I wanted to use Clay Shirky’s promotional tour of his latest book as a pretext to criticise his work, but… he is really good. It’ll let you listen if you want to save on your book budget.
Three elements in there typical of Shirky’s touch: His comment about Baby Boomers’ moral authority, around 30’, is welcomed — and I love how he embraces “There is a problem, we are addressing it; I’ll come back to you when we know more.” as the thing to say from leaders; and, I like how Ushahidi came not as an empowerment tool, but a reaction to institutional abuse of technology. He didn’t explicitly quote research about Social Media helping acquaintances, and that stronger ties are often about sharing several tools of connexion: for that, check Barry Wellman, Caroline Haythornwaith et al. or Bernie Hogan‘s work. That there is no natural type of relation is a greatly appreciated comment, and new to me — seemingly against Robin Dunbar’s systematisation, but I’m sure there is more personal conversation between the two than actual disagreement.
He explains how people were turned to Gin, but one point that he doesn’t address is how this ended — except by saying a new generation will come. Is he saying, by comparison, that people won’t enjoy TV Series for their asymmetric quality will just die of old age? Or is that revolution far too fast paced to use demographics and urban-pooled germs to change society?