MWT Controversy 3 – Government

Inspiration from Dr. Michael Wesch at KSU:

Clay Shirky is an American writer, consultant, teacher, and social media theorist. He is one of the most world’s most prominent thinkers on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His columns and writings have appeared in Business 2.0, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review and Wired. He is the author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations and Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.

Shirky holds a joint appointment at NYU, as an Associate Arts Professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and as an Associate Professor in the Journalism Department. He has consulted with a variety of groups working on network design, including Nokia, the BBC, Newscorp, Microsoft, BP, Global Business Network, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Navy, the Libyan government, and Lego. Clay Shirky TED Bio

Our social tools remove older obstacles to public expression, and thus remove the bottlenecks that characterized mass media. The result is the mass amateurization of efforts previously reserved for media professionals. – Clay Shirky

Thoughts & Questions for Discussion:
• What is open source exactly? Open source & Collaboration
• Gamers succeed where scientists fail – The power of collaboration
• Has the internet already begun changing government?
• If so, how and in what ways?
• Important changes come after the fun – is this true of the internet and government?
• Will we one day have a more “collaborative” government?
• What might that model look like?
• What tools can we use today to change ‘the way we argue’?

Time Warner has called and they want us all back on the couch, just consuming — not producing, not sharing — and we should say, ‘No.’ – Clay Shirky

More Resources & Ideas:
More reading on GitHub
Full video transcript at
Clay Shirky’s weblog
How social media can make history – Clay Shirky at
How great leaders inspire action – Simon Sinek at
How do Shirky and Sinek’s TED Talks relate?

6 Comments on “MWT Controversy 3 – Government

  1. Collaboration has been one of my key interests for a long time. The main reason is that I ended up as a project team leader a lot. I was responsible for successful collaboration between organizations in the military, organizations in the government that worked for the military, organizations in industry, and our bosses in politics, which are not too organized.

    The GIT tools would have been of some use, but they looked familiar. We had open source documents that the whole project team participated in creating and updating in equivalent ways. Contracts are just about a meeting of minds. We had “contracts” in many forms, that were open source, because we had a community, where the “contracts” were in the open. Anyone could contribute and we could keep track. Some “contracts” were in the form of interface definitions, memos of understanding, system specification trees, etc.

    Wikis, like Wikipedia, are another example of open source collaboration. Back when the oil companies could snooker a governor and a president, into a freedom [slave] car, to stop the battery cars fueled by electricity from coal; I could write the hydrogen hoax facts with references on Wikipedia and my website. For a while, they fooled the public and the car competition in other countries. But the hydrogen economy religious idea blew up, like the hydrogen blimp did. I just realized that Iraq, GM, Afghanistan, and our economy, were all blowing up by the end of that president’s term. Oh, the interconnections. Google “hydrogen hoax”.

  2. I just realized that we were mostly a community of engineers, not lawyers, the black and white thinkers. I just realized that Dr. Glasser with his success in therapy and his working on inner city school success, was an engineer first. He has a solution from the grave for education for schools without failure, when enough people have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a brain to make it happen. All you need to do is to do the research to prove what works, no matter what. Then implement. The fundamentals of what works can be found, and done, it waits for the first 100 monkeys to get it. Google “100 monkeys story”.

    • An intriguing and pertinent article about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses ) that such universities as Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and Caltech are now offering thousands of students is in the May 20, 2013 issue of The New Yorker.

      I was interested in reading more about MOOCs and the future of higher learning institutions as I have been teaching online courses at UMUC as an adjunct assoc. prof for the past 14 years (!) in my semi-retirement. UMUC online courses will soon be completely textless. Everything will all be from open sources! (Will be fun to design and teach my course without even an e-text!) Whatcha think about any of this?


    • MIchael, I was going to tell you in class on Thursday how much I appreciated your detailed and substantive responses! But, alas! I didn’t hear anyone who answered to “Michael ” during roll call!

  3. Dear gaynell, I will not be answering to “Michael” during roll call on the 31st of July, because that is my last day in ILR’s OZ, as in Wizard.

    What courses are you teaching?

    Where are the specifications for a totally online course “without even an e-text”?
    And, what kind of courses are they interested in?

    Very Respectfully, Michael

  4. I’ve been teaching conflict management and negotiations at UMUC online for about ten years; and before that, I taught writing for managers in both face-to-face classes and online.

    Get the full scoop about UMUC, the premier distance-learning education institution, at