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Maybe we're not afraid: on Edtech's inability to imagine the future - Long View on Education
"As people who argue for ‘de-growth’ know, we will end up in serious trouble if we mindlessly argue for creation and production as we imagine the future of paid labor and the unpaid work of reproduction.8There are serious environmental and equity issues at stake. While we have seen a huge push for equity through the movements to include girls in the STEM subjects (which is crucial work that we need to continue), Debbie Chachra points out a shortcoming to the one-sided emphasis behind getting “everyone access to the traditionally male domain of making”.
“I want to see us recognize the work of the educators, those that analyze and characterize and critique, everyone who fixes things, all the other people who do valuable work with and for others—above all, the caregivers—whose work isn’t about something you can put in a box and sell.”

Chachra’s concern comes to life in The World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs‘ report, which has almost nothing to say about care work, and as Helen Hester argues in her talk at the LSE, the “relative absence of care still registers as quite conspicuous in a study seeking to address something as encompassing as the ‘Future of Jobs’.”9

We should reject the whole ‘human capital’ metaphor and with it the racist and sexist legacy that defines technology along with productive value in the narrowest terms. In her conceptual critique of Becker’s human capital theory, Antonia Kupfer asks, “how could ‘productivity’ be measured in the increasing service sector such as care of elderly, counselling or management? In fact, productivity is highly culturally conceptualised and impacted.” Elevating all ‘creating’ above everything else, as Shirky does, damages our ability to think through our future.10
Maybe We’re Not Afraid: Technology in the Classroom

In his study of computer use in schools, Larry Cuban (2001) “found no evidence of teacher resistance” contrary to the popular mythology.11 Counter to Edtech’s idea that teachers fear technology, I propose a somewhat radical thesis: Perhaps it’s Edtech, not teachers, that lags far behind in its narrow discussion of technology. Rather than leading the way forward, Edtech is stuck in the past and irrelevant, especially to those of us who care about the intersection of technology and power.

Many of the top Edtech bloggers and tweeters, as ranked by onalytica.com, focus on products and branding, rather than pedagogy and power. In their praise, onlyanalytica.com writes that, “We discovered a very engaged community, with much discussion between individuals and brands, joining together in conversations looking to improve their quality of service.” It’s true, there’s an excellent relationship between individuals and brands like Apple and Google, which could be the exact reason that teachers find Edtech to be irrelevant.

Aside from the few who have consciously adopted a critical approach, most notably Audrey Watters, Neil Selwyn and the Digital Pedagogy group, the official Edtech journals and popular blogs almost never discuss the intersection of technology and power. Recently, both The British Journal of Educational Technology and Learning, Media, and Technology have featured editorials that acknowledge the shortcomings of Edtech and call for a new approaches.

So, what issues should Edtech be talking about instead of scared teachers and content creators? I would start with this short list:

– digital redlining
– the extent to which our ‘open’ society is really black boxed
– online harassment, especially as this relates to race and gender
– privacy in a world of Big Data
– digital labor
– media and propaganda
– profits and corporate agendas
– the supply chains that lie underneath ‘knowledge work’
– the increasing precarity of workers
– climate justice
– the ways that technology embodies ideologies, again, especially as this relates to race, class, and gender
– critical pedagogy

If we are really going to move education forward, then our philosophy of educational technology needs to keep pace with what people outside of the elite circles that worship the human capital ideology have been talking about for the last few decades. If we continue to praise creating and making, while undervaluing caring and repairing, we certainly won’t prepare kids for either the jobs or civic life of tomorrow."
edtech  benjamindoxtdator  2017  technology  education  pedagogy  debchachra  clayshirky  audeywatters  larrycuban  neilsilwyn  digitalpedagogy  production  consumption  care  caring  caretakers  makers  labor  capitalism  work  propaganda  climatejustice  power  precarity  economics  ideology  technosolutionism 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Shirky: A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy
"So, Part One. The best explanation I have found for the ways in which this pattern establishes itself, the group is its own worst enemy, comes from a book by W.R. Bion called "Experiences in Groups," written in the middle of the last century.

Bion was a psychologist who was doing group therapy with groups of neurotics. (Drawing parallels between that and the Internet is left as an exercise for the reader.) The thing that Bion discovered was that the neurotics in his care were, as a group, conspiring to defeat therapy.

There was no overt communication or coordination. But he could see that whenever he would try to do anything that was meant to have an effect, the group would somehow quash it. And he was driving himself crazy, in the colloquial sense of the term, trying to figure out whether or not he should be looking at the situation as: Are these individuals taking action on their own? Or is this a coordinated group?

He could never resolve the question, and so he decided that the unresolvability of the question was the answer. To the question: Do you view groups of people as aggregations of individuals or as a cohesive group, his answer was: "Hopelessly committed to both."

He said that humans are fundamentally individual, and also fundamentally social. Every one of us has a kind of rational decision-making mind where we can assess what's going on and make decisions and act on them. And we are all also able to enter viscerally into emotional bonds with other groups of people that transcend the intellectual aspects of the individual.

In fact, Bion was so convinced that this was the right answer that the image he put on the front cover of his book was a Necker cube, one of those cubes that you can look at and make resolve in one of two ways, but you can never see both views of the cube at the same time. So groups can be analyzed both as collections of individuals and having this kind of emotive group experience.

Now, it's pretty easy to see how groups of people who have formal memberships, groups that have been labeled and named like "I am a member of such-and-such a guild in a massively multi-player online role-playing game," it's easy to see how you would have some kind of group cohesion there. But Bion's thesis is that this effect is much, much deeper, and kicks in much, much sooner than many of us expect. So I want to illustrate this with a story, and to illustrate the illustration, I'll use a story from your life. Because even if I don't know you, I know what I'm about to describe has happened to you.

You are at a party, and you get bored. You say "This isn't doing it for me anymore. I'd rather be someplace else. I'd rather be home asleep. The people I wanted to talk to aren't here." Whatever. The party fails to meet some threshold of interest. And then a really remarkable thing happens: You don't leave. You make a decision "I don't like this." If you were in a bookstore and you said "I'm done," you'd walk out. If you were in a coffee shop and said "This is boring," you'd walk out.

You're sitting at a party, you decide "I don't like this; I don't want to be here." And then you don't leave. That kind of social stickiness is what Bion is talking about.

And then, another really remarkable thing happens. Twenty minutes later, one person stands up and gets their coat, and what happens? Suddenly everyone is getting their coats on, all at the same time. Which means that everyone had decided that the party was not for them, and no one had done anything about it, until finally this triggering event let the air out of the group, and everyone kind of felt okay about leaving.

This effect is so steady it's sometimes called the paradox of groups. It's obvious that there are no groups without members. But what's less obvious is that there are no members without a group. Because what would you be a member of?

So there's this very complicated moment of a group coming together, where enough individuals, for whatever reason, sort of agree that something worthwhile is happening, and the decision they make at that moment is: This is good and must be protected. And at that moment, even if it's subconscious, you start getting group effects. And the effects that we've seen come up over and over and over again in online communities.

Now, Bion decided that what he was watching with the neurotics was the group defending itself against his attempts to make the group do what they said they were supposed to do. The group was convened to get better, this group of people was in therapy to get better. But they were defeating that. And he said, there are some very specific patterns that they're entering into to defeat the ostensible purpose of the group meeting together. And he detailed three patterns.

The first is sex talk, what he called, in his mid-century prose, "A group met for pairing off." And what that means is, the group conceives of its purpose as the hosting of flirtatious or salacious talk or emotions passing between pairs of members.

You go on IRC and you scan the channel list, and you say "Oh, I know what that group is about, because I see the channel label." And you go into the group, you will also almost invariably find that it's about sex talk as well. Not necessarily overt. But that is always in scope in human conversations, according to Bion. That is one basic pattern that groups can always devolve into, away from the sophisticated purpose and towards one of these basic purposes.

The second basic pattern that Bion detailed: The identification and vilification of external enemies. This is a very common pattern. Anyone who was around the Open Source movement in the mid-Nineties could see this all the time. If you cared about Linux on the desktop, there was a big list of jobs to do. But you could always instead get a conversation going about Microsoft and Bill Gates. And people would start bleeding from their ears, they would get so mad.

If you want to make it better, there's a list of things to do. It's Open Source, right? Just fix it. "No, no, Microsoft and Bill Gates grrrrr ...", the froth would start coming out. The external enemy -- nothing causes a group to galvanize like an external enemy.

So even if someone isn't really your enemy, identifying them as an enemy can cause a pleasant sense of group cohesion. And groups often gravitate towards members who are the most paranoid and make them leaders, because those are the people who are best at identifying external enemies.

The third pattern Bion identified: Religious veneration. The nomination and worship of a religious icon or a set of religious tenets. The religious pattern is, essentially, we have nominated something that's beyond critique. You can see this pattern on the Internet any day you like. Go onto a Tolkein newsgroup or discussion forum, and try saying "You know, The Two Towers is a little dull. I mean loooong. We didn't need that much description about the forest, because it's pretty much the same forest all the way."

Try having that discussion. On the door of the group it will say: "This is for discussing the works of Tolkein." Go in and try and have that discussion.

Now, in some places people say "Yes, but it needed to, because it had to convey the sense of lassitude," or whatever. But in most places you'll simply be flamed to high heaven, because you're interfering with the religious text.

So these are human patterns that have shown up on the Internet, not because of the software, but because it's being used by humans. Bion has identified this possibility of groups sandbagging their sophisticated goals with these basic urges. And what he finally came to, in analyzing this tension, is that group structure is necessary. Robert's Rules of Order are necessary. Constitutions are necessary. Norms, rituals, laws, the whole list of ways that we say, out of the universe of possible behaviors, we're going to draw a relatively small circle around the acceptable ones.

He said the group structure is necessary to defend the group from itself. Group structure exists to keep a group on target, on track, on message, on charter, whatever. To keep a group focused on its own sophisticated goals and to keep a group from sliding into these basic patterns. Group structure defends the group from the action of its own members."
clayshirky  2003  groups  communication  culture  norms  groupdynamics  wrbion  rituals  laws  rules  behavior  constitutions  lcproject  openstudioproject  structure  groupstructure  religion  worship  sfsh  ritual 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Clay Shirky on the why's behind current US Presidential Election cycle - Loose Leaves
[Now available here too: http://civichall.org/civicist/clay-shirky-on-the-whys-behind-current-us-presidential-election-cycle/ ]

"I started writing about both parties becoming host bodies for 3rd party candidates. Instead of an essay, it turned into 50 tweets. Here goes

Social media is breaking the political 'Overton Window' -- the ability of elites to determine the outside edges of acceptable conversation.

The Overton Window was imagined as a limit on public opinion, but in politics, it's the limit on what politicians will express in public.

Politically acceptable discourse is limited by supply, not demand. The public is hungry for more than politicians are willing to discuss.

This is especially important in the U.S., because our two-party system creates ideologically unstable parties by design.

In order to preserve inherently unstable coalitions, party elites & press had to put some issues into the 'Don't Mention X' category.

These limits were enforced by party discipline, and mass media whose economics meant political centrism was the best way to make money.

This was BC: Before Cable. One or two newspapers per town, three TV stations; all centrist, white, pro-business, respectful of authority.

Cable changed things, allowing outsiders to campaign more easily. In '92, Ross Perot, 3rd party candidate, campaigned through infomercials.

That year, the GOP's 'Don't Mention X' issue was the weakness of Reaganomics. Party orthodoxy said reducing tax rates would raise revenues.

Perot's ads attacked GOP management of the economy head on. He was the first candidate to purchase national attention at market rates.

Post-Perot, cable became outside candidates' tool for jailbreaking Don't Mention X: Buchanan on culture war, Nader on consumer protection.

After Cable but Before Web lasted only a dozen years. Cable added a new stream of media access. The web added a torrent.

What's special about After Web -- now -- is that politicians talking about "Don't mention X" issues are doing so from inside the parties.

This started with Howard Dean (the OG) in '03. Poverty was the mother of invention; Dean didn't have enough $ to buy ads, even on cable.

But his team had Meetup & blogs and their candidate believed something many voters did too, something actively Not Being Mentioned.

In '03, All Serious People (aka DC insiders) agreed the U.S. had to invade Iraq. Opposition to the war was not to be a campaign issue.

Dean didn't care. In February of 2003, he said "If the war lasts more than a few weeks, the danger of humanitarian disaster is high."

Dean said "Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and large quantities of arms."

Dean said "There is a very real danger that war in Iraq will fuel the fires of international terror."

For All Serious People, this was crazy talk. (Dean was, of course, completely correct.) This was also tonic to a passionate set of voters.

Mentioning X became Dean's hallmark. Far from marginalizing him, it got him tons of free news coverage. Trump is just biting those rhymes.

After webifying Perot's media tactics, Dean pioneered online fundraising. Unfortunately for him, his Get Out The Vote operation didn't.

That took Obama. Obama was less of an outsider than Dean (though still regarded as unelectable in '07) but used most of Dean's playbook.

Besides charisma, he had two advantages Dean didn't have. First, the anti-war position had gone from principled oppositon to common sense.

Obama could campaign not just on being prescient (as Dean also was) but on having been proved right years earlier.

The second advantage was that Obama's voter mobilization strategy--the crown jewels--was superior to that of the Democratic Party itself.

This was the last piece. Perot adopted non-centrist media, Dean distributed fundraising, Obama non-party voter mobilization.

Social media is at the heart of all of this. Meetup and Myspace meant Dean and Obama didn't have to be billionaires to get a message out.

Online fundraising let outsiders raise funds, and it became a symbol of purity. Anyone not raising money at $25 a pop is now a plutocrat.

And then there was vote-getting. Facebook and MyBarackObama let the Obama campaign run their own vote-getting machine out of Chicago.

McLuhan famously said "The medium is the message." This is often regarded as inscrutably gnomic, but he explained it perfectly clearly.

The personal and social consequences of any medium result from the new scale introduced into our affairs by any new technology.

The new scale Facebook introduces into politics is this: all registered American voters, ~150M people, are now a medium-sized group.

All voters' used to be a big number. Now it's <10% of FB's audience. "A million users isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion users."

Reaching & persuading even a fraction of the electorate used to be so daunting that only two national orgs could do it. Now dozens can.

This set up the current catastrophe for the parties. They no longer control any essential resource, and can no longer censor wedge issues.

Each party has an unmentionable Issue X that divide its voters. Each overestimated their ability to keep X out of the campaign.

Jeb(!) Bush, who advocates religious litmus tests for immigrants, has to attack Trump's anti-immigrant stance, because it went too far.

Clinton can't say "Break out the pitchforks", because Democratic consensus says "We've done as much to banks as our donors will allow."

In '15, a 3rd party candidate challenging her on those issues from inside the party was inconceivable.("I don't think that word means...")

So here we are, with quasi-parlimentarianism. We now have four medium-sized and considerably more coherent voter blocs.

2 rump establishment parties, Trump representing 'racist welfare state' voters, and Sanders representing people who want a Nordic system.

Trump is RINO, Sanders not even a Dem. That either one could become their party's nominee is amazing. Both would mark the end of an era.

We will know by March 15th whether a major party's apparatus can be hijacked by mere voters. (Last time it was: McGovern.)

But the social media piece, and growing expertise around it, means that this is now a long-term challenge to our two-party system.

Over-large party coalitions require discipline to prevent people from taking an impassioned 30% of the base in order to win the primaries.

The old defense against this by the parties was "You and what army?" No third party has been anything other than a spoiler in a century.

The answer to that question this year, from both Trump and Sanders, is "Me and this army I can mobilize without your help."

Who needs a third party when the existing two parties have become powerless to stop insurgencies from within?"
clayshirky  politics  us  rossperot  berniesanders  2016  politicalparties  cable  marshallmcluhan  themediumisthemessage  media  television  control  messaging  facebook  fundraising  platforms  discipline  issues  division  donaldtrump  jebbush  barackobama  hillaryclinton  democrats  republicans  coaitions  thirdpartycandidates  howarddean  2003  meetup  internet  web  socialmedia  1992  getoutthevote  myspace  money  campaigns  campaigning  mybarackobama  rino  georgemcgovern  elections 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Phantom Public | Dissent Magazine
"Today you don’t have to be a card-carrying McLuhanite to believe that forms of media have their own inherent politics. Many academics and pundits have built their reputations arguing that the rise of the internet leads to the decentralization and democratization of communication, and of social life more broadly. While some contemporary critics have challenged this sort of “technological determinism,” the proposition that new media is irrelevant to understanding politics is equally problematic. We need more historically informed analyses of the way power operates in an era of digital networks and electronic media, and more pointed critiques of the ways the powerful purposefully obscure their influence over and through these channels.

The work of Stanford historian Fred Turner is a good place to start. As he explains in his fascinating and illuminating 2013 book The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties, McLuhan’s apparently pioneering thinking on media owes a large and largely forgotten debt to an earlier group of anti-fascist campaigners and well-meaning Cold Warriors. They were the first to articulate a vision of a media-driven democracy that, though never perfectly implemented, has suffused much of today’s popular thinking about the internet and social media."



"Was another world possible? It is clear that part of the reason that Turner wrote The Democratic Surround was to remind us of good ideas that have been abandoned and alternative paths not taken. As he writes in the book’s introduction, “What has disappeared is the deeply democratic vision that animated the turn toward mediated environments in the first place, and that sustained it across the 1950s and into the 1960s.” It is this “radically liberal, diverse, and egalitarian” vision that Turner wishes to recover through his research; he hopes that “with a new generation’s efforts, it might yet live there again.” It sounds desirable enough. Yet for such ideals to be revived we have to better understand the way their absence adversely affects us, and that’s something Turner never clearly articulates.

For Turner a pivotal rift occurred in the 1960s, when the politically oriented New Left and the free-spirited counterculture parted ways. In tracing the roots of the “Be-Ins” and “Happenings” to the democratic surrounds of preceding decades, Turner highlights the shortcomings of the former, making the case that some critical democratic potential got lost. The multimedia experimentation of the period—and the counterculture more broadly, in Turner’s view—promoted the personal psyche as the proper terrain of social change; collective responsibility, effective organization, and direct action got the shaft. No doubt Turner is right that our political ambitions have become contracted and privatized, but placing so much blame at the feet of the counterculture seems both overstated and oversimplified when you consider the larger economic and social forces involved. The countercultural mindset Turner laments was more a symptom of neoliberalism’s ascension than its cause.

Of course the counterculture is hardly the only realm of diminished utopian horizons. In 1946 and 1949 Norbert Wiener wrote two agonized letters on the politics of technology. The first, published in the Atlantic Monthly under the title “A Scientist Rebels,” was a response to an employee of the Boeing Aircraft Company who had requested a copy of an out-of-print article. Though he conducted military research during the Second World War, Wiener refused to share his paper, deploring the “tragic insolence of the military mind” and the “bombing or poisoning of defenseless peoples” to which his scientific ideas might contribute. The second was an unsolicited warning about advances in automation to Walter Reuther of the Union of Automobile Workers, declaring that he had “turned down unconditionally” invitations to consult for corporations. “I do not wish to contribute in any way to selling labor down the river,” he wrote.

Wiener agonized over the role of science in a world warped by power imbalances, particularly economic ones. And he chose sides. In our own age, it is imperative that more people take similar stands. Turner suggests that if enough people do—and if they come together and advocate for their beliefs by building associations and institutions—they may have more of an impact in the long term than they could ever imagine at the outset. But this comes with a warning: their efforts might lead us to a situation they could neither anticipate nor comprehend. “Were the world we dream of attained, members of that new world would be so different from ourselves that they would no longer value it in the same terms in which we now desire it,” Margaret Mead says in an epigraph that begins The Democratic Surround. “We would no longer be at home in such a world.” Those of us who live within the surround and under the managerial mode of control, and who hope to change it, can only welcome the possibility of one day finding ourselves discomfited and cast out from the world we call home."
2016  astrataylor  cybernetics  marshalmcluhan  history  internet  web  online  media  counterculture  norbertweiner  thesaltsummaries  stevenpinker  clayshirky  francisfukuyama  chrisanderson  nassimtaleb  niallferguson  fredturner  theodoradorno  stewartbrand  wholeearthcatalog  well  kenkesey 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Press Play — Press Play: Making and distributing content in the present future we are living through. — Medium
"This thing of ours:

This course, Press Play, aspires to be a place where you make things. Good things. Smart things. Cool things. And then share those things with other people. The idea of Press Play is that after we make things we are happy with, that we push a button and unleash it on the world. Much of it will be text, but if you want to make magic with a camera, your phone, or with a digital recorder, knock yourself out. But it will all be displayed and edited on Medium because there will be a strong emphasis on working with others in this course, and Medium is collaborative.

While writing, shooting, and editing are often solitary activities, great work emerges in the spaces between people. We will be working in groups with peer and teacher edits. There will be a number of smaller assignments, but the goal is that you will leave here with a single piece of work that reflects your capabilities as a maker of media.But remember, evaluations will be based not just on your efforts, but on your ability to bring excellence out of the people around you. Medium has a remarkable “notes” function where the reader/editor can highlight a specific word, phrase or paragraph and comment, suggest a tweak or give an attaboy. This is counter-intuitive, but you will be judged as much by what you put in the margins of others work as you are for your own. (You should sign on to Medium as soon as you can. You can log in with Facebook or Twitter credentials. Pithy instructions on writing and collaborating on Medium: here, here, here, and, yes, here.)To begin with, we will look at the current media ecosystem: how content is conceived, made, made better, distributed, and paid for. We will discuss finding a story, research and reporting, content management systems, voice, multimedia packaging, along with distribution and marketing of work. If that sounds ambitious, keep in mind that in addition to picking this professor and grad assistant, we picked you. We already know you are smart, and we just want you to demonstrate that on the (web) page.

What we‘ll create:

Together, we will make a collection of stories on Medium around a specific organizing principle — it could be a genre, topic, reading time, or event — which we’ll decide on in collaboration as well. And once we get stories up and running, we will work on ways of getting them out there into the bloodstream of the web.

In order to have a chance of making great work, you have to consume remarkable work. Fair warning: There will be a lot of weekly reading assignments. I’m not sliming you with a bunch of textbooks, so please know I am dead serious about these readings. Skip or skim at your peril.

I will be bringing in a number of guest speakers. They will be talented, accomplished people giving their own time. Please respond with your fullest attention.

So, to summarize: We will make things — in class, in groups, by our lonely selves — we will work to make those things better, and, if we are lucky, we will figure out how to beckon the lightning of excellence along the way."
davidcarr  2014  web  online  internet  syllabus  education  journalism  writing  howwewrite  ta-nehisicoates  teaching  mooc  moocs  lesliejamison  clayshirky  alexismadrigal  jessicatesta  nrkleinfield  sarahkoenig  davidfosterwallace  elizabethroyte  zachseward  joshuadavis  shanesnow  brianlam  kevinkelly  luciamoses  storytelling  vincentmorisset  emilygibson  caityeaver  mischaberlinski  triciaromano  hamiltonnolan  camilledodero  erinleecarr  mariakonikkova  tonyhaile  ralphabellino  mashacharnay  santiagostelly  timstelloh  jayrosen  felixsalmon  multimedia  socialmedia  canon  engagement  media  distribution  voice  syllabi 
february 2015 by robertogreco
The Dads of Tech - The Baffler
"The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” Audre Lorde famously said, but let Clay Shirky mansplain. It “always struck me as a strange observation—even the metaphor isn’t true,” the tech consultant and bestselling author said at the New Yorker Festival last autumn in a debate with the novelist Jonathan Franzen. “Get ahold of the master’s hammer,” and you can dismantle anything. Just consider all the people “flipping on the ‘I’m gay’ light on Facebook” to signal their support for marriage equality—there, Shirky declared, is a prime example of the master’s tools put to good use.

“Shirky invented the Internet and Franzen wants to shut it down,” panel moderator Henry Finder mused with an air of sophisticated hyperbole. Finder said he was merely paraphrasing a festival attendee he’d overheard outside—and joked that for once in his New Yorker editing career, he didn’t need fact-checkers to determine whether the story was true. He then announced with a wink that it was “maybe a little true.” Heh.

Shirky studied fine art in school, worked as a lighting designer for theater and dance companies; he was a partner at investment firm The Accelerator Group before turning to tech punditry. Now he teaches at NYU and publishes gung-ho cyberliberation tracts such as Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus while plying a consulting sideline for a diverse corps of well-paying clients such as Nokia, the BBC, and the U.S. Navy—as well as high-profile speaking gigs like the New Yorker forum, which was convened under the stupifyingly dualistic heading “Is Technology Good for Culture?”

And that’s tech punditry for you: simplification with an undercurrent of sexism. There are plenty of woman academics and researchers who study technology and social change, but we are a long way from the forefront of stage-managed gobbledygook. Instead of getting regaled with nods and winks for “inventing the Internet,” women in the tech world typically have to overcome the bigoted suspicions of an intensively male geek culture—when, that is, they don’t face outright harassment in the course of pursuing industry careers."



"No wonder, then, that investors ignore coders from marginalized communities who aspire to meet real needs. With an Internet so simple even your Dad can understand it as our guiding model, the myriad challenges that attend the digital transformation, from rampant sexism, racism, and homophobia to the decline of journalism, are impossible to apprehend, let alone address. How else could a white dude who didn’t know that a “bustle” is a butt-enhancing device from the late nineteenth century raise $6.5 million to start a women’s content site under that name? Or look at investors racing to fund the latest fad: “explainer” journalism, a format that epitomizes our current predicament. Explainer journalism is an Internet simple enough for Dad to understand made manifest. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, the New York Times’ The Upshot, and Ezra Klein’s Vox (which boasts a “Leadership Team” of seventeen men and three women) all champion a numbers-driven model that does not allow for qualification or uncertainty. No doubt, quantification can aid insight, but statistics shouldn’t be synonymous with a naive, didactic faith that numbers don’t lie or that everything worth knowing can be rendered in a series of quickly clickable virtual notecards. Plenty of news reports cry out for further explanation, because the world is complex and journalists often get things wrong, but like Internet punditry before it, these explainer outlets don’t explain, they simplify."



"Most of all, the dominance of the Dad’s-eye-view of the world shores up the Internet’s underlying economic operating system. This also means a de facto free pass for corporate surveillance, along with an increasing concentration of wealth and power in the coffers of a handful of advertising-dependent, privacy-violating info-monopolies and the men who run them (namely Google and Facebook, though Amazon and Apple are also addicted to sucking up our personal data). Study after study shows that women are more sensitive to the subject of privacy than men, from a Pew poll that found that young girls are more prone than boys are to disabling location tracking on their devices to another that showed that while women are equally enthusiastic about technology in general, they’re also more concerned about the implications of wearable technologies. A more complicated Internet would incorporate these legitimate apprehensions instead of demanding “openness” and “transparency” from everyone. (It would also, we dare to hope, recognize that the vacuous sloganeering on behalf of openness only makes us more easily surveilled by government and big business.) But, of course, imposing privacy protections would involve regulation and impede profit—two bête noires of tech dudes who are quite sure that Internet freedom is synonymous with the free market.

The master’s house might have a new shape—it may be sprawling and diffuse, and occupy what is euphemistically referred to as the “cloud”—but it also has become corporatized and commercialized, redolent of hierarchies of yore, and it needs to be dismantled. Unfortunately, in the digital age, like the predigital one, men don’t want to take it apart."
astrataylor  joannemcneil  2014  sexism  technology  culture  siliconvalley  dads  nodads  patriarchy  paternalism  gender  emotionallabor  hisotry  computing  programming  complexity  simplification  nuance  diversity  journalism  clayshirky  polarization  exclusion  marcandreessen  ellenchisa  julieannhorvath  github  careers  audrelorde  punditry  canon  inequality 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Reinventing Administration - Notes + Links / Casey A. Gollan
"For months-and-months I’ve been sitting on a slowly-changing monster of an essay draft titled Reinventing Administration, borne out of my experiences in the last couple of years working with and fighting against the people in charge of Cooper Union. Inspired by Heather Marsh’s awesome serialized blog posts on collaboration, today I’m going to start noodling-in-public on different thoughts until this topic is out of my system and my drafts folder. While Cooper is the subject of these writings, it’s kind of interchangeable: an object through which I hope to address the challenge of reforming institutions who seem to have…gotten away from themselves. The problems here are not unique, and the questions we (the community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and neighbors) have had to ask form a kind of rubric against which to check out-of-whack leadership at schools everywhere.

Here are some topics that come to mind, which I’ll link up like a table of contents if they come into existence, and add to as I go:

• How did Cooper Union get into a death spiral?
• Is all money dirty? Or, how can anybody sleep at night knowing that an egalitarian institution is funded by businessmen who’re widening inequalities elsewhere?
• Legacy, as in cobwebs.
• Preservation vs. building a new city.
• Transparency, accountability, and other cans of worms.
• Asynchronous collaboration walks into a meeting an falls over laughing.
• Community theater (as in appeasement and “fake consensus” not showtunes. Okay, well, maybe showtunes.)
• Bottlenecks. (Hierarchies vs. networks)
• Who are administrators? Where did they come from? And could we do this without them?
• Who does a bland Public Relations department serve?
• A look at work by others on “Open Government” and “Open Society”
• Git and Github as a metaphor and possibly a working toolkit for Open Government
• Where to stop the technological steamroller
• Pushing the right leverage point — growth — in the wrong direction. Or, growing down and replicating as an alternative to fattening up.
• Does everything inevitably get away from you in the worst possible way, Peter Cooper? Or can you design a non-stifling system that supports its original intention.
• Do we need classroom teaching? An imagined debate between John Taylor Gatto, who learned everything he needed to know smoking cigarettes by the river, and Margaret Edson, whose experiences with schooling are heartwarming rather than traumatic.
• Can classroom teaching be saved? (Picking IRL education up where Clay Shirky left off…and kicked it while it’s down.)"
caseygollan  cooperunion  2013  administration  education  highered  teaching  learning  schools  schooling  deschooling  unschooling  clayshirky  hierarchy  hierarchies  leadership  management  bottlenecks  communitytheater  collaboration  asynchronous  legacy  egalitarianism  inequality  technology  git  github  opengovernment  transparency  johntaylorgatto  petercooper  systems  systemsthinking  opensociety  adminstrativebloat  questions  anarchism  governance  heathermarsh 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Click Here to Save Education: Evgeny Morozov and Ed-Tech Solutionism
"This flight from thinking and the urge to replace human judgments with timeless truths produced by algorithms is the underlying driving force of solutionism. Bruno Latour distinguishes between “matters of facts,” the old unrealistic way of presenting all knowledge claims as stable, natural, and apolitical, and “matters of concern,” a more realistic mode that recognizes that knowledge claims are usually partial and reflect a particular set of problems, interests, and agendas. For Latour, one way to reform our political system is to acknowledge that knowledge is made of matters of concern and to identify all those affected by such matters; the proliferation of self-tracking—and the displacement of thinking by numbers—risks forever grounding us in the matters-of-fact paradigm. Once we abandon thinking for optimizing, it becomes much more difficult not only to enact but to actually imagine possible reforms of the system being “measured” and “tracked.”"

“Technostructuralists,” he argues, “view information technologies ‘neither as technologies of freedom nor of tyranny but primarily as technologies of power that lock into existing or emerging technostructures of power.’ Thus, any given technology is allowed to centralize and decentralize, homogenize and pluralize, empower and disempower simultaneously.”

"I’ve been told quite often that I’m too negative. Too critical. Too unsupportive of education technology entrepreneurship. Too loud. Too mean. And lately, I’ve wanted to retort, "Maybe. But I’m no Evgeny Morozov” — even though, truth be told, I think ed-tech desperately needs one. Ed-tech, once so deeply grounded in progressive educational theory and practice, has been largely emptied of both."
audreywatters  2013  evgenymorozov  technology  solutionism  technosolutionism  education  mattersoffacts  mattersofconcern  criticalthinking  quantifiedself  knowledge  brunolatour  optimization  efficience  scale  questions  questioning  edtech  technostructuralism  kevinkelly  janmcgonigal  jeffjarvis  clayshirky  timoreilly  timwu  books  problemsolving  problemdefining 
march 2013 by robertogreco
future shock - bookforum.com / current issue
“Fixing government” for Newsom and Brand means getting rid of its vast bureaucracy. But if the Tea Partiers, steeped in Ayn Rand, want to dismantle government bureaucracy because they hate government, Newsom and Brand want to dismantle it simply because they have the tools to do it. And this is where Newsom’s tract moves beyond mere callow publishing opportunism into a broader, more pernicious rejection of progressive ideas. The purely formal urge to overhaul government along notionally digital lines is a manifestation of what I call “solutionism”—a tendency to justify reforms of social and political institutions by invoking the easy availability of powerful technological fixes rather than by engaging in a genuine analysis of what, if anything, is ailing those institutions and how to fix it.

Solutionists are not interested in investigating the subtle but constitutive roles of supposed vices like bureaucracy, opacity, or inefficiency in enabling liberal subjects to pursue their own life projects. Solutionists simply want to eliminate those vices—and the institutions that produce them—because technology permits them to do so. In his discussion of bureaucracy, for example, Newsom doesn’t even bother with the standard Weberian explanation that bureaucracy is a decidedly modernist institution for minimizing nepotism and introducing some fairness and neutrality to public administration. Instead, he simply views bureaucracy as a consequence of inadequate technology, concluding that better technology will allow us to get rid of it altogether—and why shouldn’t we?

“Our government is clogged with a dense layer of bureaucracy,” he complains. “It’s like a clay layer, a filler that serves only to slow everything down. But technology can get rid of that clay layer by making it possible for people to bypass the usual bureaucratic morass.” In a very limited sense, Newsom is right: Modern technology does allow us to bypass “the usual bureaucratic morass.” But to fail to examine why that morass exists and simply proceed to eliminate it because we have the technology is to fall for a very narrow-minded, regressive, and (paradoxically enough) antimodern kind of solutionism.
evgenymorozov  gavinnewson  scathing  review  book  solutionism  california  technology  government  bureaucracy  democracy  stewartbrand  californianideology  via:migurski  books  teaparty  clayshirky  timoreilly  dontapscott  kevinkelly  estherdyson  longnow 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Invasion of the cyber hustlers
"The cyber-credo of “open” sounds so liberal and friendly that it is easy to miss its remarkable hypocrisy. The big technology companies that are the cybertheorists’ beloved exemplars of the coming world order are anything but open. Google doesn’t publish its search algorithm; Apple is notoriously secretive about its product plans; Facebook routinely changes its users’ privacy options. Apple, Google and Amazon are all frantically building proprietary “walled-garden” content utopias for profit."
apple  google  wikipedia  sharing  cybertheorists  charlatans  internet  government  davidweinberger  journalism  disruption  online  newmedia  future  media  politics  technology  open  2012  stevenpoole  janemcgonigal  clayshirky  jeffjarvis 
december 2012 by robertogreco
» Napster, Udacity, and the Academy Clay Shirky
"Open systems are open. For people used to dealing with institutions that go out of their way to hide their flaws, this makes these systems look terrible at first. But anyone who has watched a piece of open source software improve, or remembers the Britannica people throwing tantrums about Wikipedia, has seen how blistering public criticism makes open systems better. And once you imagine educating a thousand people in a single class, it becomes clear that open courses, even in their nascent state, will be able to raise quality and improve certification faster than traditional institutions can lower cost or increase enrollment.

College mottos run the gamut from Bryn Mawr’s Veritatem Dilexi (I Delight In The Truth) to the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising’s Where Business Meets Fashion, but there’s a new one that now hangs over many of them: Quae Non Possunt Non Manent. Things That Can’t Last Don’t. The cost of attending college is rising above inflation every year…"
musicindustry  onlineeducation  sebastianthrun  peternorvig  universityofphoenix  wikipedia  opensystems  open  change  technology  udacity  napster  highereducation  higheredbubble  highered  clayshirky  mooc  moocs  education  forprofit 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Benji Lanyado is a journalist, coder – and a glimpse of the future? | News Burger
"When I first heard about The Reddit Edit, I thought it was a nifty idea.

It takes Reddit’s functional, information-laden appearance and turns it into a streamlined, colourful depiction of the top trending stories. The top three stories are displayed in an easy-to-use side-scrolling interface, plucked from five popular subreddits: /r/worldnews, /r/politics, /r/technology, /r/science and /r/pics, plus the reddit.com homepage.

You might think a project like this would be the undertaking of a web developer, but it’s the brainchild of 28-year-old British journalist Benji Lanyado. The Reddit Edit was his final project while taking front-end web development classes with General Assembly, a New-York based digital education company who have recently expanded to London.

Benji, who writes for The Guardian and The New York Times, is part of a growing number of media types that are taking it upon themselves to know how to write and code to bring their content to life…"

[An interview follows.]
redditedit  programming  generalists  crossdisciplinary  classideas  glvo  srg  edg  howwework  filters  filtering  clayshirky  facebook  twitter  howweread  news  developers  interdisciplinary  interdisciplinarity  learning  nyc  html  css  javascript  generalassembly  rubyonrails  codecademy  kerouapp  nytimes  guardian  2012  media  reading  theredditedit  benjilanyado  via:russelldavies  reddit  careers  coding  journalism 
september 2012 by robertogreco
- How We Will Read: Clay Shirky
"It was only later that I realized the value of being bored was actually pretty high. Being bored is a kind of diagnostic for the gap between what you might be interested in and your current environment. But now it is an act of significant discipline to say, “I’m going to stare out the window. I’m going to schedule some time to stare out the window.” The endless gratification offered up by our devices means that the experience of reading in particular now becomes something we have to choose to do."
annotation  ebooks  publishing  books  media  future  howweread  2012  boredom  clayshirky  reading 
june 2012 by robertogreco
Shirky: Ontology is Overrated -- Categories, Links, and Tags
"This piece is based on two talks I gave in the spring of 2005 -- one at the O'Reilly ETech conference in March, entitled "Ontology Is Overrated", and one at the IMCExpo in April entitled "Folksonomies & Tags: The rise of user-developed classification." The written version is a heavily edited concatenation of those two talks.

PART I: Classification and Its Discontents

Q: What is Ontology? A: It Depends on What the Meaning of "Is" Is.

Cleaving Nature at the Joints

Of Cards and Catalogs

The Parable of the Ontologist, or, "There Is No Shelf"

File Systems and Hierarchy

When Does Ontological Classification Work Well?

Domain to be Organized

Participants

Mind Reading

Fortune Telling

Part II: The Only Group That Can Categorize Everything Is Everybody

"My God. It's full of links!"

Great Minds Don't Think Alike

Tag Distributions on del.icio.us

Organization Goes Organic"
2005  flickr  del.icio.us  web  metadata  classification  categorization  taxonomy  via:caseygollan  tagging  tags  folksonomy  clayshirky  ontology 
may 2012 by robertogreco
The Listserve Hopes To Revitalize The Quality Of Online Conversation Through The Oldest Online Social Network -- Email | TechPresident
"…five students at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program…intriguing class project/online social interaction experiment The Listserve, in which one person is chosen by lottery, & given the platform & opportunity to speak to a mass audience through e-mail in a one-shot deal…

"This project is about context, it’s about medium, it’s about messing with the dials, & pushing up the scale, & having this very free-flowing conversation."

Yet at the same time, it's going to be a very controlled conversation because only one person gets to post a day, & the goal is to get the self-selected readers to actually sit back, read & absorb the text from a stranger w/ whom they have nothing in common…

…there is no topic. Also, unlike regular community e-mail mailing lists, subscribers can't respond directly. The students have designed it so that readers have to respond elsewhere…the focus of the project is on the individual…"
communication  scale  audience  individuals  via:taryn  listserve  experiments  online  conversation  massaudience  commenting  socialobjects  2012  clayshirky  email  thelistserve 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Our Internet intellectuals lack the intellectual... | Final Boss Form
"who wants to bother submitting papers to conferences, hoping that it gets accepted and published so that you can talk about your ideas twelve months from now when you can affect tangible change by posting them to the fucking internet right fucking now?

Would we even have half of the internet we have now if people like danah and clay waited years to publish their work on online social behavior and community? And, by the way, if you spend any time in a half decent web community, you soon learn that’s it’s nothing but a giant critique machine.

The other, smaller problem with this “critique” is that Jeff Jarvis wrote a fucking business book. Faulting him for not wasting hundreds of pages on theory is like faulting Dr. Phil for not citing Abraham Maslow."
change  time  criticism  via:preoccupations  community  webcommunities  jeffjarvis  academia  publishing  online  web  internet  clayshirky  danahboyd  evgenymorozov  kenyattacheese 
december 2011 by robertogreco
DROP OUT. HANG OUT. SPACE OUT. : DiGRA 2011: Ludotopians and Ludocapitalists: Gamification, Sandbox Games and the Myths of Cultural Industries
"…three things: ludocapitalists, ludotopians, & what I have roughly come to call the ludic sublime: the power of technological myth making & what this means to the future of videogames…how recent discourses around videogames reflect past trends about how we frame & understand the role of technology in society, & look critically at how these narratives are used by various forces…

Videogames will change the world, but most likely when they fade into the background. When they are prosaic, common & cheap is when we will be more intertwined with their development than we are now. When marketers stop selling gamification like snake oil of a perfect solution to ones business problems, but just as another tool of communication in the toolbox is when we need to worry about them the most."
videogames  gamification  ludotopians  ludocapitalists  culture  gaming  2011  danieljoseph  ludicsublime  myth  minecraft  janemcgonigal  clayshirky  alexleavitt  foursquare  advergames  advertising  capitalism  business  exploitationware  gabezicherman  ianbogost 
september 2011 by robertogreco
We Can't Teach Students to Love Reading - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education [Too much to quote]
"I don't think of the distinction btwn readers & nonreaders—better, those who love reading & those who don't so much—in terms of class, which may be a function of my being a teacher of literature rather than a sociologist, but may also be a function of my knowledge that readers can be found at all social stations…much of the anxiety about American reading habits…arises from frustration at not being able to sustain a permanent expansion of "the reading class" beyond what may be its natural limits…

American universities are largely populated by people who don't fit either category [readers & extreme readers]—often really smart people for whom the prospect of several hours attending to words on pages (pages of a single text) is not attractive…

All this is to say that the idea that many teachers hold today, that one of the purposes of education is to teach students to love reading—or at least to appreciate & enjoy whole books—is largely alien to the history of education."
teaching  reading  learning  attention  alanjacobs  nicholascarr  books  academia  extremereaders  autodidacts  concentration  joyofreading  unschooling  deschooling  allsorts  allkindsofminds  2011  clayshirky  stevenpinker  staugustine  virgil  cicero  georgesteiner  annblair  studying  children  sirfrancisbacon  francisbacon  infooverload  filterfailure  text  texts  mariccasaubon  peternorvig  jonathanrose  homer  dante  shakespeare  attentiveness  kindle  hyperattention 
august 2011 by robertogreco
On firehoses and filters: Part 1 – confused of calcutta
"Ever since then, I’ve been spending time thinking about the hows and whys of filtering information, and have arrived “provisionally” at the following conclusions, my three laws of information filtering:

1. Where possible, avoid filtering “on the way in”; let the brain work out what is valuable and what is not.

2. Always filter “on the way out”: think hard about what you say or write for public consumption: why you share what you share.

3. If you must filter “on the way in”, then make sure the filter is at the edge, the consumer, the receiver, the subscriber, and not at the source or publisher."
jprangaswami  filtering  internet  clayshirky  georgeorwell  aldoushuxley  bravenewworld  1984  jonathanzittrain  elipariser  input  output  flow  socialsoftware  curation  curating  sharing  information  2011 
may 2011 by robertogreco
How the Internet Gets Inside Us : The New Yorker
"The odd thing is that this complaint, though deeply felt by our contemporary Better-Nevers, is identical to Baudelaire’s perception about modern Paris in 1855, or Walter Benjamin’s about Berlin in 1930, or Marshall McLuhan’s in the face of three-channel television (and Canadian television, at that) in 1965. When department stores had Christmas windows with clockwork puppets, the world was going to pieces; when the city streets were filled with horse-drawn carriages running by bright-colored posters, you could no longer tell the real from the simulated; when people were listening to shellac 78s and looking at color newspaper supplements, the world had become a kaleidoscope of disassociated imagery; and when the broadcast air was filled with droning black-and-white images of men in suits reading news, all of life had become indistinguishable from your fantasies of it. It was Marx, not Steve Jobs, who said that the character of modern life is that everything falls apart."
internet  media  history  information  technology  adamgopnik  web  online  attention  absolutes  nicholascarr  infooverload  clayshirky  change  sherryturkle 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Twitter Revolution Must Die
"My sarcasm is, of course, a thinly veiled attempt to point out how absurd it is to refer to events in Iran, Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere as the Twitter Revolution, the Facebook Revolution, and so on. What we call things, the names we use to identify them, has incredible symbolic power, and I, for one, refuse to associate corporate brands with struggles for human dignity."
twitter  facebook  politics  egypt  tunisia  ulisesmejias  ethanzuckerman  malcolmgladwell  clayshirky  corydoctorow  democracy  terminology  socialnetworking  2011  revolution 
january 2011 by robertogreco
The Trouble With Experts : CJR
"By abandoning the assumption that gold-plated credentials equal expertise, the press might even change history. Could journalists have helped to take down, say, Bernie Madoff, before the feds did if they had questioned the sec’s experts more? Shirky wonders.

And then there’s the chance that authentic experts (not necessarily credentialed experts) could become journalists of some kind. It’s happening already. Take the flock of professor-bloggers masticating the news on the Foreign Policy Web site or economist bloggers like Tyler Cowen. There are journalists who have become experts via either peer or crowd review…To cheaply paraphrase Isaiah Berlin, journalists can’t all be clever hedgehogs, but perhaps some generalist foxes can start growing some quills."
society  journalism  generalists  specialization  specialists  credentials  experts  expertise  autism  jennymccarthy  science  blackswans  tunnelvision  via:coldbrain  vaccines  amateur  amateurism  unschooling  deschooling  clayshirky 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Cleaning Up Online Conversation - HBR Agenda 2011 - Harvard Business Review
"a rhetorical tragedy of the commons is occurring in many forums. All the participants have an incentive to have good conversations, but each participant also has an incentive to get the most attention. This tension suggests that increases in individual anonymity or in group size also increase the likelihood that someone will start acting like a jerk. Both anonymity & scale reduce what Robert Axelrod calls "the shadow of the future"—the sense that our current actions will have consequences down the road. That provides some options for turning the jerk dial down. One is to make identity valuable … Another approach is to partition public platforms, thus reducing the incentive to publicly act out. … another … is to enlist users in defensive filtering. … we're well behaved in environments that reward good behavior & punish bad … anyone who wants to get value out of convening many minds has to create & maintain the shadow of the future, or else risk activating the witlessness of crowds."
via:preoccupations  socialmedia  conversation  community  identity  anonymity  clayshirky  behavior  online  cyberculture  witlessnessofcrowds  2011 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Half-formed thought on Wikileaks & Global Action « Clay Shirky
"This is one of the things freaking people in US government out — not that law has changed, but that world has, & industrial era law, applied to internet-era publishing, might allow for media outlets which exhibit no self-restraint around national sensitivities, because they are run by people w/out any loyalty to — or, more importantly, need of — national affiliation to do their jobs…<br />
<br />
Society is made up of competing goods that can’t be resolved in any perfect way — freedom vs liberty, state secrets vs citizen oversight — but solutions to those tensions always take place in particular context. Sometimes a bargain is so robust it lasts for centuries, as w/ trial by jury, but sometimes it is so much a product of its time that it does not survive passing of its era.<br />
…latter fate has befallen our old balance btwn secrets & leaks…does not mean Pentagon Papers precedent shouldn’t free Wikileaks from prosecution, but it does mean the old rules will not produce the old outcomes."
wikileaks  law  media  politics  clayshirky  2010  change  globalization  industriallaw 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Rise of the Micro-Medici: Change Observer: Design Observer
"Why does crowdfunding work where crowdsourcing fails? Because ideas are cheap and subjective, and money is expensive and objective. As Clay Shirky puts it in Cognitive Surplus, "People don't actively want bad design — it's just that most people aren't good designers.” Asking crowd members to put their money behind someone else's creativity does two things: It forces contributors to be more deliberate in their assessment of what constitutes a good idea, and it generates an absolute measure of merit based on the cumulative contributions of individuals."
design  thinking  crowdsourcing  crowdfunding  2010  mariapopova  clayshirky  kickstarter 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Wikileaks and the Long Haul « Clay Shirky
“I don’t think such a law should pass…current laws, which criminalize leaking of secrets but not publishing of leaks, strike right balance. However, as citizen of a democracy, I’m willing to be voted down, & willing to see other democratically proposed restrictions on Wikileaks put in place. It may even be that whatever checks & balances do get put in place by the democratic process make anything like Wikileaks impossible to sustain in the future.<br />
<br />
The key, though, is that democracies have a process for creating such restrictions, & as a citizen it sickens me to see US trying to take shortcuts. The leaders of Myanmar, Belarus, Thailand & Russia, can now rightly say to us ‘You went after Wikileaks’ domain name, hosting provider, & even denied your citizens ability to register protest through donations, all without a warrant & all targeting overseas entities, simply because you decided you don’t like the site. If that’s the way governments get to behave, we can live with that.’”
clayshirky  2010  wikileaks  democracy  us  law  hypocrisy  censorship 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Clay Shirky: What I Read | The Atlantic Wire
"For decades, I religiously read the op-ed pages of the New York Times but recently I've stopped because every op-ed is so closely tied to a newspeg that the thinking never gets very far from current events. So I've recently gotten away from the daily news cycle. I've got a weekly clock cycle and a monthly clock cycle. Time is a precious commodity. Increasingly, I'm trying to maximize it."
clayshirky  time  attention  information  reading  rss  culture  journalism  internet  clockcycles  news  2010 
november 2010 by robertogreco
A Bookfuturist Manifesto - Science and Tech - The Atlantic
"Bookfuturists refuse to endorse either fantasy of "the end of the book" [bookservativism and technofuturism] -- "the end as destruction" or "the end as telos or achievement" as Jacques Derrida would have it. We are trying to map an alternative position that is both more self-critical and more engaged with how technological change is actively affecting our culture.

We're usually more interested in figuring out a piece of technology than either denouncing or promoting it. And we want to make every piece of tech work better. We're tinkerers. We look to history for analogies and counter-analogies, but we know that analogies aren't destiny. We try to look for the technological sophistication of traditional humanism and the humanist possibilities of new tech."
bookfuturism  timcarmody  future  futures  ebooks  fiction  books  publishing  manifesto  futurism  bookservatives  technofuturism  clayshirky  nicholascarr  reading  technology  tinkering  thinking  humanism  complexity  manifestos 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Unemployment Media « Snarkmarket
"It’s the dark side of Clay Shirky’s cog­ni­tive sur­plus, where tech­nol­ogy and edu­ca­tion haven’t just cre­ated a new pool of leisure time, but a pool of high-skill knowl­edge work­ers dev­as­tated by struc­tural unem­ploy­ment, with noth­ing to do but cre­ate and imag­ine and argue, strug­gling to hold on to the lives they imag­ined for them­selves, or used to lead."
cognitivesurplus  clayshirky  snarkmarket  timcarmody  writing  unemployment  greatrecession  productivity  freelancing  content  blogs  blogging  education  2010 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Medieval Multitasking: Did We Ever Focus? | Culture | Religion Dispatches [via: http://kottke.org/10/07/medieval-multitasking]
"The function of these images in illuminated manuscripts has no small bearing on the hypertext analogy. These “miniatures” (so named not because they were small—often they were not—but because they used red ink, or vermillion, the Latin word for which is minium) did not generally function as illustrations of something in the written text, but in reference to something beyond it. The patron of the volume might be shown receiving the completed book or supervising its writing. Or, a scene related to a saint might accompany a biblical text read on that saint’s day in the liturgical calendar without otherwise having anything to do with the scripture passage. Of particular delight to us today, much of the marginalia in illuminated books expressed the opinions and feelings of the illuminator about all manner of things—his demanding wife, the debauched monks in his neighborhood, or his own bacchanalian exploits."
attention  manuscripts  medieval  nicholascarr  internet  hypertext  history  distraction  books  literacy  reading  technology  text  writing  multitasking  literature  communication  clayshirky  elizabethdrescher 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Confidence for good - Bobulate
"Even when you choose the thing that inspires you, the thing you believe in, work with colleagues you learn from, do good work, there’s going to be a level of fear involved. People will have opinions and negative reactions. But that fear means it’s worth it...

Each career change I’ve made has been based on this premise. Leaping from a known to an unknown is a way to stay relevant, moving, and continue learning...

People, both women and men, should be so fiercely passionate about good ideas that self-promotion is a natural extension. Otherwise, why is it worth doing in the first place? It’s when confidence and self-promotion are obfuscated from passion that the claims become flimsy and empty. Confidence can bridge the gap between desire and outcome as long as the integrity for what we believe and the authenticity of what we create remain in place. We have the ability to both do good work and to recognize it — the choice is ours to make. Confidence is good’s natural extension."

[via: http://blog.frankchimero.com/post/594165220/text-playlist ]
entrepreneurship  etiquette  clayshirky  lizdanzico  authenticity  education  psychology  thinking  writing  fear  gender  inspiration  demographics  design  creativity  confidence  life  business  good  integrity  self-promotion  passion  careers 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Clay Shirky: 'Paywall will underperform – the numbers don't add up' | Technology | The Guardian
"The one point of agreement between internet utopians and sceptics has been their techno-deterministic assumption that the web has fundamentally changed human behaviour. Both sides, Shirky says, are wrong. "Techies were making the syllogism, if you put new technology into an existing situation, and new behaviour happens, then that technology caused the behaviour. But I'm saying if the new technology creates a new behaviour, it's because it was allowing motivations that were previously locked out. These tools we now have allow for new behaviours – but they don't cause them." Had Facebook been around when he was in his 20s, he cheerfully admits, he too would have spent his youth emailing photos of himself to everyone he knew."
clayshirky  via:migurski  cognitivesurplus  technodeterminism  collaboration  socialnetworking  behavior  business  future  2010  newspapers  internet  journalism  paywall  media  culture  creativity  community  socialmedia  news  technology  optimism  web 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Reading isn’t just a monkish pursuit: Matthew Battles on “The Shallows” » Nieman Journalism Lab
"In ecosystems like the Gulf of Mexico, the shallows are crucial. They’re the nurseries, where larval creatures feed and grow in relative safety, liminal zones where salt and sweet water mix, where light meets muck, where life learns to contend with extremes. The Internet, in this somewhat dubious metaphor, is no blowout — it’s a flourishing new zone in the ecosystem of reading and writing. And with the petrochemical horror in the Gulf growing daily, we’re learning that the shallows, too, need their champions." [via: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/5790]
matthewbattles  books  culture  internet  reading  thought  nicholascarr  clayshirky  social  writing  cv  howwework  howwelearn  learning  conversation  gutenberg  complexity  history  journalism  philosophy  ideas 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Clay Shirky: How cognitive surplus will change the world | Video on TED.com
"Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" -- the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we're building a better, more cooperative world."
clayshirky  cognitivesurplus  collaboration  knowledge  psychology  twitter  trends  ted  technology  socialmedia  surplus  community  change  sharing  cognitive  internet  culture  citizenjournalism  onebreakstheother  intrinsicmotivation  motivation  economics  goodwill 
july 2010 by robertogreco
shirky's surplus - library ad infinitum
"Cognitive Surplus is about a specific kind of free time: not the Hundred-Acre-Wood or the endless summer, but the stock of leisure hours produced by modernity, and the rise of technologies that make it possible to spend that time in engaging ways. And yet the notion of free time itself should be suspicious to us, shouldn't it? "Free time" is something born of an industrial economics of time, a commoditized temporality. Leisure is a boon granted by the system—a perk, a benny. Compensation. And as long as it helps us recharge our batteries and never keeps us from being productive, high-performance workers, free time isn't free... I'm still excited by Shirky's idea. But I want to bring Carr's highbrow concern for the vital uses of cognition, contemplation, and communication to bear upon it. The technologies Shirky celebrates present us with a choice: do we use them as the means of liberation, or as Skinner boxes to while away the off-hours?"

[Also available here: http://www.niemanlab.org/2010/06/not-all-free-time-is-created-equal-battles-on-cognitive-surplus/ ]
cognitivesurplus  clayshirky  via:preoccupations  matthewbattles  nicholascarr  herbertmarcuse  leisure  modernity  technology  recharging  productivity  freedom  cognition  contemplation  communication  2010 
july 2010 by robertogreco
russell davies: cognitive surplus - blog all dog-eared pages
"[we] assume there's continuum of reward for tasks. Or that it's additive. If we'll do Task A for free because it interests us, we'll do more if offered money. Not necessarily true. & adding money to mix profoundly changes our feelings about task...I suspect 'creating something personal, even of moderate quality' & letting people share it is going to be one of business models of next century. & one of social movements...even more interesting if we can squeeze convenience & scale of internet into other places…what you need to do - satisfy desire for autonomy, competence, generosity & sharing. Flickr does that…The easiest way to misunderstand Twitter & Facebook...take them as single type of network. Because there are celebrities on Twitter, w/ 100s of 1000s of followers, people assume that's what it's for...broadcast, celebrity, mass audience tool...[but] it's also small, personal, intimate one...I wonder...Whether public & personal existing w/in same channel/tool is sustainable"
russelldavies  2010  books  clayshirky  culture  design  technology  socialmedia  creativity  creation  papernet  networks  diy  make  cognitivesurplus  twitter  facebook  public  personal  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  rewards  tcsnmy  stickybits 
june 2010 by robertogreco
russell davies: what I meant to say at lift - part one - sharing, physicality, mixtapes and newspapers
"And that made me wonder if that's why people are liking Newspaper Club so much? Are we getting close to some sweet spot where you get the satisfactions of sharing a physical thing but with the convenience of sharing information. Is that what you can get when you add Digital Sharing Technologies to Physical Manifesting Technologies? We're not there yet. We're probably only at Sharing Goods like Sharing Services but even that seems like a step forward. Maybe that's why making your own book feels so right, maybe that's where we need to go next with DataDecs, maybe that's what Shapeways and Ponoko will enable, but I think there's something in this."
russelldavies  clayshirky  newspapers  sharing  music  socialmedia  tangible  technology  papernet  books  behavior  community  culture  post-digital  minimalism  information  mixtapes  ponoko  datadecs  shapeways  digital  satisfaction  services  goods  newspaperclub 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Does the Internet Make You Smarter? - WSJ.com
"Digital media have made creating and disseminating text, sound, and images cheap, easy and global. The bulk of publicly available media is now created by people who understand little of the professional standards and practices for media. Instead, these amateurs produce endless streams of mediocrity, eroding cultural norms about quality and acceptability, and leading to increasingly alarmed predictions of incipient chaos and intellectual collapse. But of course, that's what always happens. Every increase in freedom to create or consume media, from paperback books to YouTube, alarms people accustomed to the restrictions of the old system, convincing them that the new media will make young people stupid. This fear dates back to at least the invention of movable type."
2010  clayshirky  distraction  attention  academia  education  evolution  future  history  intelligence  revolution  society  learning  literacy  media  culture  change  online  web  internet  links  hypertext  hyperlinks  infooverload  filtering  sorting  curation  content  crapdetection 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Author Nicholas Carr: The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains | Magazine
"There’s nothing wrong w/ absorbing info quickly & in bits & pieces. We’ve always skimmed newspapers more than read them, & we routinely run our eyes over books & magazines to get the gist of a piece of writing & decide whether it warrants more thorough reading. The ability to scan & browse is as important as the ability to read deeply & think attentively. The problem is that skimming is becoming our dominant mode of thought. Once a means to an end, a way to identify info for further study, it’s becoming an end in itself—our preferred method of both learning & analysis. Dazzled by Net’s treasures, we are blind to damage we may be doing to our intellectual lives & even our culture. What we’re experiencing is, in a metaphorical sense, a reversal of the early trajectory of civilization: We are evolving from cultivators of personal knowledge into hunters 7 gatherers in the electronic data forest. In the process, we seem fated to sacrifice much of what makes our minds so interesting."
neuroscience  productivity  reading  psychology  distraction  attention  hypertext  brain  health  change  cognition  learning  education  neurology  technology  future  focus  science  nicholascarr  clayshirky  tcsnmy  elearning  media  internet 
may 2010 by robertogreco
interactions magazine | The Art of Editing: The New Old Skills for a Curated Life
"Whether we see it or not, we’re becoming editors ourselves. In the Gutenberg era, the one-to-many relationship, in which an editor dictated the content for the masses, was common. In the post-Gutenberg era, our reliance became more democratic: We sought out editors who could sift through the staggering amount of information for us, signal where to look, what to read, and what to pay attention to. Now there’s another shift at play; you may have seen it reblogged or retweeted recently, in fact. With new tools allowing an unlimited degree of flexibility and freedom, we’re gaining comfort in editing our own media. We are, for the first time, accepting the role of editor, and exhibiting our editorial qualities outward. We’re gaining followers and pointing the way forward for others. But without any training, how are we doing it?"
culture  curation  narrative  convergence  collections  blogging  editing  editors  content  iraglass  via:cervus  cv  ethanzuckerman  lizdanzico  coherence  twitter  tumblr  clayshirky  infooverload  googlereader  rss  intuition  voice  tempo  socialmedia  information  design  writing  media  danahboyd  news 
may 2010 by robertogreco
The Collapse of Complex Business Models « Clay Shirky
"When ecosystems change and inflexible institutions collapse, their members disperse, abandoning old beliefs, trying new things, making their living in different ways than they used to. It’s easy to see the ways in which collapse to simplicity wrecks the glories of old. But there is one compensating advantage for the people who escape the old system: when the ecosystem stops rewarding complexity, it is the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to say what happens in the future."
simplicity  complexity  bureaucracy  business  businessmodels  change  civilization  clayshirky  collapse  economics  future  history  innovation  internet  journalism  video  strategy  society  culture 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » What’s the Problem that Schools Solve?
"Came across this quote from Clay Shirky in a Tweet by Jay Rosen: “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” What are the problems that schools still solve that they are engaged in preserving? What are the new problems that schools don’t solve that they don’t want to deal with? Just wondering."
clayshirky  jayrosen  willrichardson  education  problemsolving  purpose  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  self-preservation 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Matt Jones on mujicomp and mujicompfrastructures at Technoark
"Matt Jones gave a talk called “people are walking architecture“...he introduced the notion of “Mujicomp”, a portmanteau word made of “Muji” (the japanese retail company which sells a wide variety of household and consumer goods) and “Computing”. What does it mean?

According to Jones, the idea of “mujicomp” revolved around the notion that ubiquitous computing needs to “become sexy and desirable… able to be appreciated as cultural design objects rather than technology… they should be tasteful, simple, clear, clean, contemporary, affordable in order to be invited into the home“. If designers and engineers want to “make smart cities bottom up with products and not academic ubiquitous computing which are always postponed“, he argued that ubicomp will need some “muji”. And of course, as shown by Jone’s use of the quote from Eliel Saarinen, “always design a thing by considering it in its larger context… a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment“."

[See also: http://berglondon.com/blog/2010/05/18/people-are-walking-architecture-or-making-nearlynets-with-mujicomp/ ]
mattjones  nicolasnova  mujicomp  cities  architecture  ubicomp  design  muji  janejacobs  infrastructure  clayshirky  data  accessibility  approachability  culture  objects  simplicity  elielsaarinen  urban  urbanism  perma-net  nearly-net  systems 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Joho the Blog » [2b2k] Clay Shirky, info overload, and when filters increase the size of what’s filtered
"Clay traces information overload to the 15th century, but others have taken it back earlier than that, & there’s even a quotation from Seneca (4 BCE) that can be pressed into service: “What is the point of having countless books & libraries whose titles the owner could scarcely read through in his whole lifetime? That mass of books burdens the student without instructing…"..."many of our new filters reflect the basic change in our knowledge strategy. We are moving from managing the perpetual overload Clay talks about by reducing the amount we have to deal with, to reducing it in ways that simultaneously add to the overload. Merely filtering is not enough, and filtering is no longer a merely reductive activity. The filters themselves are information that are then discussed, shared, & argued about. When we swim through information overload, we’re not swimming in little buckets that result from filters; we are swimming in a sea made bigger by the loquacious filters that are guiding us."
information  davidweinberger  clayshirky  infooverload  semanticweb  knowledge  flow  filters  filtering  internet 
february 2010 by robertogreco
plasticbag.org: Should we encourage self-promotion and lies?
"I'd never argue that we should forcefully reject anyone who manifests confidence, skills in self-promotion or who is cocky enough to sell themselves. But what I want to strongly resist is the idea that it is these attributes that we should be promoting - either in women or in men.
tomcoates  marketing  promotion  clayshirky  webdev  design  web  business  community  creativity  beauty  creation  tcsnmy  self-promotion  society  social  value  lies  work  methodology  advice  gender  identity  inspiration  psychology  women  culture  selfpromotion  feminism  vision  men  webdesign 
january 2010 by robertogreco
The World Question Center: The Edge Annual Question — 2010: How is the internet changing the way you think?: Clay Shirky: The Shock of Inclusion
"members of Invisible College shared work, describing & disputing methods & conclusions so that they all might benefit from both successes & failures, & build on each other's work...Just as IC didn't just use printing press as raw capability, but created culture that used press to support transparency & argumentation science relies on, we have same opportunity...Internet's primary effect on how we think will only reveal itself when it affects the cultural milieu of thought, not just behavior of individual users...We are...setting earliest patterns for this medium. Our fate won't matter much, but the norms we set will...Internet could easily become Invisible High School, with a modicum of educational material in ocean of narcissism & social obsessions...could [also become] Invisible College, communicative backbone of real intellectual & civic change...will require more than technology...norms of open sharing & participation, fit to world where publishing has become the new literacy."
clayshirky  edge  2010  education  publishing  socialmedia  internet  invisiblecollege  science  sharing  open  culture  society  opportunity 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Your local stationers’ shop « Snarkmarket
"key point seems to be that book­store patrons today are kind of like Repub­li­can Party — almost every­one who hasn’t given up on the project alto­gether is a zealot. To stay alive, book­stores need to fos­ter their com­mu­ni­ties & har­ness that zealotry, mak­ing sure that they don’t lose a gen­er­a­tion of future zealots sim­ply because they didn’t show up. I like Doctorow’s for­mu­la­tion: “In that world, book­sellers become a lot more like blog­gers who spe­cial­ize in all things book­ish — wun­derkam­mer­ers who stock exactly the right book for the right peo­ple in the right neighborhood.” Now this actu­ally loses book­stores the pure democ­racy argu­ment. It will no longer be the case that book­stores are the only places offer­ing sal­va­tio — er, I mean, books. Book­stores might not be Catholic churches, where every­one is wel­come — but could be our hard, thrifty Puri­tan churches, whose mem­bers go out into world & demon­strate their sal­va­tion through their worldly works."
books  future  timcarmody  booksellers  business  clayshirky  change  corydoctorow  thebookworks  bookfuturism  bookservatives  technofuturism 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Local Bookstores, Social Hubs, and Mutualization « Clay Shirky
"The core idea is to appeal to that small subset of customers who think of bookstores as their “third place”, alongside home and work. These people care about the store’s existence in physical (and therefore social) space; the goal would be to generate enough revenue from them to make the difference between red and black ink, and to make the new bargain not just acceptable but desirable for all parties. A small collection of patron saints who helped keep a local bookstore open could be cheaply smothered in appreciation by the culture they help support...All of which is to say that trying to save local bookstores from otherwise predictably fatal competition by turning some customers into members, patrons, or donors is an observably crazy idea. However, if the sober-minded alternative is waiting for the Justice Department to anoint the American Booksellers Association as a kind of OPEC for ink, even crazy ideas may be worth a try."
bookselling  books  business  clayshirky  adaptation  community  trends  publishing  digital  bookstores  culture  future  online  local  thirdplaces  social  media  activism  commerce  thebookworks  bookfuturism  technofuturism  thirdspaces 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The Great Confusion « Snarkmarket
"A time “in which peo­ple almost lit­er­ally did not know what to think.” That sounds pretty famil­iar to me. So much is now unmoored, at every level. What does good work look like? How should you orga­nize your life eco­nom­i­cally? To which insti­tu­tions should we be pledg­ing our alle­giance? How do we—especially as writ­ers, thinkers, cre­ative people—imagine and iden­tify success? I love the ety­mol­ogy of the word “con­fu­sion.” There are old threads of over­throw and com­bi­na­tion (“-fusion”) in there along with the mod­ern notion of men­tal mixed-up-ness.
inthesetimes  change  economics  clayshirky  snarkmarket  creativity  2009 
september 2009 by robertogreco
ongoing · The Internet’s Payload ["Words are more valuable than pictures. Text is more valuable than audio or video. Twitter is more valuable than FriendFeed."]
"I am arguing that: *Words > pictures. *Text > audio or video. *Twitter > FriendFeed...Social networking gives me the warm-and-fuzzies & YouTube shows me what happened today in Iran, but action only comes from understanding & understanding only comes from explanation & explanation only happens in words...For things that matter, written words are unambiguously better than speech...anything that matters isn’t just written, it’s usually rewritten... [and] condensed). Plus, it has hyperlinks...it’s smaller & cheaper to ship around...searchable...works on more devices...plain ol’ blogging & shiny new Twitter are still pretty well at center of value proposition of serious part of Net. Blogging has mostly seen off podcasting & Twitter sailed smoothly away from its richer multimedia-enriched competitors. What matters is getting the right words, undiluted, in front of the right people. That’s what the Internet is for. Everything else is (at best) the icing on the cake."
twitter  blogging  internet  friendfeed  communication  journalism  writing  media  podcasting  video  clayshirky  robertscoble 
june 2009 by robertogreco
One Tweet Over the Line - Room for Debate Blog - NYTimes.com
Clay Shirky: "Increasingly ... privacy will have to be enforced by us grownups simply choosing not to look, since it’s none of our business. ... People my age tut-tut at kids, telling them that we wouldn’t have put those photos up when we were young, but we’re lying. We’d have done it in a heartbeat, but no one ever offered us the chance. Now that kids have these capabilities, it falls to us to keep our prurient interest in their personal lives in check. Just as Bill Clinton destroyed the idea that marijuana use was a disqualifier to serious work, the increasing volume of personal life online will come to mean that, even though there’s a picture from when your head was on fire that one time, you can still get a job."
via:preoccupations  privacy  youth  clayshirky  forgetting  memory  digitalfootprint  facebook  behavior  mistakes 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Us Now on Vimeo
"In his student flat in Colchester, Jack Howe is staring intently into his computer screen. He is picking the team for Ebbsfleet United's FA Trophy Semi-Final match against Aldershot . Around the world 35,000 other fans are doing the same thing, because together, they own and manage the football club. If distributed networks of people can run

[more: http://usnowfilm.com/ via: http://www.core77.com/blog/technology/us_now_13473.asp ]
internet  video  collaboration  socialnetworking  documentary  communities  networks  systems  behavior  online  clayshirky  dontapscott  charlesleadbeater  sharing  couchsurfing 
may 2009 by robertogreco
ed4wb » Blog Archive » We’ve Forgotten About Intrinsic Motivation
"In schools, we’ve forgotten about intrinsic motivation. We’ve forgotten that people have all kinds of reasons to learn that don’t have to do with getting good grades, that don’t have to do with the idea that it’s better to be an A student than to actually learn something. We’ve forgotten that we are intrinsically motivated to want to know. It’s in our genes. It’s what has allowed our species to thrive. ... When it comes to education, we’ve been willing to buy–wholeheartedly–the idea that grades are motivators; that grades are essentially what motivate students."
education  motivation  grading  assessment  learning  tcsnmy  clayshirky  deschooling  unschooling 
may 2009 by robertogreco
russell davies: the invention of everybody / here comes air
"So much of the debate about new media, deaths of media, blah blah blah, is about what's the new model going to be? If it's not A, then what's B? when of course, there probably won't be a single dominant model, there'll be tons of different ones. Old ones, new ones, all mixed together, often within the same organisation. At the moment our organisational options are limited: there's Government, The Corporation, The Charity and The Cooperative. And that's about it. The internet means that (as Mr Shirky says) Group Action Just Got Easier but as anyone who tries to start a new sort of organisation will tell you, the legal niceties haven't caught up with that yet."

[Same can be said about schools.]
russelldavies  stevenjohnson  clayshirky  choice  innovation  options  schools  media  education  communities  networks  ideas  business  books  internet  web2.0  groups 
february 2009 by robertogreco
ed4wb » The New Bottom-up Authority
"Many students, especially those who are participating in interest-driven networks, are more accepting of an authority which comes from the bottom up as opposed to from the top down. Credibility and reputation in networked publics is earned by high-quality, active participation. In many cases, each contribution can be rated by participants, and the most prolific can earn titles such as “top reviewer”. This network-produced evaluation, coming from the bottom up, not only looks much different from what is happening in the classroom, but also motivates differently."
teaching  schools  online  internet  filtering  authority  clayshirky  information  hierarchy  administration  management  leadership  learning  lcproject  tcsnmy  schooling  informal  informaleducation  informallearning 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » It’s Riskier Not to Change–”Tribes”
"I know we talk about this ad nauseum, the fears that educators have and what to do about them. And I know the answers aren’t easy. The problem is when the music industry gets paralyzed it loses profits. When the education system goes that route, we lose kids."
willrichardson  education  schools  learning  change  sethgodin  clayshirky  tcsnmy  lcproject  future  leadership  management  fear  stasis  shift  gamechanging  risk  risktaking  children  music  recordingindustry  research  learning2.0  unschooling  deschooling  cv 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Interview with Clay Shirky, Part I : CJR - “There’s always a new Luddism whenever there’s change.”
"I’m just so impatient with the argument that the world should be slowed down to help people who aren’t smart enough to understand what’s going on. It’s in part because I grew up in a generation that benefited enormously from not doing that. Right? The baby boomers, when we were young, we had zero, zero patience for the idea that people who are in their fifties in the ’70s and ’80s should somehow be shielded from cultural changes because somehow the stuff that we were doing was upsetting them. So, now it’s our turn and we ought to just suck it up."
technology  clayshirky  generations  culture  overload  newmedia  journalism  reading  brain  attention  change  media  history  interviews  literacy  thinking  filtering  information  internet  future  web 
january 2009 by robertogreco
TNH FTW! A final post and a question for you. - Boing Boing
"what do you think you know about the future that few other people understand yet? What's going to happen in the next five years or so that will catch most of the rest of us by surprise, but not you?" See the comments (spotty as they may be), including this one: "I think the college system will collapse. I'm right in the middle of it now, and dorm life was never meant to be lived on this scale, or for this length of time. Fewer people are finishing in four years, and colleges building "upscale" dorms set absurd residency requirements just so they can make their money back. ... Schools are becoming financial institutions, and students are being driven into the psych floors of hospitals in alarming numbers because of it. To the schooling business, we're livestock, not learners. We are market statistics and target demographics. We are profit margins. And someday, we're going to realize our degrees were cheapened by their yuppy greed."
predictions  clayshirky  boingboing  colleges  universities  dystopia  future  futurism 
december 2008 by robertogreco
ed4wb » Insulat-Ed
Applying Clay Shirky: "A scribe [school], someone [an institution] who has given his life over [whose mission is] to literacy [education] as a cardinal virtue, would be conflicted about the meaning of movable type [free-forming educational networks]. After all, if books [information/teachers/experts] are good, then surely more books [information/teachers/experts] are better. But at the same time the very scarcity of literacy [information/teachers/experts] was what gave scribal [school/institutional] effort its primacy, and the scribal [school/institutional] way of life was based on this scarcity. Now the scribe’s [institution’s/school’s] skills [information/teachers/expertise] were [are] eminently replaceable, and his [its] function–making copies of books [educating]–was [is] better accomplished by ignoring tradition than by embracing it.” (p. 67)
education  learning  tcsnmy  networks  constraints  filtering  insulation  rules  regulation  clayshirky  control  change  reform  school  schooling  policy  networkedlearning  administration  leadership  management  connectivism  21stcenturyskills  networking  learning2.0  future 
december 2008 by robertogreco
ed4wb » Blog Archive » Institutions as Barriers, Organizations as Enablers
"Schools’ automatic immune response has been to try to control the ELN by creating boundaries & regulations aimed at “protecting” the institution & those within it...need to protect itself from obsolescence, thus bureaucracy in charge of creating rules & regulations...This type of safety net rests on top of the institution’s members–not under them, preventing a free flow of potentially useful information. In an age when the tools for sharing, collaboration, and collective action are ubiquitous and dirt cheap, a controlling paradigm can be quite limiting and counter-productive." ... "PLNs & ELNs function best when they form organically–not due to decree or lengthy planning; when they can tap into the power of disparate voices–often found outside of the institution; are need-driven, amorphous, self-organizing, self-policing, fluid, permeable & control-wary. In other words, when they are given access to everything schools pretty much hate."
education  learning  networking  sharing  blogging  knowledge  bestpractice  institutions  organizations  collaboration  community  control  deschooling  lcproject  administration  management  collaborative  meetings  schools  leadership  ples  tcsnmy  clayshirky  open  networks  transparency  bureaucracy  decisionmaking  fear  safety  unintendedconsequences  obsolescence  workplace  gamechanging  self-preservation 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Archinect : News : Op-Ed 04 | Generous Criticism: Don't Be Lazy
""generous" is beautiful term for type of criticism I would like to see more...isn't about not hurting people's feelings or giving praise of parent...about elevating discourse for all of us, so entire discipline benefits from intelligent & fair criticism - which would make praise more meaningful. Simply being called pretty isn't meaningful...takes no skill by either party; having your skills & efforts recognized & acknowledged along w/ helpful criticism that challenges you to improve even more...is level of conversation we all deserve." ..."So when my turn with magic wand comes...I'll use it to turn snarkiness dial...way down. Criticize, sure - if something's bullshit, say so, & if you have insight about how something might be better, sing it...But when you feel yourself about to criticize something because you just can't stand how good it is (we all do), at that moment, stop."
architecture  writing  criticism  critique  society  constructivecriticism  clayshirky  discourse  classideas  tcsnmy 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Shirky: Situated Software
"We've been killing conversations about software with "That won't scale" for so long we've forgotten that scaling problems aren't inherently fatal. The N-squared problem is only a problem if N is large, and in social situations, N is usually not large. A reading group works better with 5 members than 15; a seminar works better with 15 than 25, much less 50, and so on. This in turn gives software form-fit to a particular group a number of desirable characteristics -- it's cheaper and faster to build, has fewer issues of scalability, and likelier uptake by its target users. It also has several obvious downsides, including less likelihood of use outside its original environment, greater brittleness if it is later called on to handle larger groups, and a potentially shorter lifespan."
via:blackbeltjones  clayshirky  situated  situatedsoftware  scalability  software  community  socialsoftware  socialnetworking  longtail  technology  culture  internet  philosophy  innovation  bignow  longhere  programming  design  social  web  scale  scaling 
september 2008 by robertogreco
It's Time to Reboot America. | Rebooting America
"The Personal Democracy Forum presents an anthology of forty-four essays brimming with the hopes of reenergizing, reorganizing, and reorienting our government for the Internet Age. How would completely reorganizing our system of representation work? Is it possible to redesign our government with open doors and see-through walls? How can we leverage the exponential power of many-to-many deliberation for the common good?"

[full contents available for download here: http://rebooting.personaldemocracy.com/files/Rebooting_America.pdf ]
e-democracy  personaldemocracyforum  culture  democracy  internet  socialnetworking  government  policy  politics  davidweinberger  douglasrushkoff  howardrheingold  danahboyd  clayshirky  craignewmark  estherdyson  yochaibenkler  books  research  us 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: The TV dividend
"I don't watch TV and I don't go to meetings. You'd be amazed at the difference it makes."
meetings  tv  television  time  productivity  clayshirky  sethgodin 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Putting people first » Recent videos on Fora TV
"Fora TV Fora TV (a.k.a. “the thinking man’s YouTube”) has some videos that are worth taking a look at"
clayshirky  danahboyd  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  internet  online  craigbarrett  technology  society  communication  teens  youth  facebook  myspace  secondlife  sl 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity. Many-to-Many:
"Process is the feature creep of organizations. ... groups have to have process. ... insidious ... each additional check in or form seems to cost little & add much ... cumulative overhead ... can hamstring an organization, almost without their noticing"
via:preoccupations  productivity  management  administration  efficiency  bureaucracy  process  business  leadership  organizations  lcproject  community  work  simplicity  groups  clayshirky 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » Clay Shirky Interview
IMO, second video holds more interesting questions & answers including remarks about homeschooling movement (with a few factual errors) & mobile phones...also wish "non-educators" like Shirky offered opinions about schooling more freely
change  schools  technology  clayshirky  willrichardson  homeschool  unschooling  deschooling  reform  schooldesign  classideas  lcproject  schooling 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Preoccupations: Kayaking [so much to digest here]
must read post from David Smith on the web, privacy, institutions, society, media consumption and creation, etc....covering Clay Shirky's writing, speaking, thinking...with many pointers to the influences behind and the subsequent discussion
davidsmith  books  clayshirky  mustread  flow  media  web  online  privacy  gamechanging  tv 
july 2008 by robertogreco
apophenia: markers of status: different, and yet the same
"Still, my belief is that, for most people, status will continue to be about getting validated by peers in everyday life. I think that some of the ways that validation can occur is through mediated interactions, but I don't think we'll see fully mediated
danahboyd  status  online  internet  socialnetworking  trends  authority  clayshirky  networking  social  socialsoftware  socialnetworks 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Clay Shirky vs. Cultural Studies? | Snurblog - "Talk of "heatsinks" & "cognitive surpluses" aside, I think he's on to something there...
"...certainly provides explanation of how a massive, multinational project like Wikipedia could develop so successfully in less than a decade, and offers hope that there remains energy to spare for many more Wikipedias to come."
creativity  participation  participatory  productivity  via:blackbeltjones  clayshirky  cognitivesurplus  media  tv  television  wikipedia  web 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Infovore » Consumption is also about choice
"It’s only recently that the barrier to creativity/productivity has been lowered to the point that it’s a viable alternative to watching TV. Compare the number of people with blogs to the number of people who published zines thirty years ago"
clayshirky  consumption  socialsoftware  socialmedia  television  tv  community  participation  production  publishing  culture  internet  web  time  leisure  technology  society  choice 
may 2008 by robertogreco
The importance of pigheadedness. Strange Attractor: Picking out patterns in the chaos
"To be successful at social software implementations in business: have solid understanding of how people work & relate to computers, tools, each other; understand how to introduce tools in way that is non-threatening, emphasises utility & benefits"
it  ict  technology  socialnetworking  socialsoftware  via:preoccupations  clayshirky  change  work  leadership  administration  management 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Chris Heathcote: anti-mega: everything i.e. anything
"Also, I wonder about the generally euphoric reception of Clay’s talk at Web 2.0, stating that, paraphrasing, if we just stopped watching a little TV, we could spend that time doing something more useful. We could build thousands of Wikipedias."
clayshirky  consumption  production  television  thoughts  wikipedia  tv  leisure  human  behavior  creativity  work  internet  media 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Gin, Television, and Social Surplus - Here Comes Everybody
"4 year olds, people who are soaking most deeply in current environment, who won't have to go through trauma...of trying to unlearn a childhood spent watching Gilligan's Island, just assume that media includes consuming, producing & sharing."
clayshirky  community  social  society  television  tv  humanity  abundance  crowdsourcing  sharing  culture  participatory  media  usergenerated  content  shift  change  gamechanging 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics - McLuhan, Web 2.0 Master
McLuhan's statement is almost the canonical definition of crowdsourcing. The key difference, is that in McLuhan's day, the thousand of better ideas from people you never heard of were unattainable in practice. They were out there, but there was not effici
marshallmcluhan  media  online  clayshirky  kevinkelly  socialnetworks  crowdsourcing  technology 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Shirky: The Future of Europe Lies In Email
"Europe's first post-national generation...willingness of this generation to ignore national identity is going to confound their elders. Nationality matters less than economics - Internet generation is going to behave more like customers than citizens"
europe  nationalism  internet  generations  email  clayshirky  economics  mobility  society  humans  history  technology  travel  identity 
april 2008 by robertogreco
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