Clay Shirky: How The Internet Will Transform Government

What happens when a new medium like the internet suddenly puts a lot of new ideas into circulation? According to Clay Shirky, it usually means more arguing and if you’ve been to most sites recently and looked at the comments section it’s easy to see a whole lot of it taking place.

Even though in many instances the arguments as seen on many a YouTube page are senseless, Clay makes the case that each time the world has been introduced to a game-changing new medium, i.e.: the printing press, the telegraph, the telephone, the TV…the internet, it leads to new hopes for a better world and therefore, a chaotic flood of ideas is put into circulation which of course, leads to more arguing. But as we have seen throughout history, arguing, is a major key to problem solving and developing a more efficient, more innovative and hopefully more transparent, community.

Watch Clay explain how the internet has transformed and organized the programming community and how it is already starting to do the same for our society.

The open-source world has learned to deal with a flood of new, oftentimes divergent, ideas using hosting services like GitHub — so why can’t governments? In this rousing talk Clay Shirky shows how democracies can take a lesson from the Internet, to be not just transparent but also to draw on the knowledge of all their citizens.

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