Progress in a Networked Age

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Steven Johnson makes the case that a new model of political change is on the rise, transforming everything from local governments to classrooms, from protest movements to health care. In Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age shows how politics are influenced by the interconnectedness of the Internet and breaks with the conventional categories of liberal or conservative thinking.


Steven Johnson

Comments [4]


I like Samuel Johnson, but he does some remarkable suspicious reasoning when it comes to the government creating the internet. Leonard had the right of it-- DARPA and government researchers did create the internet. The Web, which Johnson brings up, was also the product of government research-- it was CERN, an international public institution which developed it.

Just because it took an academic guise doesn't mean it's not the government and it doesn't mean it wasn't centralized. Lost a little respect for Johnson here.

Sep. 27 2012 12:00 PM
Susan from Upper West Side

The problem with the "positive deviance" model is the same problem with mothering support groups. It works well for those who are "similar". It doesn't work well with those who are not "similar". So, it can work for certain members of the community and exclude others. For instance, La Leche League went viral long before anyone labeled it going "viral". Nevertheless, those that don't have the same parenting philosophy, find Le Leche League overbearing. A MIXED approach. Oh -- the maple syrup smell from Fenugreek happens to be an herb that boosts milk supply.

Similarly online groups are not always the solution. Mommy wars are rampant on the internet

Sep. 26 2012 12:56 PM
Charlie Roberts from Port Monmouth, NJ

As the late Bob Considine once said . . . in referring to the days' media: "Good news is no news."

Sep. 26 2012 12:53 PM

NOBODY tried to patent the internet?? Are you sure?

And the gov DID build the infrastructure and entire idea.

And Tim Berners-Lee GAVE the world html (ie, the useful web as we know it today). He _could_ have patented html, had he wanted.

Had we left it out of the gov's hands, and various philanthropists, we most likely would have wound up having to deal with it like the ISDN debacle, a classic case of how business totally screwed up a technology, by a rush to patents, conflicting formats, etc.

Sep. 26 2012 12:53 PM

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