Excellent and wide-ranging perspectives and commentary at The Edge in response to Jaron Lanier’s essay of Digital Maoism.
A short extract of the summary –
Projects like Wikipedia do not overthrow any elite at all, but merely replace one elite — in this case an academic one — with another: the interactive media elite.
— Douglas Rushkoff
Our new tool for communication and computation may take us away from distinct individualism, and towards something closer to the tender nuance of folk art or the animal energy of millenarianism.
— Quentin Hardy
Networked-based, distributed, social production, both individual and cooperative, offers a new system, alongside markets, firms, governments, and traditional non-profits, within which individuals can engage in information, knowledge, and cultural production. This new modality of production offers new challenges, and new opportunities. It is the polar opposite of Maoism.
— Yochai Benkler
The personal computer produced an incredible increase in the creative autonomy of the individual. The internet has made group forming ridiculously easy. Since social life involves a tension between individual freedom and group participation, the changes wrought by computers and networks are therefore in tension. To have a discussion about the plusses and minuses of various forms of group action, though, is going to require discussing the current tools and services as they exist, rather than discussing their caricatures or simply wishing that they would disappear.
— Clay Shirky
Wikipedia isn’t great because it’s like the Britannica. The Britannica is great at being authoritative, edited, expensive, and monolithic. Wikipedia is great at being free, brawling, universal, and instantaneous.
— Cory Doctorow