Real World 2.0

In a new book, Here Comes Everybody, author and academic Clay Shirky argues the future is here; it’s time to get on with it“Our principal challenge is not to decide where we want to go, but to stay upright as we go there.” In his book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, author and NYU faculty member Clay Shirky describes the profound impact of social technological tools on contemporary culture — from e-mail and blogs to Twitter and wikis.Shirky’s book, an example-laden history of the development of such tools, is well-timed. Last week, as anti-government protests erupted in Tibet, China moved forcefully to quash news of the clash by restricting Internet access to YouTube as well as censoring mainstream outlets such as the BBC and CNN. But, underscoring many of Shirky’s central points, the crackdown failed as witnesses bypassed the country’s “Great Firewall” by uploading photos and videos to other, uncensored Web sites. And, on Mar. 20 the state-run news agency, Xinhua, acknowledged that troops had injured four protesters — the first time China made such an admission since the protests began, and arguably a by-product of its failure to limit the flow of information.

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