Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cognitive Surplus

Just found a link (on Pacific Views) to this rather fascinating talk last month by a fellow named Clay Shirky, discussing the notion of cognitive surplus, which really amounts to the amount of brain-time we waste doing passive stuff like watching TV. The amounts he cites are staggering.

It's about a 15-minute video clip, but you can also read a transcript if you prefer.

Or you can probably get a lot of it from this couple of sentences:
However lousy it is to sit in your basement and pretend to be an elf, I can tell you from personal experience it's worse to sit in your basement and try to figure if Ginger or Mary Ann is cuter.

And I'm willing to raise that to a general principle. It's better to do something than to do nothing.
How much better? You need to check out the rest to find out.

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