Internet revolution has just begun
Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations and the new book Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age says that we are seeing just the beginning of the cultural and creative opportunities afforded by our use of the Internet. It's key to note that Shirky doesn't credit the Internet; he credits the creativity and innovation of the people who use - the "souls of the machine."
As part of the senior-project presentations at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program, Shirky "encouraged programmers and Web designers to build online systems that will get visitors talking, sharing, and creating, rather than passively reading and watching."
Perhaps his most provocative point was that in his estimation Americans now spend 200 billion hours each year passively watching televsion - "with 100 million hours of that squandered each weekend watching just advertisements."
Just imagine what we could so with all of that "cognitive surplus" if we learned to redirect it into making creative and innovative contributions online.
"What matters most now is our imaginations," he writes at the end of his new book. "The opportunity before us, individually and collectively, is enormous; what we do with it will be determined largely by how well we are able to imagine and reward public creativity, participation, and sharing."
Read Jeffrey R. Young's complete article at The Chronicle.