Monday, June 21, 2010

Clay Shirky: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

At the second WIRED Business Conference Clay Shirky explains how widespread education coupled with 21st-century technology has enabled what he terms "cognitive surplus," or the potential for large and cumulative creative endeavors. He argues that while it is responsible for inanity like Lolcats, "doing something is different from doing nothing." The full conference is available for purchase at and be sure to get his new book Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.

For a fascinating insight into a visionary mind, look how he starts his days:

Clay Shirky: What I Read

In the morning, I basically check two things. The obvious one is Twitter. I use Tweet Deck for friends, commentators and media outlets. The people I followed after seeing their tweets were @mike_FTW, Paul Kedrosky, Joe Solomon, Newt Gingrich

After I scan Twitter I check Netvibes, a module-based RSS reader. It's a lovely piece of software. My main source for world news is Al Jazeera. The rest of the RSS stuff is all feeds from opinionated aggregators. I look for relevant research, interesting themes and funny stories on sites like 3quarksdaily, Crooked Timber, Boing Boing and Slashdot. On Twitter and Netvibes, if I see something I want to read, I just open up a string of tabs. Usually between one and two dozen depending on what I see.

The only blog I read where I read it for a specific blogger's voice is Sady Doyleat Tiger Beatdown. I've read every word that Sady's written. She would be number one. If I had to pick two other bloggers it'd beNew York Times (though I generally only read the Times on the weekend),The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Neither of those really cover breaking news so I pile them up and save them for plane rides.

(via Atlantic Wire)

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