Markets are as old as the crossroads. But capitalism, as we know it, is only a few hundred years old, enabled by cooperative arrangements and technologies, such as the joint-stock ownership company, shared liability insurance, double-entry bookkeeping.
The two parts of technology that lower the threshold for activism and technology is the Internet and the mobile phone. Anyone who has a cause can now mobilize very quickly.
When designers replaced the command line interface with the graphical user interface, billions of people who are not programmers could make use of computer technology,
Whenever a technology enables people to organize at a pace that wasn't before possible, new kinds of politics emerge.
Mobile communications and pervasive computing technologies, together with social contracts that were never possible before, are already beginning to change the way people meet, mate, work, war, buy, sell, govern and create.
A lot of people use collaborative technologies badly, then abandon them. They aren't 'plug-and-play.' The invisible part is the social skill necessary to use them.
Inexpensive phones and pay-as-you go services are already spreading mobile phone technology to many parts of that world that never had a wired infrastructure.
Technology no longer consists just of hardware or software or even services, but of communities. Increasingly, community is a part of technology, a driver of technology, and an emergent effect of technology.
The Amish communities of Pennsylvania, despite the retro image of horse-drawn buggies and straw hats, have long been engaged in a productive debate about the consequences of technology.
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