Worth a Look: Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus & Crisis Mapping

Augmented Reality, Collaboration Zones, Collective Intelligence, Communities of Practice, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, info-graphics/data-visualization, InfoOps (IO), International Aid, IO Sense-Making, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Maps, Methods & Process, Policies, Tools, Worth A Look

About this talk

Clay Shirky looks at “cognitive surplus” — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we’re busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we’re building a better, more cooperative world.  TED Video of Talk.

About Clay Sharpey

Clay Shirky believes that new technologies enabling loose ­collaboration — and taking advantage of “spare” brainpower — will change the way society works.  Learn more.

Core Point: Over a trillion hours a year in cognitive surplus–Internet and media tools are shifting all of us from consumption to production.  We like to create; we like to share.  Now we can.

More From TED on The Rise of Collaboration

Recommended by Dr. Kent Myers.  His additional commentary:

This talk gets at something that could go into the proposal for Virtual Systemic Inquiry (VSI).  I need to emphasize that the VSI products have civic value.  That motivates participation, but we also need to make it a little more obvious and easy how to participate, in order that generosity can flow more readily from more people.  That’s what I was trying to get at by making projects more standardized and quick.  Software can let that flow, as Shirky says.  The process and products should probably be pretty in some way too, like IDEO (also LOL cats).

Review (Guest): Cognitive Surplus–Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

6 Star Special, Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Environment (Solutions), Future, Information Society, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
Amazon Page

Recommended by Dr. Kent Myers.  Eleveated by Phi Beta Iota to 6 Stars and Beyond because this book is much more readable than Wealth of Networks and captures the essence for the general reader in a manner more likely to accelerate understanding and transformation.

5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended as THE book to understand the fundamentals of social media collaboration

June 27, 2010

Reviewed by M. McDonald

Clay Shirky captured the ethos of social media with his book Here comes everybody. He follows that book up with one that concentrates on the fundamentals of turning our cognitive surplus into value. Cognitive Surplus 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.

There are many books out there that either describe the social media phenomenon or profess to provide a `recipe’ for success. Neither of these approaches can provide you with the insight needed to effectively experiment and deploy social media for the simple reason that social media is changing too fast.

The book is organized into seven chapters that outline a complete way of thinking about social media.

Continue reading “Review (Guest): Cognitive Surplus–Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age”

Review: Here Comes Everybody–The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

5 Star, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Democracy, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum)
Here Comes
Amazon Page

Five for Synthesis & Explanation, March 2, 2008

Clay Shirky

I was modestly disappointed to see so few references to pioneers I recognize, including Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly, Joe Trippi, and so on. Howard Rheingold and Yochai Benkler get single references. Seeing Stewart Brand’s recommendation persuaded me I don’t know the author well enough, and should err on the side of his being a genuine original.

Certainly the book reads well, and for someone like me who reads a great deal, I found myself recognizing thoughts explored by others, but also impressed by the synthesis and the clarity.

A few of my fly-leaf notes:

+ New technologies enable new kinds of groups to form.

+ “Message” is key, what Eric Raymond calls “plausible promise.”

+ Can now harness “free and ready participation in a large distributed group with a variety of skills.”

+ Cost-benefit of large “unsupervised” endeavors is off the charts.

+ From sharing to cooperation to collective action

+ Collective action requires shared vision

+ Literacy led to mass amatuerism, and I have note to myself, the cell phone can lead to mass on demand education “one cell call at a time”

+ Transactions costs dramatically lowered.

+ Revolution happens when it cannot be contained by status quo institutions

+ Good account of Wikipedia

+ Light discussion of social capital, Yochai Bnekler does it much better

+ Value of mass diversity

+ Implications of Linux for capitalism

+ Excellent account of how Perl beat out C++

Bottom line in this book: “Open Source teaches us that the communal can be at least as durable as the commercial.

Other books I recommend:
Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, & the Economic World
Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology
The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier
Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised : Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

There is of course also a broad literature on complexity, collapse, resilience, diversity, integral consciousness and so on.

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