Clay Shirky on “Gin, Television and the Cognitive Surplus”

If this isn’t the best defense of Facebook, I don’t know what is:

Edge: GIN, TELEVISION, AND COGNITIVE SURPLUS A Talk By Clay Shirky.

If there is a problem here it’s that the notion of the “cognitive surplus” that Shirky promotes privilege the idea of pure production over consumption or, more favorably in my view, observation. Shirky likes very much the idea of people doing and making as opposed to watching, and I think that’s a good point; but isn’t one of the issues that we run into the stratification of these kinds of making and doing? It’s a different kind of sociability, to be sure, but the original technology for that sociablity was the city itself, and we have yet to perfect it; in other words, gin might still have a place in the system, even if TV doesn’t.

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