[LINK] Clay Shirky interview

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Mon Jul 5 17:49:22 AEST 2010

Nice and nasty does it: Shirky the 'net guru' on what the future holds

Decca Aitkenhead
July 5, 2010 - 3:36PM

If you are reading this article on a printed copy of a newspaper, 
what you have in your hand will, just 15 years from now, look as 
arcane as a Western Union telegram does today. In less than 50 years, 
says Clay Shirky, it won't exist at all.

The reason, he says, is very simple, and very obvious: if you are 25 
or younger, you're probably already reading this on your computer screen.

"And to put it in one bleak sentence, no medium has ever survived the 
indifference of 25-year-olds."

You have probably never even heard of Shirky, and until this 
interview I hadn't either. When I ask him to define what he does, he 
laughs, and admits that often when he's leaving a party someone will 
say to him, "What exactly is it you do?"

His standard reply - "I work on the theory and practice of social 
media" - is not just wilfully opaque, but crushingly dreary, which is 
funny, because he is one of the most illuminating people I've ever met.

The people who know about Shirky call him an "internet guru".

He winces when I say so - "Oh, I hate that!" - and it's easy to see 
why, for he is the very opposite of the techie stereotype.

Now 46, his first career was in the theatre in New York, and he 
didn't even own a computer until the age of 28, when he had to be 
introduced to the internet by his mother.

Arrestingly self-assured and charismatic, his conversation is warm 
and discursive, intently engaged yet relaxed - but it's his 
rhetorical fluency that bowls you over.

The architecture of his argument is a Malcolm Gladwell-esque 
structure of psychological and sociological insight, analysing 
contemporary technology with the clarity of a historian's perspective 
and such authority that were he to tell you the sun actually sets in 
the east, you might almost believe him.
This story was found at: 

Here's a podcast with the same guy:

[2010-06-24 12:00:00] What are Americans doing with all their free 
time? We'll explore the potential uses of that time - other than 
watching television - with New York University social and 
technological researcher Clay Shirky. His new book is "Cognitive 
Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age" (The Penguin 
Press, 2010). Alan Melson will guest-host.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

_ __________________ _

More information about the Link mailing list