Sunday, July 10, 2011

Shirky likes Chaos

"Having one kind of institution do most of the reporting for most communities in the US seemed like a great idea right up until it seemed like a single point of failure. As that failure spreads, the news ecosystem isn’t just getting more chaotic, we need it to be more chaotic, because we need multiple competing approaches. It isn’t newspapers we should be worrying about, but news, and there are many more ways of getting and reporting the news that we haven’t tried than that we have."

When the god of Internet Understanding speaks, I listen. I agree with Shirky that chaos is not a bad thing. It's what comes with the territory in a lot of useful internet actions, like ICA.  When a group is leaderless, you should expect a bit of chaos. When the status quo breaks down, you should expect a bit of chaos as people try to fill the vacuum with something better.  Anonymous, that leaderless, almost-not-group, considers heated arguing a necessity before action.  So everybody gives their input, calls each other names, people get butthurt, then a course of action takes place.

Chaos is scary to many people. Lots of hierarchical groups seek to avoid chaos. But in some cases it's just a by-product that must be accepted.

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