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Cognitive Surplus : Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

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Cognitive Surplus : Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Shirky, Clay, 9781594202537
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  • ISBN: 9781594202537 | 1594202532
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 6/10/2010
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textbook, 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.

captured the ethos of social media with his textbook "Here comes everybody." He follows that book up with one that concentrates on the fundamentals of turning our cognitive surplus into value. This textbook provides a compelling and clear description of the fundamentals of social media and collaboration as well providing principles that are guiding developments and innovation in this space.

Cognitive Surplus, 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. The textbook 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.

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.

Clay Shirky teaches at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University and is the author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. He has consulted with groups working on network design, including Nokia, the BBC, Newscorp , Microsoft, BP, Global Business Network, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Navy, the Libyan government, and LEGO. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times (London), Harvard Business Review, Business 2.0, and Wired

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