Article Image
News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Cognitive Surplus: The Great Spare-Time Revolution

• Wired

And in June, Shirky is publishing Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, which mines adjacent territory. He argues that the time Americans once spent watching television has been redirected toward activities that are less about consuming and more about engaging—from Flickr and Facebook to powerful forms of online political action. (For an alternate perspective on the influence of the Internet, see Nicholas Carr’s essay) And these efforts aren’t fueled by external rewards but by intrinsic motivation—the joy of doing something for its own sake.

Wired had the two sit down for a conversation about motivation and media, social networking, sitcoms, and why the hell people spend their free time editing Wikipedia.

Pink: A few days ago, I was talking with someone about Wikipedia. And the guy shook his head dismissively and said about the people who contribute to it: “Where do they get the time?” We both think that’s a silly question.

Shirky: It is. People have had lots of free time for as long as there’s been the industrialized world. But that free time has mainly been something to be used up rather than used, especially in postwar America, with the rise of suburbanization and long commutes. Suddenly we no longer lived in tight-knit communities and therefore we spent less time interacting face-to-face. As a result, we ended up spending the bulk of our free time watching television.

 

Join us on our Social Networks:

 

Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network:


Attorney For Freedom