Monday, January 22, 2007

The Wiki Campaign

There is a new organizational paradigm propogating itself through society - once-strict hierarchies are disolving, and actors (not like Harrison Ford. I mean in the sense of 'an entity capable of self-directed activity', i.e. organizations, individuals, companies) are finding themselves no longer gears in a rigid machine, but as free agents. Actors in the new paradigm form loose associations with each other that are essential to their success but are non-binding. This effect appears EVERYWHERE, in government, the military, volunteer associations, companies, even families. That divorce rates are on the rise and at the same time that traditional labor unions are struggling is not, actually, a coincidence (although I don't imply any causality here). Both family members and workers are behaving according to the same imperative: flexibility. David Harvey calls the phenomena "Flexible Accumulation". Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams call it "Wikinomics" in their book of the same title. This network paradigm is increasingly pervasive, but its power has yet to be effectively harnessed for social activism.

How can the productive power of the network paradigm, which created Wikipedia, has earned billions of dollars for companies around the world, and has even transformed military conflict, be useful for civil society?

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