For decades, technology encouraged people to squander their time and intellect as passive consumers. Today, technology has finally caught up with human potential. In Cognitive Surplus, Internet guru 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.
"Many Helpful Insights"
Since the 1990s China has been climbing up the ladder of quality, from doing knockoffs to designing its own high-end goods. Xiaomi - its name literally means "little rice" - is landing squarely in this shift in China's economy. But the remarkable rise of Xiaomi from startup to colossus is more than a business story because mobile phones are special. The common desiderata of the global population, mobile phones offer the kind of freedom and connectedness that autocratic countries are terrified of.
"Informative and up to date."
A revelatory examination of how the wildfirelike spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exist within them, with profound long-term economic and social effects - for good and for ill. A handful of kite hobbyists scattered around the world find each other online and collaborate on the most radical improvement in kite design in decades. A midwestern professor of Middle Eastern history starts a blog after 9/11 that becomes essential reading for journalists covering the Iraq war.
"Sorry I don't see the magic"
The open-source world has learned to deal with a flood of new, oftentimes divergent, ideas using hosting services like GitHub - so why can't governments? In this rousing talk Clay Shirky shows how democracies can take a lesson from the Internet, to be not just transparent but also to draw on the knowledge of all their citizens.