And in other news…
Notes from recent popular reading:
Paradigms are mental models that constrain our thinking and are often based on assumptions so strong we don’t notice them. New paradigms cause disruption and uncertainty, even calamity, and are nearly always received with coolness, hostility, or worse. Vested interests fight against the change, and leaders of the old are often the last to embrace the new. Consequently, a paradigm shift typically causes a crisis of leadership.
Wikinomics (Tapscott and Williams, 2008)
[In the past, the] physical limitations on how we have organized information have not only limited our vision, they have also given the people who control the organization of information more power than those who create the information.
[In contrast:] Anonymous authors, no editors. No special privileges for experts. Signs plastering articles detailing the ways they fall short. All the disagreements about each article posted in public. Easy access to all the previous drafts– including highlighting of the specific changes. No one who can certify that an article is done and ready. It would seem that Wikipedia does everything in its power to avoid being an authority, yet that seems only to increases its authority– a paradox that indicates an important change in the nature of authority itself…
In a miscellaneous world, an Oz-like authority that speaks in a single voice with unshakable confidence is a blowhard. Authority now comes from enabling us inescapably fallible creatures to explore the differences among us, together.
This creates a conundrum for businesses as they enter the digital order. If they don’t allow their users to structure information for themselves, they’ll lose their patrons. If they do allow patrons to structure information for themselves, the organizations will lose much of their authority, power, and control.
The paradox is already resolving itself. Customers, patrons, users, and citizens are not waiting for permission to take control of finding and organizing information.
Everything is Miscellaneous (Weinberger, 2007)