Cognitive Surplus

Cognitive Surplus

Creativity and Generosity in A Connected Age

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
2
2
Baker & Taylor
Explains how new media technologies are prompting a return from consumerism to collaboration, making predictions about imminent wide-scale creative innovations that will positively transform civilization.

Blackwell Publishing
The author of the breakout hit Here Comes Everybody reveals how new technology is changing us from consumers to collaborators, unleashing a torrent of creative production that will transform our world.

For decades, technology encouraged people to squander their time and intellect as passive consumers. Today, tech has finally caught up with human potential. In Cognitive Surplus, Internet guru Clay Shirky forecasts the thrilling changes we will all enjoy as new digital technology puts our untapped resources of talent and goodwill to use at last.

Since we Americans were suburbanized and educated by the postwar boom, we've had a surfeit of intellect, energy, and time-what Shirky calls a cognitive surplus. But this abundance had little impact on the common good because television consumed the lion's share of it-and we consume TV passively, in isolation from one another. Now, for the first time, people are embracing new media that allow us to pool our efforts at vanishingly low cost. The results of this aggregated effort range from mind expanding-reference tools like Wikipedia-to lifesaving-such as Ushahidi.com, which has allowed Kenyans to sidestep government censorship and report on acts of violence in real time.

Shirky argues persuasively that this cognitive surplus-rather than being some strange new departure from normal behavior-actually returns our society to forms of collaboration that were natural to us up through the early twentieth century. He also charts the vast effects that our cognitive surplus-aided by new technologies-will have on twenty-first-century society, and how we can best exploit those effects. Shirky envisions an era of lower creative quality on average but greater innovation, an increase in transparency in all areas of society, and a dramatic rise in productivity that will transform our civilization.

The potential impact of cognitive surplus is enormous. As Shirky points out, Wikipedia was built out of roughly 1 percent of the man-hours that Americans spend watching TV every year. Wikipedia and other current products of cognitive surplus are only the iceberg's tip. Shirky shows how society and our daily lives will be improved dramatically as we learn to exploit our goodwill and free time like never before.

Watch a Video



Baker
& Taylor

The author of Here Comes Everybody explains how new media technologies are prompting a return from consumerism to collaboration, making predictions about imminent wide-scale creative innovations that will positively transform civilization.
The author of the breakout hit "Here Comes Everybody" reveals how new technology is changing us from consumers to collaborators, unleashing a torrent of creative production that will transform our world.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2010
ISBN: 9781594202537
1594202532
9780143119586
0143119583
Branch Call Number: 303.4833 Sh65c
Characteristics: 242 p. ; 22 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

sbkaur Dec 04, 2014

No new insights here - his first book "Here comes everybody" is more original and this book, his second, expounds on the first.
Apart from the fact that 2 billion people are now online, organizations and governments cannot hold back this tide. But they are trying - witness EU trying to make Google "forget" everyone and breakup itself into different companies. It's like the US broke up AT&T - that same spirit is behind the EU moves against "les GAFA" (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon).

n
Nickaccount
Jan 30, 2011

Clay Shirky, in Cognitive Surplus, uses many examples and studies done by the likes of psychologist Edward Deci and economist Eleanor Ostrom to demonstrate how it is part of human nature to be generous, to share and to self govern. That we are motivated to, and have created, a culture of generosity. (Note: "Motive" and "Culture" are two of the book's chapter titles.)

By way of example he shows how it is through the generosity of cognitive surplus that we have open source computer code like Linux and Apace. Linux is an operating system used mainly in internet applications by Dell, IBM, HP, Oracle, Novell, and Nokia; and, Apace is the primary way website http-web-page-code is displayed on a computer screen. It is generosity that has made the internet we know of today.

Who knows, to paraphrase Shirky: "Someday we may find Web 2.0's mouse." More importantly, the book is a great read, if only for an explanation of the innate spontaneous generosity of individuals and what such generosity can create.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at Northern Indiana Database Cluster

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top