Friday, May 08, 2009

Clay Shirky: Wikipedia and Seeds for Transforming Capitalism?

I just finished reading three chapters of Clay Shirky's book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. I think Shirky just might gives us a possible site to think about how capitalism can be altered through the Wikipedia model of doing good — just for the sake of it. No monetary remuneration. He makes a compelling argument for exactly why Wikipedia is revolutionary and human beings have the power to be the same. He goes on to explain that we are living through the most "human expressive period in history." The potential to alter life as we know it through collective action, participation and organization that in turn gathers knowledge, distribution and speed to make change. Group action.

Shirky explains that wikis are only worth their salt if people care about them, and that "a wiki is a hybrid of tool and community."Experts, professionals and amateurs alike make additions and corrections to Wikipedia out of the pure love, enjoyment and for betterment of everyone who uses it around the world. I repeat. They don't get paid to do it. Isn't that the old adage we've all heard— to do great work you have to do what you love? Somewhere in Shirky's book is a balance between working collectively, making change, doing it in a nearly effortless manner and loving it.

Protest Culture -- Ad Hoc vs Institutional, and What it Means (Event Video/Audio) Clay Shirky joined an intimate group at the Berkman Center for a deep dive discussion on one chapter of his book, Here Comes Everybody, which deals with protest culture -- ad hoc vs institutional, and what it means.