The history of the modern world could read as a history of ways of arguing, social media guru Clay Shirky says. During the Arab Spring, for example, we saw protesters battle their governments' top-down control of news with Facebook, Twitter and text messaging.
As media evolve, Shirky asks, what sort of arguments will we have — and how will it change the governments of nations?
Shirky's work focuses on the rise of networks and the use of decentralized technologies for social creation and open-source development. "A group is its own worst enemy," he says; new technologies can enable cooperative structures as alternatives to centralized and institutional structures.