It is, in short, an example of how the world has changed. Cheap bits now compete with expensive bits and often put expensive bits at relative disadvantage.
Problem is, the complex business of media often can't convert itself to the simple business of media. It, and other systems and businesses, frequently have to collapse before they pick up the new traits.
"A world where that is the kind of thing that just happens from time to time is a world where complexity is neither an absolute requirement nor an automatic advantage," Shirky writes.
He says the old system is broken. It needs to understand something it cannot actually do. It is bureaucratized, laden with complexities, and just cannot compete.
"But there is one compensating advantage for the people who escape the old system: when the ecosystem stops rewarding complexity, it is the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to say what happens in the future," he concludes.