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May 18, 2007

Personal Democracy Forum Report: Yale Law's Yochai Benkler

by Josh Bernoff

Benkler talked about the distribution of the physical infrastructure for computing (e.g. Seti @ Home). Behaviors that were once on the periphery: social motivations, cooperation, friendship -- move from periphery of the economy to its core.

Now the same is happening with content. "Important because it decentralizes authority to act, paralleling what technology/economy has done for practical capacity to act." To work outside of markets, social sharing and exchange replaces what companies and markets do. (Sounds like the Groundwell).

In media, this democritization takes place as sites point a spotlight on what's really happening with politics, e.g. talkingpointmemo. People online blocking the airing of anti-Kerry documentary by Sinclair by threatening a boycott of advertisers. A "self-organizing" system.

This speech struck me as philosophy -- interesting, not necessarily practical. Still, an interesting framework for understanding the Groundswell.


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