Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

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Penguin Books Limited, Jul 1, 2010 - Social Science - 256 pages
11 Reviews

For decades, technology encouraged us to squander our time and as passive consumers. Today, tech has finally caught up with human potential. In Cognitive Surplus, Clay Shirky examines the changes we will all enjoy as our untapped resources of talent and good will are put to use at last.

Since the postwar boom, we've had a surfeit of intellect, energy, and time - a "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 to and through the early 20th Century. He also charts the vast effects that our cognitive surplus - aided by new technologies - will have on 21st Century society, and how we can best exploit those effects, and how the choices we make are not only economically motivated but driven by the desire for autonomy, competence, and community.

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User Review  - nnschiller - LibraryThing

I starting reading the print version of this, stalled out and set it down. Then I picked it up again using the audible.com version. I found this a very nice continuation of the work he began in Here ... Read full review

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User Review  - jimocracy - LibraryThing

This turned out to be about a different topic than I had expected but I still enjoyed it very much. The author looks at our society of Internet connectivity and social media. There were definitely some nuggets that made me think about things in a new way. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Clay Shirky teaches at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, where he researches the interrelated effects of our social and technological networks. He has consulted with a variety ofgroups working on network design, including Nokia, the BBC, Newscorp,Microsoft, BP, Global Business Network, the Library of Congress, the US Navy, the Libyan government, and Lego. His writings have appearedin the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, Harvard Business Review, Business 2.0, and Wired.

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