Clay Shirky recently spoke at TEDGlobal 2012. The video is not available yet, but they blogged about some of his session.
“When a lot of ideas come into circulation, it changes society,” Shirky says. “When there are more ideas in circulation, there are more ideas for any individual to disagree with. More media always means more argument. That’s what happens when media space expands.” The Internet is following the pattern, certainly providing us with another space for more argument. He shows a screenshot of some online “discussion” involving the phrase “maggot bastard,” a new one to me. (“YouTube is just a goldmine,” he says.)
“I study social media,” says Shirky, explaining, “I watch people argue.” Now he wants to introduce us to the group of people who represent to him the arguers we should watch most carefully: open-source programmers.