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.