Here Comes Everybody

I recently finished reading a wonderful book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky (2008). I heard a discussion with the author on KQED Radio and ordered the book. My copy is now full of check marks in the margins and yellow highlights over excellent and well-expressed ideas. I keep quoting Shirky in conversation!

Some key passages:

    • “… many of the significant changes are based not on the fanciest, newest bits of technology but on simple, easy-to-use tools like e-mail, mobile phones, and websites, because those are the tools most people have access to and, critically, are comfortable using in their daily lives. Revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new technologies – it happens when society adopts new behaviors.”
      (from Shirky’s “Collective Action and Institutional Challenges”)
    • “The internet augments real-world social life rather than providing an alternative to it. Instead of becoming a separate cyberspace, our electronic networking are becoming deeply embedded in real life.”
      (from Shirky’s “Solving Social Dilemmas”)
    • “…a good social tool is like a good woodworking tool – it must be designed to fit the job being done, and it must help people do something they actually want to do.”
      (from Shirky’s “Promise, Tool, Bargain”)
    • “New tools… start with a huge social disadvantage, which is that most people don’t use them, and whenever
      you have a limited pool from which potential members can be drawn, you limit the social effects.”
      (from Shirky’s “Promise, Tool, Bargain”)
    • “One of the biggest changes in our society is the shift from prevention to reaction… Society simply has less control over what kind of groups can form, and what kind of value they can confer their members, and this in turn means a loss of prevention as a strategy for reducing harm.”
      (from Shirky’s “Epilogue”)

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