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Re: How could you choose between Brian Eno and Clay Shirky?  mark williamson
 Mar 19, 2008 06:04 PST 

I've been reading Clay Shirky's blog for a while but heard him on the
radio this week which really struck home what a smart guy he is. One
of those people who are really effective thinkers.

-mark

On 3/19/08, chand-@aol.com <chand-@aol.com> wrote:
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Good times to be had last Monday night (March 17 2008) as Brian Eno, the
"brains behind Roxy Music" - OK, OK, my quote, not actually said by anyone other
than - gave another of his unfathomable talks, together with New Yorker
professor and chief lecturer Clay Shirky. I must be getting the hang of these as
it made much more obvious sense than some of the previous events where
subjects matter has included things from...well, what HASN'T it included? They seem
to ramble aimlessly on enjoying the view while nerdily recording the rise and
rise of technology in modern worlds (real and virtual) and the power
networks that inevitably spring from their loins.

Still with me?

Brian started grumpily enough and totally in keeping with his public
face-to-face persona by criticising the hosts ICA for using too small a room and
therefore "for the 19th time" selling out weeks in advance. "Would someone from
the ICA please take note and hire a larger space next time?", he bleated. He
had a point - the Nash Room seems like a destination for people who enjoy the
longest route to a long-forgotten loft in the rafters of an old
mansion-house.

But warming to what is potentially a very cold sterile subject in the wrong
hands, Brian softened up and talked about the origins of the Internet, the
WELL project, how dentists co-ordinating their diaries were responsible for
online bulletin boards, how the Internet "became established as this huge
mastrurbation machine...sorry, I mean marketing tool", flash-mobbing, the formation
of the 2006 passenger charter created in USA by the revolt by users of
airlines who incarcerate them when flights are grounded using the Web to network
and exert their commercial influence, etc etc...we could have talked long into
the night but the talk was curtailed after 70 minutes because naturally Brian
and Clay have products to sell and sign in the bookstore downstairs -
Brian's 2nd edition of 77 Million Paintings DVD and Clay's "Here Comes Everybody"
book.

What was mesmerising between snatches of information was the physical
similarity of the two speakers. There may be decades between them in age but both
are dome-headed beshaven bespectacled intellects on human legs...and almost
interchangeable but for the evident characteristics embued in each by upbringing
   in Woodbridge, Suffolk and New York respectively. Magic (as Paul Daniels
might say).

All good things
Richard Mills





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