Monday, July 19, 2010

POW: Clay Shirkey

I just got around to listening to a very good lecture by Clay Shirky sponsored by LSE.  Shirky discusses his concept of "Cognitive Surplus".  The gist of it is that by converting a small sliver of the time otherwise spent watching TV (passively consuming) into active creation we are able to reap enormous benefits.  For example, the total number of all hours spent creating wikipedia is less then the time we spend watching commercials on any given weekend. 

The internet thus far has provided mostly private benefits.  Those interested in a particular topic are empowered to discover and create content virtually cost free, excluding time.  That isn't a bad thing, but what Shirky looks forward to is projects with a global impact- voluntary collaborative efforts that fundamentally change cultures.

This was an entertaining and interesting lecture, I strongly recommend it.

Fans of Shirky's work can find an Econtalk interview from 2008 here.

No comments: