Another one of the presentations that I’d like to highlight from the Personal Democracy Forum is the one by Mark Pesce, who is currently an honorary professor at the University of Sydney.  I was glad that Pesce decided to make the trip because his speech was by far my favorite of the two-day forum.  A great written version of the speech can be found on his blog here, so I will save you the summary and simply discuss the fun facts that I found most intriguing.

In 1995, Wikis were invented for the Internet…but it wasn’t until 2001 that Wikipedia was invented.

It’s interesting that there was such a large learning gap between the two.  6 years for people to fully utilize what is now my favorite thing on the Internet.

Wikipedia is mob rule of factual knowledge…first attempt to garner general knowledge of all people around the world.

Never have I heard such a brilliant and insightful summary of Wikipedia.  “Mob rule of factual knowledge” may be the most telling phrase of the current generation.

Wikipedia is neither democratic nor transparent, and the list of rejected articles is ever-growing.

Now, here is something that I did not know.  I was fully aware that a small group of uber-wikipedians ruled the site, but the size of their iron fist is much greater than I expected.  Here is a link to a Wikipedia registered user who put together some interesting graphs on the topic.

“Being social has always been the best way to get ahead”

This could be my life motto.  I just wanted to highlight it here once more.

43,000,000,000 text messages were sent last year.

Like Pesce, I think that it’s amazing that this technology used to be dismissed as a fad.  I have some friends now that use text messaging more than actual phone calls.  This fact alone made me understand why I need to be more open to newer technology, as I am one of those people that dismisses nearly everything as a fad.

Hyper connectivity begets hypermimesis begets hyperempowerment.

Being well connected through technology helps us to learn by repetition.  With this additional learning comes great power through the mass collection of ideas.  The Obama campaign alone has taught as that, which Pesce highlights (several times) as an example.

I would also like to thank Pesce for being one of the frighteningly few presenters that encorporated several different Web 2.0 tools into his speech.  I mean, that’s the reason I was there…to see technology in politics and journalism.