Web 2.0 and all my extra brainage

This is a profoundly geeky thing to blog about, but perhaps it will widen my fan base to include online gamers and Wikipedians, my most neglected demographic.

Web 2.0 guru Clay Shirky recently published a book entitled Here Comes Everybody. I am dying to read this book due to the persuasive strength of “Gin, Television, and Social Surplus,” a talk the author gave at a nerd conference last week.

Shirky believes that modern society functions with a massive cognitive surplus, a surplus we primarily devote to drinking liquor and watching TV. But recently Web 2.0 – the gospel of society’s consuming, producing, and sharing information instead of just idly absorbing it – has engaged this cognitive surplus in a more worthwhile way. Now people can devote millions of hours to debating the planetary integrity of Pluto on the internet, whereas 15 years ago those same hours would have been spent on sitcom reruns.

This, believe it or not, is progress. Information is becoming more inclusive than exclusive, more interactive than inactive, more loving sex partner than life-size blow-up doll. But we can still lament the ’90s brain drain of thousands of MTV hours, time that I could have passed blogging, or that you could have passed reading and commenting on my blog.

One Thought on “Web 2.0 and all my extra brainage

  1. It wasn’t all a waste. I like to think all that television watching gave those “slackers” the shot in the arm needed for them to build the infrastructure for a national support group where we all now slack together.

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