“Technology is our creation; we weren’t created by technology, so let’s use our creation to bring about a healing,” Chopra said. “At the most fundamental level, we are not just connected, we are inseparable.”
But harnessing the power of social media, to become something larger than just networking, Chopra said, is a choice for humanity to make — the world is still at a crossroads. Although he said technology itself is neutral, he espoused a message of hope, saying that if harnessed for good, technology could lead the world to a place of good and produce a united solution for the challenges of the world.
“What drones can’t do, what the armies can’t do, what the weapons can’t do, what the weapons of mass destruction can’t do, what biological warfare can’t do — we can do through technology to heal the world,” Chopra said.
Imagine a world where banks take into account your online reputation alongside traditional credit ratings to determine your loan; where headhunters hire you based on the expertise you've demonstrated on online forums such as Quora; where your status from renting a house through Airbnb helps you become a trusted car renter on WhipCar; where your feedback on eBay can be used to get a head-start selling on Etsy; where traditional business cards are replaced by profiles of your digital trustworthiness, updated in real-time. Where reputation data becomes the window into how we behave, what motivates us, how our peers view us and ultimately whether we can or can't be trusted.
Welcome to the reputation economy, where your online history becomes more powerful than your credit history.
Mr. Shirky took that message to a group of higher-education-technology leaders who have been buffeted by a rapidly evolving ed-tech landscape. Mr. Shirky, in a keynote speech kicking off this year’s Educause conference, explored how technology was changing everything, from research to publishing to studying.
The open-source world has learned to deal with a flood of new, oftentimes divergent, ideas using hosting services like GitHub -- so why can’t governments? In this rousing TED talk Clay Shirky shows how democracies can take a lesson from the Internet, to be not just transparent but also to draw on the knowledge of all their citizens.
Clay Shirky argues that the history of the modern world could be rendered as the history of ways of arguing, where changes in media change what sort of arguments are possible -- with deep social and political implications.
"When the very information streams that flow to me are intentionally altered in a very specific way,—creatively designed using the latest and best scientific principles to convey the most subtle nuance of our knowledge of how to get people to think what you want them to think—how do I ever know what truth is?"
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