Clay Shirky, open source and democracy

Every time Clay Shirky talks, I’m riveted. And this is an absolutely fascinating TEDTalk about why the way open source programmers operate will eventually change the way democracy works.

He says the open source method of building software and programs is creating communities using the new tools of the web and computer science. A technique, Shirky argues, that could be applied to government and law.

To cap off the presentation, he says:

A new form of arguing has been invented in our lifetimes. It’s large, it’s disriputed, its’ low cost. And it’s compatible with the ideals of democracy. The question for us now is, are we going to let the programers keep it to themselves? Or are we going to try to take it and press it into service for society at large?

I know it’s long, but it’s very much worth 20 minutes of your time.

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