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Clay Shirky on Git, democracy, openness
Here's a TED talk by Clay Shirky that recently came out which (like all of Shirky's talks) is worth viewing: Clay Shirky: How the Internet will (one day) transform government http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_the_internet_will_one_day_trans... During the Arab Spring Shirky was accused in the New Yorker of being a tech determinist -- somebody who claims that technology (especially social media technologies) would on their own transform the world into a better (more democratic) place. In this video he's steering clear of that fallacy by acknowledging that other things besides technology are the drivers of change. If you watch it key into his observation at 8:20 when he says "when you adopt a tool you also adopt the management philosophy embedded in that tool." In other words, Shirky is saying that adopting open tools may in turn foster open government. To illustrate that point he goes on to discuss the virtues of Git and the possibility that legislative bodies might want to adopt it much as open source organizations have in order to foster more open and democratic activity. It's an interesting exercise but ultimately a bit reductivist. Adopting open tools may help to foster openness but it's no sure way toward transparency. To wit, Sakai uses SVN whereas Instructure uses Git. But Sakai if by far a more open organization than Canvas is. Go figure....maybe Shirky hasn't really left all of his simplistic tech determinism behind him. Cheers, Luke http://itintheuniversity.blogspot.com ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.