this morning i came across a movie on the mass collaboration web apps. it’s something that’s been increasingly talked about. first, the famous book wikinomics, then times person of the year of 2006: you. and today a movie called “us now”.
so this is not the first i’ve heard about it. i’m fully aware of the capabilities of these tools yet its the first time that i’ve heard about the discussion of the role of the society and government in this new world of mass coll. tools.
it’s true that because of these tools we can tap into the knowledge pool of the collective. although it is not understood why, it is proven that strangers who answer you internet inquiries are there to help and not to play a prank on a total stranger. and they do so at not cost, out of expensive of their own time, presumably to create a reputation.
it used to be that wealth separated us. we often got information and knowledge from people at our socioeconomic level. but now, information can come from anybody. a random stranger you meet on the streets could be a guru in some esoteric subject field on a web forum.
the coolest example that the movie mentioned was a group of fans taking over a semi-pro football club and running it based on votes.
often, we seek more to gain an opinion. through “like” and “dislike” buttons, we rate anything from tissue box brands to hotel gateaways. in most cases, these advices and opinions are good advice. the good advice always outnumbers the bad ones. no problem in following them. however, if we define the government as an institution that does the right thing to improve society, what value is there in popular opinion?
i continue to read newsweek weekly not because it’s popular opinion but because it’s written by professionals and qualified experts that are in a position to change things. but, as i go through the logic in my head again, i realize i’m the one being stubborn. if football fans have proven themselves to be “qualified experts” without any real qualifications and are able to run a club, then it’s possible that we can run countries the same way. but i’m sure i’m not the only one whose paranoid about running a country with just popular votes… it takes getting used to.