by Clay Shirky, 2008.
Shirky has thrown a few beautiful and insightful essays over the wall the last few months. He is the guy who penned the ‘Gin, Television and Social Surplus’ piece a while back. It’s a joy to find that this book is up to the same standard.
In it, he explains how the social changes enabled by recent technology are profoundly and permanently altering the ways in which human beings interact, form groups, and get things done.
This is making activities and projects possible which could never have been dreamed of even ten years ago, and is similarly displacing many established institutions. The greatest effects of this change will be seen when the technology has progressed to the point of invisibility, and the current upheavals in the music and newspaper industries are just the leading edge of the wave.
It’s a change no less significant than the invention of the printing press, in terms of its ability to transform societal institutions. We do indeed live in interesting times.
Rating 10/10 - everyone should read it.