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July 24, 2003

Baby Steps

From a NY Time piece on Flash Mobs:

At 7:05 a furtive-looking guy, hidden under a dark hat, began handing out slips of paper indiscriminately -- apparently assuming that the entire clientele of Pamela's was part of the project. And it seems he was right, as at 7:07 nearly every patron picked up and began skulking en masse down Lafayette Street...

Everyone keeps struggling with a definition of what these are: performance art? an inside joke? or just "for no reason"?

I have an opinion.

They are a proof of concept (beta-test?) of one of the ways that the internet is enabling us to communicate, and organize.

The future is a distributed one. Centralization is fading, even dangerous. Individual power, and the power of small groups is rising. For good and for bad.

If we are to live in a world threatened by small, powerful, ruthless, extremist groups, then we need to learn how to harness the powers of our new technologies for good things as well.

Flash Mobs are an example of the 21st century taking its first baby-steps, laughing joyfully at this new skill it's discovered.

Posted by jghiii at July 24, 2003 09:41 AM
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