Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom is a very exciting book. It captures an important set of developments — how new information technologies make it easier for individuals to collaborate in producing cultural content, knowledge, and other information goods. It draws links across apparently disparate subject areas to present a theory of how these technologies are reshaping opportunities for social action. Finally, it presents a highly attractive vision of what society might be like if we allow these technologies to flourish, as well as the political obstacles which may prevent these technologies from reaching their full potential. If you’re interested in debates on Creative Commons, on Wikipedia, on net neutrality, or any of a whole host of other issues, this is an essential starting point.
We’ve put together a seminar on the book, which we hope will help spur discussion around it in the blogosphere. —Henry Farrell —Introduction: The Wealth of Networks seminar (Crooked Timber)
I’ve just ordered The Wealth of Networks thorugh interlibrary loan.