The Britannica Blog has hosted a very interesting exchange of essays between librarian Michael Gorman (ex-Dean of Library Services at California State University, Fresno) and Clay Shirky, teacher (New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program), writer and consultant. I've been reading Shirky for years. It's the openness vs. authority argument; Wikipedia vs. Encyclopædia Britannica (though of course, not just that); or, in book length, David Weinberger's Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder (reviews) vs. Andrew Keen's The Cult of the Amateur: How today's Internet is killing our culture (review).
To which Shirky responds with "Old Revolutions Good; New Revolutions Bad" (14 June).
To which Shirky responds with The Siren Song of Luddism (19 June).
The Britannica Blog follows up with other responses: Publisher Roger Kimball (The New Criterion, Encounter Books) also contributes to this debate in Technology, Temptation, and Virtual Reality. Doctoral candidate (U. C.-Berkeley) danah boyd in Knowledge Access as a Public Good (27 June). Reference librarian Thomas Mann in Brave New (Digital) World, Part I: Return of the Avant-Garde and Part II: Foolishness 2.0?.
I've not gotten through the essays in the last paragraph yet, but so far it's good reading. --Dennis