Supernova 2008: Clay Shirky, “Collective Action”

  Clay Shirky at Supernova2008 
  Originally uploaded by christophercarfi.

Liveblogging Clay Shirky…

Kids in Belarus, "Nothing says ‘dictatorship’ like arresting people eating ice cream."  People using collective action to make a point.

"Protest movements" or STOP actions seem easier than START actions.  Why?

Density and Continuity are precursors to collective action (for "start actions").

  • Density — There are enough people
  • Continuity — The relationships will continue

We used to get density and continuity due to "inconvenience"…it was hard to do things, so density and continuity were required.  Now, since many things are (comparatively) "easy," we need to think about creating density and continuity by design.

The act of "incorporation" (literally "embodiment") is how society currently deals with enabling collective action.

Question: Is there a licensing structure that enables collective action?


The final question:  How can we move from stop energy to starting or sustaining? If we don’t, we’re only creating a partial revolution.