Friday, April 4, 2008

How The Internet Lets Us Share the Love (and cost us our private lives).

Yup, I discovered the awesome and articulate Clay Shirky this evening.

This first clip is very The Wealth of Networks -- Shirky describes how the organizing power of the web allows us to power operating systems, encyclopedias, relief efforts and protein folding on love. ;)

After watching this, I couldn't help but think of independent mini-MMO developer Eskil Steenberg -- who named his project Love. (The screenshots for Love are just beautiful.)

In the second clip, Shirky discusses personal privacy in a world with Facebook and MySpace -- to name only the most salient pair.

And hay, he has his own book -- Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations -- which is going straight to my wishlist.

Cory Doctorow says, " -- not only is he smart and articulate, but he's one of those people who is able to crystallize the half-formed ideas that I've been trying to piece together into glittering, brilliant insights that make me think, yes, of course, that's how it all works."

You'll definitely have a few of those moments if you watch these clips. The big "aha" for me was listening to Clay nail exactly how I feel about respecting (and invading) other's privacy on the Internet. If only I could have been so articulate when the person we bought our house from brought up personal information from the web in conversation; at the time I wrinkled my nose and said, "You Googled me?!" (implied: you creepy fucker).

So, in summation -- awesome stuff. Have a look see.


Chris said...

Really easy to listen to... good find! And good points; why should infinite levels of snooping be permitted online, when the same is not permissible offline?

I take from the reference that you know Cory Doctorow (I should have known)... have your read "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom"? Some crazy (though really quite sane) ideas for what is in some ways our most optimistic future.

Rachael said...

I haven't read that one, but Dima has! He says, "If you liked Down & Out, Diamond Age by Neil Stevenson will blow you away."

I'm mostly familiar with Cory through BoingBoing and always regret that I haven't read more of his fiction. I have a lot of respect for Cory -- whether history remembers him this way or not, I think he's one of the great people of our times.

I'm really curious to see what happens with his newest book, Little Brother. A young friend of mine is doing a book review for her school -- I should bug her to finish it so I can post it up here. :)