The problem of governance in a world of cascading tweets 

Aside from the fact that flash mobs are actually an offline thing (the author is almost painfully un-hip), this paragraph from page 380 of Niall Ferguson’s The Square and the Tower does a good job of explaining why we’re in the mess we’re in.

As Ferguson notes, the main problem is getting people’s attention and sustaining it on important issues. The news cycle, a constant barrage of celebrity gossip, and good old-fashioned nosy neighbourliness drowns out most engagement with serious problems.