The Power Of Us

Article in Business Week, The Power Of Us, explains how Skype is the latest major example of how the vast organism of humanity that is the Internet can rise up and form emergent systems and infrastructures.

I like the language used here — it’s appropriate, I think, to the magnitude of the phenomenon. It’s evolutionary, a massive natural shift, and even super-corporations are puny in its wake.

Says Skype CEO Niklas Zennström: “It’s almost like an organism.” A big, hairy, monstrous organism, that is. The nearly 1 billion people online worldwide — along with their shared knowledge, social contacts, online reputations, computing power, and more — are rapidly becoming a collective force of unprecedented power. For the first time in human history, mass cooperation across time and space is suddenly economical. “There’s a fundamental shift in power happening,” says Pierre M. Omidyar, founder and chairman of the online marketplace eBay Inc. (EBAY ) “Everywhere, people are getting together and, using the Internet, disrupting whatever activities they’re involved in.”

Author: Andrew Hinton

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