The Wealth of Networks: Questions

Discussion questions based on chapters 1-3 of Yochai Benkler’s book, The Wealth of Networks.

In The Wealth of Networks, Benkler explores the emergence of a new information environment due to advancements in technology and the Internet. From the industrial information economy of the 20th century, the 21st century has become a digital environment. However, this book was published in 2006 and does not take into account the emergence and popularity of multiple social media platforms. Would Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. effect the information presented in this book? Do Benkler’s predictions of the economy and socio-political future still relate?

Benkler explains that people are becoming less dependent on mass media since they can easily seek information instead. Does this mean the future of television, radio, etc. are in jeopardy of extinction? Will mass media die due to the Internet?

The Internet allows open sharing of information that is open for others to build on, extend, and make their own. Isn’t this helpful for advancements and innovation? Is this harmful or beneficial to the economy?

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