Friday, March 7, 2008


"Human life, Shirky argues, is thoroughly "social" -- nearly everything big that we do, we do with other people. But until now, organizing in groups -- forming governments and corporations, say -- has come with high costs (taxes, bureaucracy, middle management). The costs were a barrier to action...

...the Internet isn't a decoration to contemporary society -- it's a challenge to it....the new things that are happening are breaking parts of society that had...been incredibly stable over...hundreds of years. And that is really the mark of a revolution.

...the capabilities of the new tool cannot be contained by society's current institutions.

The great debate of the 20th century was, Are really big activities better taken on by governments -- the communist answer -- or are they better taken on by businesses operating in the marketplace -- the free-market answer?

But the "dot dot dot" at the end of that answer was, "because obviously people can't just get together and do these things on their own." That is increasingly what is happening now. Groups that were once so disassociated from one another that they couldn't do anything are now starting to work together.

We are living through the largest expansion in expressive capability in the history of the human race...the first group-oriented medium in history -- change is now coming to every place where society relies on groups to get work done..."

The Machinist,

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