Person-to-person networking as a social panacea

Quoting from Could Social Networking Save the World?

Rob Paterson has penned a long and extraordinary article suggesting that social networking tools, building on a foundation of finding and connecting and relating tools including weblogs, could be used to cut out the corporate and government middlemen everywhere, usurp the existing economy and power authority, and create peer-to-peer networks that would run everything.

Um, OK. That sounds a bit, well, utopian, but I’ll bite. I do agree that peer-to-peer relationship management has the potential to disrupt the pharaonic hierarchical approach to organizing just about everything that our corporations and governments and most other institutions inherited from feudalism and monarchy, but I see these changes happening gradually (despite the oomph of the word “disrupt”) and I don’t expect top-down organizations to vanish quietly. There will probably always be some role for command and control, but it may have to justify itself on a case-by-case basis if other modes of organization gather steam.
But don’t take my word for any of this. Read Rob’s article and then read Dave’s analysis to get a much more complete overview of the topic.