Agroup Is Its Own Worst Enemy

'''AgroupIsItsOwnWorstEnemy is a page on ClayShirky much quoted April 2003 talk at OReilly Emerging Technology conference.

What I heard from his published speech

Three parts:

Part 1 - Human Psychology

Psychologist WRBion "Experiences in groups" depicts group behavior in human tend to degenerate to "sex talk", "enemy identification", or "religious veneration", where "sex talk" refer to meeting for purposes of "pairing off".

Attack from within is what matters.

Groups often gravitate towards members who are the most paranoid and make them leaders.

Quoted the examples of party experiences, Communitree to help with argument that human behavior in a group has not changed.

Groups need the structure, the constitution, laws, rituals to enable it to function.

Worst crisis is the "rules for making rules."

Part 2 - Why now

Took a long time to figure out that people talking to one another, instead of simply uploading badly scanned photos of their cats, would be a useful pattern.

A wiki is a web-native way of hosting collaboration.

... ubiquity that is light weight and easily managed.

Part 3 - What and How to respond

Something supernatural about a group being a run-time experience.

Three things to accept (almost like natural law): Four design aspects: Human interaction either dissipates, or turns to broadcast, or collapses.

For writers of social software -- users have rights and will behave as if they have rights.

Asserts that "users of a community will always keep focussed on OnTopic issues" is a fallacy.



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