Cognitive Surplus

Cognitive Surplus

Creativity and Generosity in A Connected Age

Book - 2010
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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
Characteristics: 242 p. ;,22 cm.


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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).

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.

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