online collectivism

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pages: 351 words: 100,791

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford

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airport security, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, digital Maoism, Google Glasses, hive mind, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, large denomination, new economy, new new economy, Norman Mailer, online collectivism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

If they read this book instead of Shakespeare, they won’t feel oppressed by the impoverished language they are expected to use at work. And if they can identify with the CEO, they will be less likely to feel themselves in an antagonistic relation to those who manage the appropriation of their surplus labor value on behalf of Chinese shareholders. 7. Jaron Lanier, “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism,” Edge, May 29, 2006, available at http://edge.org/conversation/digital-maoism-the-hazards-of-the-new-online-collectivism. 13. THE ORGAN MAKERS’ SHOP 1. I imagine the appeal of this image may have something to do with the fact that it allows the venture capitalists who hang around Silicon Valley to view themselves in a certain cultural role, as midwives to the new. This is like being a patron of the avant-garde: quite apart from any profit that may come, one has the sense of being in touch with the most important experiments under way, the most radical possibilities.

In countless little ways, any single one of which seems trivial, this liberal arts college is unthinkingly repeating bits of Silicon Valley ideology that would seem to undermine the rationale for studying the liberal arts. The university has become “the brilliant ally of its own gravediggers,” to borrow a phrase from Milan Kundera.6 Jaron Lanier criticizes what he calls “digital Maoism,” a “new online collectivism” that shows up, for example, in the way Wikipedia is regarded and used, and is the guiding spirit of firms such as Google as well. The analogy with Maoism is quite apt and precise. The ideologists of the Web have always been antielitists, eager to brush the “gatekeepers” of knowledge into the dustbin of history. Let a thousand flowers bloom. The problem, of course, is that it’s hard for these leaders of the people to make money off scattered flowers.


pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, online collectivism, Parag Khanna, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

Earlier in the twentieth century, revolutionary attempts to create capitalism-free societies in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and elsewhere were rather disastrous when it came to human rights, let alone economic prosperity. Utopian ideologies such as Marxism-Leninism and Maoism produced demagoguery, totalitarianism, and genocide. In a controversial 2006 essay about what he calls “Digital Maoism,” and later in his 2010 book, You Are Not a Gadget, technologist Jaron Lanier warned of a “new online collectivism,” the digital variant of a concept that “has had dreadful consequences when thrust upon us from the extreme Right or the extreme Left in various historical periods.” Though there is much idealism and enthusiasm around the idea of the Internet being a place where the evils, hypocrisies, and general messiness of human economics, politics, and social relations can somehow be transcended, there is little evidence that human nature is any more virtuous or selfless in cyberspace than it is in the physical world.

Also see his most recent book, Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age (New York: OR Books, 2010). 233 “The invention of a tool doesn’t create change”: Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (New York: Penguin Press, 2008), 105. 233 “cute-cat theory of digital activism”: Ethan Zuckerman, “The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech,” My Heart’s in Accra blog, March 8, 2008, www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech. 234 in 2007 WITNESS launched its own Video Hub: http://hub.witness.org; Yvette Alberdingk Thijm, “Update on the Hub and WITNESS’ New Online Strategy,” August 18, 2010, http://blog.witness.org/2010/08/update-on-the-hub-and-witness-new-online-strategy; Ethan Zuckerman, “Public Spaces, Private Infrastructure—Open Video Conference,” My Heart’s in Accra blog, October 1, 2010, www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2010/10/01/public-spaces-private-infrastructure-open-video-conference. 234 “Protecting Yourself, Your Subjects and Your Human Rights Videos on YouTube”: http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/06/protecting-yourself-your-subjects-and.html. 234 2010 Global Voices Citizen Media Summit: Sami Ben Gharbia, “GV Summit 2010 Videos: A Discussion of Content Moderation,” Global Voices Advocacy, May 7, 2010, http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2010/05/07/gv-summit-2010-videos-a-discussion-of-content-moderation; and Rebecca MacKinnon, “Human Rights Implications of Content Moderation and Account Suspension by Companies,” RConversation blog, May 14, 2010, http://rconversation.blogs.com/rconversation/2010/05/human-rights-implications.html; 235 “Digital Maoism”: Jaron Lanier, “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism,” Edge: The Third Culture, May 30, 2006, www.edge.org/3rd_culture/lanier06/lanier06_index.html. Also see Jaron Lanier, You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto (New York: Random House, 2010). 238 Students for Free Culture: http://freeculture.org. 238 In 2009 Sweden’s Pirate Party won two seats in the European Parliament: Tom Sullivan, “Sweden’s Pirate Party Sets Sail for Europe,” The Christian Science Monitor, June 8, 2009, www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2009/0608/p06s08-woeu.html (accessed August 15, 2011). 238 green parties have taken up Internet freedom: German Green Party politician Malte Spitz, for example, has taken up the fight against surveillance and censorship as a signature issue.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

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1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

Available from http:// www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12015774/site/newsweek 16 Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture (Chicago, IL/London: University of Chicago Press, 2006) 17 Patrice Flichy, The Internet Imaginaire (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) 18 Charles Leadbeater, ‘The DIY State’, Prospect 130, January 2007 19 Fred Turner, op. cit. 20 John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (Penguin, 2006) 21 Patrice Flichy, The Internet Imaginaire (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) 22 Jonathan Lethem, ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’, Harper’s Magazine, February 2007 23 Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science 162 (1968), pp. 1243–48 24 Elenor Ostrom, Governing the Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1990) 25 Lawrence Lessig, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1999) and Free Culture (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2004) 26 Melvyn Bragg, The Routes of English (BBC Factual and Learning, 2000); Melvyn Bragg, The Adventure of English (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 2003) 27 Jonathan Lethem, ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’, Harper’s Magazine, February 2007 28 Cory Doctorow et al., ‘On “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” By Jaron Lanier’, Edge (2006). http://www.edge.org/discourse/digital_ maoism.html 29 Paul A. David, ‘From Keeping “Nature’s Secrets” to the Institutionalization of “Open Science”‘, in Rishab Aiyer Ghosh (Ed.), Code (Cambridge, MA/London: MIT Press, 2005) 30 Alessandro Nuvolari, ‘Open Source Software Development: Some Historical Perspectives’, Eindhoven Centre for Innovation Studies Working Paper 03.01 (2003); Koen Frenken and Alessandro Nuvolari, ‘The Early Development of the Steam Engine: An Evolutionary Interpretation Using Complexity Theory’, Eindhoven Centre for Innovation Studies Working Paper 03.15 (2003) Chapter 3 1 Andrew Brown, In the Beginning Was the Worm (Pocket Books, 2003) 2 Eric S.

., 80 Years of Thinking at the Phillips Natuurkundig Laboratorium 1914–1994 (Amsterdam: Pallas, 2005) DiBona, Chris, Danese Cooper and Mark Stone (Eds), Open Sources 2.0 (O’Reilly, 2006) DiBona, Chris, Sam Ockman and Mark Stone (Eds), Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution (O’Reilly, 1999) Di Maggio, Paul (Ed.), The Twenty-first-Century Firm (Princeton University Press, 2001) Doctorow, Cory, et al. ‘On “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” By Jaron Lanier’, Edge, (2006). See http://www.edge.org/discourse/digital_ maoism.html Dodgson, Mark, David Gann and Ammon Salter, Think, Play, Do: Technology, Innovation and Organization (Oxford University Press, 2005) Dodson, Sean, ‘Show and Tell Online’, Guardian, 3 February 2006 Dravis, Paul, Open Source Software: Perspectives for Development (Washington, DC: InfoDev, 2003) Ducheneaut, Nicolas, Nicholas Yee, Eric Nickell and Robert J.

Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak

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Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), citation needed, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Debian, deskilling, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, moral hazard, online collectivism, pirate software, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

., & Kaltenbrunner, A. (2011). When the Wikipedians talk: Network and tree structure of Wikipedia discussion pages. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (pp. 177–184). Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press. Retrieved from http://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/ICWSM/ ICWSM11/paper/viewFile/2764/3301 Lanier, J. (2006, May 29). Digital Maoism: The hazards of the new online collectivism. The Edge. Retrieved from http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/lanier06/lanier06 _index.html Latour, B. (1986). The powers of association. In J. Law (Ed.), Power, action and belief: A new sociology of knowledge? London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Latour, B., & Woolgar, S. (1979). Laboratory life: The social construction of scientific facts. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. 2 6 2    R e f e r e n c e s Lattemann, C., & Stieglitz, S. (2005).

On going native. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 31(3), 302–322. Trist, E. (1983). Referent organizations and the development of inter-organizational domains. Human Relations, 36(3), 269–284. Tumlin, M., Harris, S. R., Buchanan, H., Schmidt, K., & Johnson, K. (2007). Collectivism vs. individualism in a wiki world: Librarians respond to Jaron Lanier’s essay “Digital Maoism: The hazards of the new online collectivism.” Serials Review, 33(1), 45–53. Turek, P., Wierzbicki, A., Nielek, R., Hupa, A., & Datta, A. (2010). Learning about the quality of teamwork from wikiteams. In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE Second International Conference on Social Computing (pp. 17–24). Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society. Turner, F. (2006). From counterculture to cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the rise of digital utopianism.


pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

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Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History. Boston: Little, Brown, 1991. Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970. Langton, Christopher G., et al. “Life at the Edge of Chaos.” Artificial Life II 10 (1992): 41-91. Lanier, Jaron. You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. Waterville, Maine: Thorndike Press, 2010. ———. “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism.” The Edge 183 (May 30, 2006). Lehrer, Jonah. How We Decide. Boston: Mariner Books, 2010. ———. “Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up.” Wired (December 21, 2009). http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/fail_accept_defeat/all/1. Lessig, Lawrence. Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. New York: Penguin Press, 2008. ———. The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

Thanks to a new global medium for collaboration and an unprecedented level of social connectivity, people in business, government, and society at large have powerful new tools for reinventing our institutions around a new set of organizing principles for the twenty-first century. Having said that, let’s be clear. Wikinomics, by itself, is not a panacea or a complete recipe to fix all of the world’s ailments. It is not a wholesale replacement for good government, the corporation, professional journalism, our health care systems, or our institutions of higher learning. Nor is it an argument to replace the dynamism of capitalism with some new form of online collectivism or central planning by committee. Financial markets and corporations will remain the underlying engines of innovation, prosperity, and job creation. Governments will still collect taxes, provide social security, and enact new laws on their population’s behalf. Universities will continue to be an oasis for learning, advanced research, and free thinking, as well as a place where young people go to “grow up.”

Having grown up digital, “a new generation has come of age with a reduced expectation of what a person can be, and of who each person might become.”3 As a result, we behave like gadgets. We are all suffering from a “digital reification” where the basic characteristics of underlying technology algorithms are now determining how we relate to one another. In particular, Lanier seems concerned about a new form of online “collectivism” that is suffocating authentic voices in a muddled and anonymous tide of mass mediocrity. He laments the idea that the collective is all-wise and compares mass collaborations to totalitarian regimes. This collectivist mentality is led by a subculture of “Digital Maoists,” who are the “folks from the open culture, Creative Commons world, the Linux community, and the Web 2.0 people.” To him “online culture is filled to the brim with rhetoric about what the true path to a better world ought to be and these days it’s strongly biased towards an authoritarian way of thinking.”