Monday, July 30, 2007

Praise and Curse of the City

In The Uses of Disorder, Richard Sennett argues in favor of anarchic cities. Overly controlled spaces don't allow people to grow into adulthood and are deadly dull. Some Web 2.0 social spaces are open to the kind of participation and conviviality from which challenge, complexity, and maturity can develop. This photograph is one of the 46,456 images contributed by 2,452 members of the Flickr pool titled "The Praise and Curse of the City."
Perhaps the Internet can gain the qualities of social life present in the best kinds of urban areas. With participation on such a generous scale, sites like Flickr offer more than just access to new images; technologies like tagging also allow us new categories of understanding, categories that would never be part of a top-down, planned design.

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