Clay Shirky on Internet - Dictionary of Arguments
Morozov I 39
Internet/collaboration/Shirky/Morozov: Shirky bases his theses (1) mainly on two sources:
1. Susanne Lohmann's statement of the East German protests 1989 (2)
Morozov I 40
2. And Ronald Coase's theory of the emergence of companies (3) from which Shirky takes over the concept of transaction costs.
MorozovVsShirky: both sources are not suitable or neutral enough to explain digital technologies.
Susanne Lohmann/Morozov: her approach is context-independent and views people as one-dimensional ahistorical characters in order to establish a theory of information cascades that works in Calcutta as well as in Cairo. Thesis: when people see others who are already protesting on the street, they tend to join them, but only when the protests reach a certain level.
MorozovVsShirky: with his theory, which is inspired by Lohmann and Coase, he can explain everything, but through its generality the theory does not explain anything in the end.
Transaction costs/Coase/MorozovVsShirky: the term transaction cost is suitable to explain Californian start-up companies, but hardly to understand Iranian society if we do not know anything about Iranian culture, history and politics. Who are the relevant actors? What are the relevant transactions?
Collaboration/MorozovVsShirky: does no one else but dissidents in these countries collaborate? Only the dissidents? Are all these dissidents united? Or do they pursue their own goals?
1. Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations (New York: Penguin, 2009).
2. Susanne Lohmann, “The Dynamics of Informational Cascades: The Monday Demonstrations in Leipzig, East Germany, 1989– 91,” World Politics 47, no. 1 (October 1, 1994): 42– 101.
3. Ronald Coase, “The Nature of the Firm,” Economica, 4 (1937): 386– 405._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations New York 2009
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism New York 2014