In 2010, when I graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, the keynote speaker was Clay Shirky, a professor of journalism and new media, as well as an esteemed author, lecturer and all around guru of our tech-driven past, present, and future. I have thought about his speech quite regularly since then, and about his incredible book "Here Comes Everybody," which I read soon after.
In the last few months, throughout the election and in its aftermath, I kept finding myself thinking: what would Clay Shirky think about all this? I decided I might as well reach out and perhaps he would be willing to speak to me. After he quite unexpectedly agreed, I was suddenly quite overwhelmed with the number of questions I had, and by my inevitable inability to ask them clearly or succinctly. Luckily, he is better at speaking than almost anyone I've ever spoken to, so I didn't have to do much beyond giving him a nudge this way or that.
He is currently finishing up a stint at NYU in Shanghai, so we spoke via Skype, and we covered a wide range of topics, including Trump's election, fake news, the history of media, the invention of the printing press, and much more. I hope you enjoy.
P.S. I am hoping to do more interviews of this sort, and will at that time rerelease this interview as part one of a series, but until then, I am happy to share it here on its own.
Music Credit: "Little Walter Rides Again" by Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood