Welcome to the New Medieval Age

Welcome to the New Medieval Age
Christine Huang
  • 31 january 2008

In his blog ThisBlogSitsAt, Grant McCracken offers an interesting perspective on the changing of guards in the overlapping worlds of media and commerce, authority shifting away from large institutions and corporations and congregating around smaller networks and individuals (the Tim O’Reillys and other, dare we say, influentials of the world). McCracken compares this power dynamic, though still very much in flux, to a medieval model of government: the large entities act like nation-states that operate “order-in,” with “an embracing idea, and an embracing bureaucratic order” while new media and influencers (and the events they hold, like O’Reilly’s FooCamp) reign as “order-out” city-states, “[existing] in a larger domain that is relatively chaotic.. [creating] order, most intensely within the walls of the city proper, but also in the concentric rings that run out into the ever more lawless countryside. ”

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