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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Howard Rheingold's Technologies Of Co-Operation

(Via The Feature) Just as the digital computer can be any machine you can program it to be and the Internet turns every desktop into a printing press, broadcasting station, community or market, the mobile Internet's unique capability is the power it gives people and machines to organize collective action.

Howard Rheingold and his colleagues have come together with a report (PDF) and visual map of technologies of cooperation. Taken together with Mobile and Open: A Manifesto,this report and accompanying graphic map are offered as resources to all those interested in the cause of deploying mobile technologies for societal improvements.When social communication media grow in capability, pace, scope, or scale, people use these media to construct more complex social arrangements—that is, they use communication tools and techniques to increase their capacity to cooperate at larger and larger scales. Human history is a story of the co-evolution of tools and social practices to support ever more complex forms of cooperative society. The power of these tools derives from the social practices they amplify - specifically the ways people, machines and institutions can cooperate. These emerging digital technologies present new opportunities to change the way people work together to solve problems and generate wealth. What we are witnessing today is the acceleration of a trend that has been building for thousands of years. When technologies like alphabets and Internets amplify the right cognitive or social capabilities, old trends take new twists and people build things that never could be built before. Over time, the number of people engaged in producing new things has grown from an elite group to a significant portion of the population; at the same time, the tools available to these growing populations have grown more powerful. Central to this class of cooperation-amplifying technologies are eight key clusters, each with distinctive contributions to scientific, economic, social and political forms of collective action:
Today's technologies of cooperation are practical tools for organizing people and solving problems that we face right now. But they are also harbingers of new forms of social and economic organization - forms that may help resolve some of the complex social dilemmas that confront the world. So each example of a cooperative technology is also a model for thinking about future social forms as well as future tools; each example embodies principles that can help us think more strategically.A thought provoking analysis.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"