Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Here Comes more of Everybody?

Anyone interested in finding out more about Clay Shirky’s thinking can now listen to a recording of his recent talk at the RSA. Stemming from his book it focuses on how, as he puts it, the digital realm is now ‘technologically boring enough to be socially interesting.’ He talks about Flash mobs and political protest, Facebook protest groups (though not the one called ‘The Arts Council needs a f***** slap’, strangely enough) - and how ‘organisation’ is changed, changed utterly. He’s an engaging speaker and admits to being a lapsed cyber-utopian, aware of the innocence or naivete of much of what’s said about the new networked, distributed world.

A number of reviews of HCE have linked it to Charles Leadbetter’s We Think. This seems to me much more guilty of idealistic enthusiasm, judging by the chapters I read when Charles made it available in draft. (I suspect Shirky would say he's still thinking about the technology a little too much.) Wikipedia is an interesting model of all sorts of things, but I couldn’t help muttering ‘but how do you make a living in this world?’ at a number of points. Anyway, his site has lots of interesting material - shared, for free - so have a look around.

Interestingly given my previous post, you can, for example, see Charles' notes for a talk about The Web and the Avant Garde. He doesn’t mention Joyce, but what the notes say about Guy Debord and Facebook make me think he may be a little too easily pleased. I can’t see that the fun loving Situationist would really have been busy collecting ‘friends’ and thinking it was a great advance in democratising the spectactle…

1 comment:

Pete Hindle said...

There's also a video of him at this site which is downloadable in several formats (including audio only).