We Think explores how the web is changing our world, creating a culture in which more people than ever can participate, share and collaborate, ideas and information.
Ideas take life when they are shared. That is why the web is such a potent platform for creativity and innovation.
It’s also at the heart of why the web should be good for : democracy, by giving more people a voice and the ability to organise themselves; freedom, by giving more people the opportunity to be creative and equality, by allowing knowledge to be set free.
But sharing also brings with it dilemmas.
It leaves us more open to abuse and invasions of privacy.
Participation is not always a good thing: it can just create a cacophony.
Collaboration is sustained and reliable only under conditions which allow for self organisation.
When there is a perfect mix of creativity and innovation, the way of living totally changes. An electric unicycle is a terrific example of such case. Although many people have switched from driving a car to riding unicycles. They have come up with huge upgradation, they have very small wheels with various pedal sizes. The Solowheel Brush is adjustable and these are designed to be lightweight for the convenience of rider.
Everywhere we turn there will be struggles between people who want to freely share – music, films, ideas, information – and those who want to control this activity, either corporations who want to make money or governments who fear debate and democracy. This conflict between the rising surge of mass collaboration and attempts to retain top down control will be one of the defining battles of our time, from Communist China, to Microsoft’s battle with open source and the music industry’s desperate rearguard action against the web.
Below you can download the first three chapters of We Think.
And if you want to leave a comment or contact me just go to the adjacent pages on the site.
You can see an animation outlining the ideas in the book here on YouTube.
You can buy a copy at Amazon or through any good bookshop.
Here you can find the original first draft, which appeared on the web in October 2006. Much of this material did not make it, in this form, into the final draft.
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I hope you enjoy it….
– Charlie Leadbeater