Clay Shirky, adjunct professor at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, discusses his new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. Shirky talks about social and economic effects of Internet technologies and interrelated effects of social and technological networks. In this podcast he discusses social production, open source software, Wikipedia, defaults, Facebook, and more.
Tagged with “book:author=clay shirky” (10)
An interview with Clay Shirky.
Since the postwar boom, we’ve had a surfeit of intellect, energy and time.
Join Clay Shirky as he charts the effects that this ‘cognitive surplus’ - aided by new technologies - will have on 21st century society, and reveals that the choices we make are not only economically motivated but are also driven by the desire for autonomy, competence and community.
From Future Tense with John Moe:
Sometimes at night I’ll wonder what’s on TV. Surf around for a while, not find much, and get on the computer instead. There, I might update Facebook, tweet something on Twitter. And I’ll think, “It didn’t use to be like this.” Time away from work and responsibility used to be passive, we watched TV mutely, we read a book. We didn’t post videos to YouTube or edit Wikipedia. Online culture has meant that instead of just consuming culture, we also create it and share it. We don’t just watch Lost, we watch it and then go on message boards or even make our own videos.
This is a shift detailed in Clay Shirky’s new book Cognitive Surplus: creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. He teaches at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and has been a big thinker on the way we work together online for many many years. We talk to him about what this shift means for society in the long term.
In 2009, Apps For Democracy invited people to freely create applications using raw data generated by the federal government. Within 30 days there were over 40 working applications produced, and Apps For Democracy continues to be a success. However the 2005 L.A. Times wikitorial regarding the War in Iraq ended up at the opposite extreme in less than 48 hours, as debates turned into "flame wars" and indecent disrespect.
Clay Shirky discusses the difference between these efforts to engage the public, and briefly unpacks three important points to keep in mind when attempting to harness collaborative participation: The nature of the "Contract with the Users"; the need to accomodate the unpredictability of the users; and the danger of "Heisenberg’s press release".
Shirky also weaves in an experiment by Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini published in The Journal of Legal Studies on how the absence of clarity or firmness of clarity affects users behavior.
Have you ever played around with a gadget or application, only to discover it’s absolutely perfect for something different from its original design? This kind of inventiveness, or playfulness, happens all the time in our digital environment, but it signals a major shift in the relationship between the inventor or designer and the user.
Nora interviewed Clay Shirky about just that earlier this week. Clay is a big thinker on internet and culture, and he has a lot to say about how users shape the tools they use and how designers should respond to this new “interaction loop.”
Clay Shirky: Let a thousand flowers bloom to replace newspapers; don’t build a paywall around a public good
NYU professor and Internet thinker Clay Shirky gave a talk Tuesday at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, our friends just on the other side of Harvard Square. His subject was the future of accountability journalism in a world of declining newspapers. Even for those of us familiar with his ideas, he brought in a few new wrinkles, which have already been the subject of commentary around the web.
This is not a discussion of whether ebooks are killing treebooks, or whether it’s possible to get cozy with an Amazon Kindle. It’s about how participatory culture and the online world interact with good old book publishing. Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody, Deborah Schultz and fellow panelists will share with the audience a variety of perspectives on what’s going right and what’s going wrong in publishing, assess success of recent forays into marketing digitally, digital publishing, and what books and blogs have to gain from one another. Penguin Group (USA), which houses some 40 plus imprints and publishes an extremely broad variety of physical and digital products, everything from William Gibson’s first ebook in the 90’s to Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food to Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels (the source for HBO’s True Blood) is deeply involved in exploring ways that old and new media might better collaborate. Audience members are invited to speak up about what they think book publishers could / should be doing to better provide relevant information and content to blogs, websites, and online communities. Come tell old media what you want and how you want it.
Clay Shirky’s lucid and penetrating analysis will steer us through the online social explosion and ask what happens when people are given the tools to do things together, without needing traditional organisational structures.
Clay Shirky is one of the new culture’s wisest observers. He will argue that the dramatic improvement in our social tools makes our control over them much like steering a kayak; we are being pushed rapidly down a route largely determined by the technological environment.
We have a small degree of control over the spread of these tools, but that control does not extend to being able to reverse, stop, or even radically alter the direction we’re moving in.
The question now is therefore not whether the spread of these social tools is good or bad, but rather what the impact will be, for better or for worse.
This event was recorded on 3 February 2009 in the Old Theatre, Old Building Clay Shirky, one of the new culture’s wisest observers, steer us through the online social explosion and ask what happens when people are given the tools to work together, without needing traditional organisational structures. As online communication becomes ubiquitous, Shirky unpicks fundamental issues that are increasingly the source of much debate in particular in the media, in business, and in government, all of whom are grappling to make sense of the new social revolution. He argues that the conundrum is not whether the spread of these social tools is good or bad, but rather what the impact will be, for better or for worse.