Sunday, March 25, 2012

Solitude vs. Collaboration

To Susan Cain,

     Your article, "The Rise of the New Groupthink", poses many great arguments for the idea that working alone, in solitude, is a more efficient way of working. While they are strong points which I agree with for the most part, I believe that there's no correct answer one way or the other. The type of work being done is the determining factor when it comes to choosing how to go about a task. Collaborating and working in teams is always beneficial simply due to the fact there's more thoughts and ideas being thrown into the brainstorming. Working by oneself however also has its perks when it comes to avoiding any distraction and having one mind solely focused on the task at hand.
     In a paper written by Andrew Keen titled, "The Great Seduction from the Cult of the Amateur", he talks a lot about how the web is changing our view of such ideas like authorship and copyright. While Keen wholeheartedly disagrees with this new way of collaborating as a way of effective learning, I tend to disagree. The internet would literally not exist without teamwork, collaboration, and groupthink. It's one of the most essential places where pooling our ideas to accomplish something is almost always necessary.
     Another, more specific, place on the internet where collaboration is not only necessary but almost mandatory is Wikipedia. In a chapter of Clay Shirky's book, "Here Comes Everybody", he discusses all things Wikipedia and describes just what goes into making it one of the most popular websites on the internet today. As long as a user has access to the site, they're able to edit any page they think needs content added or revised. In fact, these same users are what make up the almost four million articles that exist on Wikipedia right now. Seeing this type of collaboration go into such a successful product is what convinces me that there's always a time and place for which group work is a very beneficial concept.

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