Cognitive surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

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For decades, technology encouraged people to squander their time and intellect as passive consumers. Today, technology 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, 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.
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Grouped Work ID 1896d023-576c-1f18-07d0-235872ba20b9
Grouping Title cognitive surplus creativity and generosity in a connected age
Grouping Author shirky clay
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-09-23 04:48:29AM
Last Indexed 2018-09-23 04:52:04AM

Solr Details

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author Shirky, Clay.
author_display Clay Shirky
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detailed_location_arlington Central Adult Nonfiction, Glencarlyn Adult Nonfiction

The author of the breakout hit Here Comes Everybody reveals how new technology is changing us for the better.

In his bestselling Here Comes Everybody, Internet guru Clay Shirky provided readers with a much-needed primer for the digital age. Now, with Cognitive Surplus, he reveals how new digital technology is unleashing a torrent of creative production that will transform our world. For the first time, people are embracing new media that allow them to pool their efforts at vanishingly low cost. The results of this aggregated effort range from mind-expanding reference tools like Wikipedia to life-saving Web sites like, which allows Kenyans to report acts of violence in real time. Cognitive Surplus explores what's possible when people unite to use their intellect, energy, and time for the greater good.

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subject_facet Information society, Mass media -- Social aspects, Social media
title_display Cognitive surplus : creativity and generosity in a connected age
title_full Cognitive Surplus Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, Cognitive surplus : creativity and generosity in a connected age / by Clay Shirky
title_short Cognitive surplus :
title_sub Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age
topic_facet Business, Nonfiction