Formerly SpringBlog

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More is better

In Shirky’s second chapter he goes into detail about how much different we are when we are in groups then when are alone. The best link I can make to our worlds societies now is all the recent turbulence in the Middle East and Africa. There may have only been one man who decided to speak his mind but by using social media and other outlets this one person was able to connect others with the same feelings. This grouping led to many people reacting within the community and them banding together to fight their own governments.

Shirky quoted physicist Philip Anderson in saying, “more is different”, and this is true. No one expected the protest in these countries to expand the way they did. They not only expanded nationally but internationally. Many countries like the United States, Brittan, and France have all asked the U.N. to enforce a cease-fire against Libya. I am not even sure if at the early stages in these protests before they hit the streets that anyone thought this was going to happen. When the groups began to converge together they gained more and more power. They suddenly felt what they were doing was right because of their shear numbers. None of them would have stood up for what they believed if there was only one person.

The main problem with these protests is that there is no foundation of leadership. One thing we rely on as human beings is structure. These groups have absolutely no structure. More and more people are joining the other protesters, which makes them lost in what they are doing. Shirky quotes, “Fred brooks noted in his book The Mythical Man-Month, adding new employees to a late project tends to make it later, because the new workers increase the costs of coordinating the group”. This is why the structure of these tiny regimes are subsequently flawed.

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