Cognitive Surplus: Clay Shirky

Written by Visual Thinker. Posted in Articles, Communication, Drive, Innovation

Cognitive Surplus: Clay Shirky

Published on October 11, 2014 with No Comments

Clay Shirky has released a new book, Cognitive Surplus.

Reports are that you cannot put it down.  Reviews state that it doesn’t provide answers, but does open your mind to a new paradigm of media consumption.  He makes an argument that we (consumers of media) are transforming and are seeking media we can interact with and be active participants in.  Clay brings insight about future viewers/users/listeners, “Media that targets you, but doesn’t include you may not be worth sitting still for.”


Cory Doctorow has provided valuable insight to the new book …

Cognitive Surplus continues to prove that Clay Shirky is one of the best thinkers and advocates the net has. It’s a delight to read and will change how you think about the future.

Shirky is very good on the connection between trivial entertainments and serious business, from writing web-servers to changing government. Lolcats aren’t particularly virtuous examples of generosity and sharing, but they are a kind of gateway drug between zero participation and some participation. The difference between “zero” and “some” being the greatest one there is, it is possible and even likely that lolcatters will go on, some day, to do something of more note together. These sections are a warm and compelling rebuttal to people who argue that the net is a fad or a toxic waste heap, and his systematic argument is so well-reasoned that it might as well be a road-map for winning frustrating arguments about the net.

The last chapter of the book is a kind of roadmap for building your own structures for enabling participation, drawn from Clay’s long history of teaching and consulting, and it’s as practical as the rest is theoretical. ” READ MORE

Clay gave a  presentation several years ago with the same title at a web 2.0 conference.  He tells a story about the way media has and continues to change.

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