The Giant Zero: How the Net Eliminates Distance, Costs Nothing, and Supports Everything

Event Date: 

Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 12:00pm

Event Location: 

  • CTL Trailer 932

Doc Searls

Doc Searls is co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, Senior Editor of Linux Journal, a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and one of the world's best-known bloggers. (A search for his name on google brings up millions of results). His work as a journalist, speaker and advocate of the Internet led to a Google-O'Reilly Open Source Award for Best Communicator in 2005. Author and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman calls Doc "one of the most respected technology writers in America."

The title of Doc's lecture is also the title of the new book he's writing as a Fellow at CITS. His thesis is that the Net is both a whole new world and a critical new infrastructure, destined to become a basic utility similar to roads, electric service, telephone, cable and water. As a world it is growing and changing rapidly, thanks to contributions by countless individuals, with profound empowering effects on individuals, social groups, educational institutions, and governments. As a utility it is reducing distance, and costs of connecting across those distances, to zero -- posing huge challenges to infrastructure builders old and new.

Doc is also the first observer to note that the Web's infrastructure now supports more and more live activities, as well as the static constructions we call "sites." Thanks to podcasting, blogging, instant messaging and "texting" on cell phones, knowledge and ideas can "snowball" at unprecedented rates, with large effects. In his lecture he'll show how the "Live Web" of engaged individuals instantly provided helpful information about the recent Day Fire when official sources and the mainstream media both broke down or ignored the topic.