Clay Shirky

For decades, technology encouraged us to squander our time as passive consumers. Today, technology has finally caught up with human potential. In his new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, 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 post-war boom, we’ve had a surfeit of intellect, energy, and time - a cognitive surplus. Shirky argues that this cognitive surplus - rather than being some strange new departure from normal behaviour - 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.

Clay Shirky teaches at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, where he researches the interrelated effects of social and technological networks. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Times, Harvard Business Review, Business 2.0, Wired, and he is a regular keynote speaker at tech conferences. He is the author of the books Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.

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Clay Shirky

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Posted on Wed 30 June 2010.