Wednesday 30 June 2010

Clay Shirky on 'Cognitive Surplus' (TED talk)

IMHO, well worth the 15 minutes to listen to this - even with the annoying failed sound synchronisation.

Some quotes/ideas:

"The gap is between doing something and doing nothing" (I'm reminded of the former Bishop of Oxford saying "If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing badly"!)

The daycare experiment - where introducing a fine for parents who were late increased the numbers who were late because it changed from operating on a social contract to a payment for services. It doesn't come at all as a surprise, but it is great to see such a neat demonstration of the effect. (Can anyone give me the reference for the paper he talks about. Update, someone did give it to me, in response to my request in a comment on the TED website. It is: Gneezy, U. & Rustichini, A. (2000), 'A Fine is a Price', Journal of Legal Studies 29(1), 1-17. Thank you Chris Ke-Sihai.)

"A trillion hours a year of participatory value up for grabs" {Added later - see this visualisation of time available)

The Ushahidi story is great, but is in danger of becoming over-used. The references to it can become trite. For a bit more depth, I'd recommend SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa Fahamu Books 2009.

PS, on LOLcats. Am I alone in not loving cats? One day I might post a rant about the cats that defecate in my garden, kill birds, rip open the bin bags in the street. But that'd be petty, wouldn't it?

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