Yesterday’s Thoughts

April 27, 2008

Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus

As someone who has definitely expended too much of my life on the watching of Gilligan’s Island, this is heartening news. Shirky argues that there has been a cognitive surplus in the developed world and for the past 50 years we have been soaking up that surplus with situation comedies and that now we are ready to divert that surplus to something, anything that is participatory.

Sample fact: The time American’s spend watching television commercials every weekend is approximately equal to the entire time spent in creating Wikipedia to date.

Rule of thumb: “Doing anything is better than doing nothing.” “It’s better to do something than to do nothing.”

Via Jason Sutter who lives in New Zealand but shows up in my feed of blogs local to my zip code.

Update – 28 April 2008 Here (via Gruber) is a link to the text of the talk. Also, the quoted rule of thumb is corrected.

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