Quotes & Questions - Chapter 1: It Takes A Villiage to Find A Phone

Shirky’s Thesis:

Group action gives human society its particular character, and anything that changes the way groups get things done will affect society as a whole. This change will not be limited to any particular set of institutions or functions. For any given organization, the important questions are “When will the change happen?” and “What will change?” The only two answers we can rule out are never, and nothing. The ways in which any given institution will find its situation transformed will vary but the various local changes are manifestations of a single deep source: newly capable groups are assembling, and they are working without the managerial imperative and outside the previous strictures that bounded their effectiveness. These changes will transform the world everywhere groups of people come together to accomplish something, which is to say everywhere. (p. 23)
  • What changes do you see happening in education?

Policing time is finite, but the willingness of humans to feel wronged is infinite. (p. 14)
I know that online tools offer incredible power and potential, often eliminating boundaries of time and geography. Nevertheless, because much of online communication takes place by reading and writing, there can exist an increased potential to offend.
  • Have you ever been “wronged” or offended online?
  • What happened?
  • What could have been done to avoid the offense?
One of the most severe punishments that can be meted out to a prisoner is solitary confinement; even in a social environment as harsh and attenuated as prison, complete removal from human contact is harsher still. (p. 15)
  • How can online interactions be perceived as a solitary experience?
  • In what ways is online correspondence more social than face to face?
When we change the way we communicate, we change society. (p. 17)
  • True or false, and why?
  • Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody. New York: The Penguin Press.
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