“Here Comes Everybody”; Sidekick Edition

January 25, 2012

Clay Shirky’s sharing the same title of this blog tosses readers into an anecdotal flurry right off the bat.  We’re introduced to a tale of petty thievery and an individual’s unending ambition to retrieve the stolen item.  It delves further into this theme, intricately weaving to and fro’ the perspectives of both parties.  This is a wicked representation of the power of a body of people.  One could easily relate this story to the entirety of the book’s main concepts due to how communication itself in both technology and humankind itself are potent when mixed.  Shirky muses on the effectiveness of social networking and if in identifying the criminal of only sixteen; Evan (the hero) crosses a line.

Although the ideological representation of justice; the other side is one of a more ugly nature.  There are resources taken advantage of; police systems bullied when otherwise better suited for priority crimes; and an online shame-fest following that is nothing short of expected.  Shirky says in as many words that this achievement was unlikely 5 years ago, but unimaginable as far back as 10.  Is that perhaps rightly so?  Reportedly, anonymous message board filed countless threats upon the girl, Sasha; both in physical and sexual harm.  This is something that Evan could have had very little control over, but nonetheless spawned in the process of organizing this manhunt.  He did so for a mobile phone.  One such that had been replaced already with the valuable content restored, exhausting more funds than the phone was initially worth.

It is concluded that whether just or not, the principle of the matter was enough to cause a massive media uproar.  It’s pinned to the front of “Here Comes Everybody” due to the ways in which this topic is relevant to how far communication has come in impacting our ability to assimilate and bring change upon our surroundings.

Reference

Vowell, Sarah. The Wordy Shipmates. New York: Riverhead, 2008. 1-72. Print.

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