Clay's presentation at GoogleTalks is well worth watching.
"The author of the breakout hit 'Here Comes Everybody' reveals how new
technology is changing us from consumers to collaborators, unleashing a
torrent of creative production that will transform our world. For
decades, technology encouraged people to squander their time and
intellect as passive consumers. Today, tech has finally caught up with
human potential. In his latest book 'Cognitive Surplus' Clay Shirky
forecasts the thrilling changes we will all enjoy as new digital
technology puts our untapped resources of talent and goodwill to use at
last. Since we Americans were suburbanized and educated by the postwar
boom, we've had a surfeit of intellect, energy, and time-what Shirky
calls a cognitive surplus. But this abundance had little impact on the
common good because television consumed the lion's share of it-and we
consume TV passively, in isolation from one another. Now, for the first
time, people are embracing new media that allow us to pool our efforts
at vanishingly low cost. The results of this aggregated effort range
from mind expanding-reference tools like Wikipedia-to lifesaving-such as
Ushahidi.com, which has allowed Kenyans to sidestep government
censorship and report on acts of violence in real time…"
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