Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

"from sharing to cooperation to collective action"

with 3 comments

This is Tim, writing for Gloria. We were both going over a book Carole Cohen gave Gloria to while away the hours at Metro, and we had an “aha” moment we wanted to share with all of you. Here’s a  excerpt from pages 47 & 48 of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations by Clay Shirky:

For the last hundred years the big organizational question has been whether any given task was best taken on by the state, directing the effort in a planned way, or by businesses competing in a market. This debate was based on the universal and unspoken supposition that people couldn’t simply self-assemble, the choice between markets and managed effort assumed that there was no third alternative. Now there is. Our electronic networks are enabling novel forms of collective action, enabling the creation of collaborative groups that are larger and more distributed than at any other time in history. The scope of work that can be done by noninstitutional groups is a profound challenge to the status quo.

The collapse of transaction costs makes it easier for people to get together–so much easier, in fact, that it is changing the world.

Written by Gloria Ferris

December 30th, 2008 at 9:48 am

3 Responses to '"from sharing to cooperation to collective action"'

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  1. I think that people like Thomas Jefferson knew this was possible. That’s why the oft-overlooked right to peaceful assembly was guaranteed by the Constitution. This is a good thought for the beginning of the year.

    Happy 2009 to you both (and to Carole for providing the book 🙂 ).

    derek arnold

    1 Jan 09 at 10:21 AM

  2. Ditto Derek and adding: couldn’t we even say that this is a truth we hold to be self-evident??!

    Happy new year. 🙂

  3. Tim, Happy New Year to you and (((hugs))) to Gloria. I was blown away by Derek’s comment (and smiled at Jill’s ‘self evident lol’) Now we are back to basics…self assembly! I’m glad you are both finding the book stimulating!

    Carole Cohen

    2 Jan 09 at 1:29 PM

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