Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cognitive Surplus

Below are two links about what Clay Shirky has to say that made me remember a chat (I mean a real chat, like Internet Relay Chat aka IRC:) with a pal named "Empe" more than 10 years ago. Back then we were playing Quake online, chilled out and organized the next couple of games in chat rooms, and observed the whole scene and how web pages got created all around it (I remember for Capture the Flag it was made obligatory to study a certain web page with all the strategic positions for the standard maps that were played. As there were a few young kids who didn't speak English, one guy took the effort to translate the page into German.) So basically Empe said, people are bypassing the whole media and commercial system by entertaining each other and they are not even spending much while doing so.

Anyway, Clay Shirky's point is how much time is spent watching TV compared to the time that was needed to create something like Wikipedia. Furthermore he compares TV (before the emergence of the Internet) to the time when the industrial revolution started and the cities for the first time became really big and crowded and people were basically killing the time drinking Gin and before society started to create all kinds of new institutional forms to organise and make use of all the people stuck in one place.

Cognitive Surplus
Cognitive Surplus Part II (contains a video)

Pointer is from The Big Picture.

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