Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Now reading...

Eric Von Hippel's Homepage

It's been an interesting read so far. Von Hippel delves into explaining the drivers and mechanics of user innovation. This is obviously related to understanding peer production by prosumers. What we are still missing, however, is a *sociological* model of how these economic forces are affecting our lives today. We have begun to understand the economics of peer production fairly well, but on the sociological side we don't have too many clues about how all of this is going to shape our socio-cultural lives on a large scale or how best we can harness it for societal transformation.

Sociologists seem to be narrowly focused on the construction of technology starting from the seminal thesis of Pinch and Bijker. In my opinion, this is unfortunately missing the forest for the trees. The world is waiting for much more to flow out of the massive forces of democratization of technology and the abilities of *societies* to deal with change. Just the impact of social venturing to create exponential gains in the public sector and the resulting change in socio-political structures and phenomena should keep an army of PhD students quite busy in grad schools around the world. And that's barely even scratching the surface of this stuff. Humankind has never ever lived in a social milieu that has been so immersed in technology or enabled virtually cost-less communication to bring all different cultures in each other's face. I am just fascinated by flash mobs and virtual gangs, for example. The repurcussions of these forces will be felt for a very, very long time. Don't be distracted into stopping at the economics - sociology is the real story of this centuty. Yes, you heard it here first.

-- Mahashunyam // 7:07 AM // 0 comments


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