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I just finished reading “Here Comes Everybody,” Clay Shirky’s important book for people over 40 about how the internet is changing institutions as we know them. Though the book can use some good editing, he kindly takes us older folk by the hand and patiently explains (with many examples) just what the young folks see as second nature. What was fascinating for me (56 years old) were his often repeated shouts about how, in many ways, people can now bypass traditional money-earning institutions to get what they want and need. He hammers the idea over and over, explaining how photo web sites, social media (he discusses Myspace, but now it’s Facebook), Wikipedia and others organize, serve and connect ordinary people. And it’s not only the United States, of course. If it was, we could say it brings unity to our country–unity we are in sad need of. But as he wisely points out in the very first chapter, the miracle of the Internet’s reach comes without brakes. We can post, publish, broadcast, but we can’t control who sees the content, or what they do with it.
[to be continued]
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