Miss Letting-Go-Getting


“Looking for the Mouse”
June 2, 2008, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Life, Videos | Tags: ,

This talk given by Web 2.0 guru Chris Shirky is absolutely brilliant. Essentially he asks the question, what could we do with the cognitive surplus that has been masked by the hundreds of millions of hours of passive television watching we Americans do? He makes the argument that it was gin that masked the cognitive surplus leading into the industrial revolution and the sitcom that is masking the next one.

Where do people find the time to participate in this new collaborative Web 2.0 world? What could we do with even 1% less television watching? Hmmmm. He puts it into perspective:

  • 100 million hours of human thought that make up the information in all of Wikipedia
  • Americans spend approximately 100 million hours a weekend watching television ads
  • Americans spend approximately 200 billion hours a year watching television.

WOW!

He closes the talk with the story of a friend’s four year old daughter who while watching a movie one evening went behind the television in desperate pursuit of the mouse. Four year olds already know that “media that’s targeted at you but doesn’t include you may not be worth sitting still for.” I love that. Imagine what these four year olds will do.

How do we deploy the cognitive surplus? Stop being passive!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be all high and mighty here, I love my television (and my gin). In this crazy world we live in it is so necessary to zone out on the couch every once and awhile. I refuse to give up my Top Chef and my Lost, but perhaps I could do something better with the other hours I spend passively watching reruns of shows I’ve seen a gazillion times? Perhaps.

Try it. Watch just a little less television today and see what you come up with.

XXXOOO

Miss LGG

Part 1:

Part 2:

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