As far as the Philippines goes, Shirky has got it wrong. Shirky claims that text-messaging mobilization brought Joseph Estrada down. Not true. Estrada's political capital was on a steady decline owing to accusations of corruption and shady deals. Then he had a falling out with his ally, a prominent politician and gambling lord, who tattled on their agreements. Estrada was impeached for, among many other reasons, forging a signature. From there, it was downhill all the way to the precipice: opportunistic politicians made backroom deals, army and police generals withdrew their support, the judiciary colluded, and Estrada's then-vice president Gloria Arroyo took over.
Text messaging? All it did was whip up the mob which provided cover for what can be called, for all intents and purposes, a coup d'etat.
In the latter years of Gloria Arroyo, herself rocked by corruption scandals, all sorts of people tried to use social media to mobilize the crowds: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, what have you. Apart from the noise and the wasted electrons, did it result in her fall from power? No. Because business, congress, judiciary, and the military did not want any turbulent transition.
Social media did play a small role in bearing enough public pressure on Arroyo whenever she and her cronies tried constitutional change and term extension, but only as far as drawing attention of the international media (and the US and Chinese governments) to possible unrest and instability.
As to the actual transition, we did it the old-fashioned way: elections.
I use mGSD (formerly known as MonkeyGTD) for my to-do lists. It lets me keep track of tasks and organize them by projects and by action. It even has some support for dependencies. I can keep it on USB and it's portable between systems. It does take just a bit of effort to understand how to get into it, but once you do, it's pretty intuitive.
For organizing notes, I use Tiddlywiki, the platform on which mGSD is built on.
For keeping track of web sites, I mostly rely on Google Reader.
And for the stuff that I want to remember, I blog. Yeah, I know, blogging, especially the personal kind, doesn't get a whole lot of respect anymore, but I've been able to look back into entries five years ago and say, "Whoa, I did that."
I'm still looking for a good solution for keeping track of files and documents.
Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.