Today we delved even further into networks and how the Internet has allowed this new way of communication to open up. What struck me the most was the TED video of Shirky that Kate showed in class. I love Shirky. I always found the way he describes situations that society is being affected or affecting technologies, very well done. The way he bring in historical aspects to his examples and illustrates concepts through storytelling to be beautifully done. Reading or watching Shirky is easy and a pleasure.
That said, the video shown in class today further help with concepts talked about in class. The idea of networks and how social media on the Internet has changed the way society communicates, spreads knowledge and even protests a wrong is amazing. No longer are we the receiver while the sender is this large corporation feeding us the content. “Amateurs” with the power of the internet, can spread breaking news faster than more traditional routes. No longer does one message get sent out to hit the many. The many can by-pass the institution. This new found freedom has resulted in new freedoms and power and put it square in the hands of the average Joe. The flexible, fluid internet is constantly changing and adapting making it impossible to control by those in power. As Shirky stated in the video, when a message spreads and can not be stopped, governments just simply shut down the internet to stop the spread. Yet this method doesn’t stop people for too long as they just turn to their phones to spread the word. The Internet is a powerful medium and I feel, do I dare say, has caused a true paradigm shift. Only more to come.