A hopeful trend
But some scholars say that the Internet — by fostering collaboration on a communal, open platform — has changed the way Americans think about sharing and ownership. Collaborative habits online are beginning to find expression in the real world.
“I thought that online was an exception,” said Yochai Benkler, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, whose coming book, “The Penguin and the Leviathan,” focuses on the explosion of cooperative endeavors, both online and off. “I now am more confident that the phenomenon is not limited to online but is a general phenomenon of human behavior.”
Publishers have taken note, with books like Lisa Gansky’s “The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing” and Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers’s “What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption,” published this month.