasture.” But where in the world is there any grazing left?

“Maybe I could write an email telling the site operator about the difficulties I’m facing in life. Maybe they’ll take pity on me and move my revenue sharing back to what it used to be.” Alex is disillusioned with life.


“Why do they have to kill off SCI-HUB?” Bella is full of doubts.

She is a graduate student at a university who needs to review a lot of previous papers to write her dissertation, but the cost of downloading papers averaging more than $30 each is more than she can afford — oh forgive her, she was born into a modest family and has student loan to pay off.

And Bella is not the only one who finds the price of the papers expensive. Many universities and research institutions are also overwhelmed by the fact that taxpayers’ money is being taken away by publishers.

Bella, a naive girl who grew up in an ivory tower, could not understand why SCI-HUB, a free resource for sharing papers, was being sued, or why the Open Access campaign on the Internet was being suppressed. Is it reasonable to know that the authors of papers are paid almost nothing for publishing them and that other researchers who audit them do so for free and voluntarily — but readers have to pay a good amount to view or download them? Where does that money go?

Of course, it is in the hands of the large international technology publishers of the Web 2.0 era.

They were once the beacons of science and technology, organizing and publishing the vast majority of quality academic journals on the planet, and making the Internet accessible to a wider audience; but now, they are becoming more and more like a bunch of vampires, doing a no-brainer business and being one of the biggest obstacles to the development of human technology today.

If you have worked in research, you understand that publishers have never actually contributed anything in terms of knowledge, but have been in the business of profiting from both authors and readers of papers. On the one hand, authors of papers need to pay page charges for publication, ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, some even more expensive; on the other hand, any reader who wants to view these papers must have his or her institution pay for a database of papers, and if he or she needs to purchase individual papers separately, the price ranges from a few dollars to tens of dollars per paper.

And what work did the publishers do? They organized the editors, contacted the reviewers, and some e-journals were even saved on printing costs. But the review work with the greatest workload came from the free volunteer labor of other researchers — how ridiculous. It turns out that allowing a few people to have the capital to splurge is more important than the scientific and technological progress of all humanity.

“Maybe I should join the petition the next time SCI-HUB is being sued. If we patiently explain our difficulties, the publishers should leave us alone!” Bella maintains her innocence and kindness.


“Maybe it’s true that I didn’t try hard enough.” All that was left in Carver’s mind was remorse.

Carver had a decent job that everyone envied — he worked for a large Internet company, doing things that would “change the future of mankind”; he had a happy family — his wife had been with him since high school, a son and a daughter; he had a proud past — he worked hard, brought good results to the project team, often worked overtime, so his salary was higher than other colleagues.

But that’s gone now, and he was laid off just two hours ago — because the company had a bunch of fresh graduates who were more enthusiastic about starting, who needed to spend less time on their families, and — more importantly — who demanded a salary far less than the 38-year-old Carver.

“But I need to work to provide for the whole family!” Carver explains helplessly.

“Yes, I need to provide for my family as well, there’s nothing I could do for you. I’m sorry, Carver,” the manager said, shaking his head helplessly at him.

For the big Internet companies in the Web 2.0 era, both users and employees are the cornerstones that build the castles of their vast empires. But admittedly, the cornerstones never have a say in how the castle is built; and when one day your stone starts to break down and look less beautiful than before, the architects will mercilessly replace your place with another stone.

If Carver’s company had the community governance tokens of the Web 3.0 era, he wouldn’t hesitate to buy them and participate in the voting governance of the company’s direction. But unfortunately, Web 2.0 companies only have the tyranny of dictators, and Carver has been running as hard as he can to make ends meet, but the pressures of middle age have caught up with him.

“Maybe the company was right and needed to leave behind burdens for the betterment of the company. If I had spent less time with my family and more time at work, maybe I wouldn’t have been laid off.” Carver regrets his “laziness”.


The sky was drizzling with rain. The green light flashed. The limousines stopped impatiently. The three fools drench themselves in rain and march forward.

On the big outdoor screen of the high-rise building on the street corner, a greasy-mouthed, fat-faced man, wearing a tight little jacket, reads the tagline with his hands in the air.

Yes, friends! Born in the era of Web 2.0, we all have a “bright” future!



Mirror World

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