Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Read Elsewhere: Abundance

From the book Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler:

"When people say we have an information-based economy, what they really mean is that what we have figured out is how to exchange information. Information is our latest, our brightest, commodity. 'In a world of material good and material exchange, trade is a zero-sum game,' says inventor Dean Kamen. 'I've got a hunk of gold and you have a watch. If we trade, then I have a watch and you have a hunk of gold. But if you have an idea and I have an idea, and we exchange them, then we both have two ideas. It's nonzero.'"


"Our new cooperative capabilities have given individuals the ability to understand and affect global issues as never before, changing both their sphere of caring and their sphere of influence by orders of magnitude. NYU professor of communication Clay Shirky uses the term 'cognitive surplus' to describe this process. He defines it as 'the ability of the world's population to volunteer and to contribute and collaborate on large, sometimes global, projects.'

'Wikipedia took one hundred million hours of volunteer time to create,' says Shirky. 'How do we measure this relative to other uses of time? Well, TV watching, which is the largest use of time, takes two hundred billion hours every year - in the US alone. To put this in perspective, we spend a Wikipedia worth of time every weekend in the US watching advertisements alone. If we were to forgo our television addiction for just one year, the world would have over a trillion hours of cognitive surplus to commit to share projects.' Imagine what we could do for the world's grand challenges with a trillion hours of focused attention."

No comments:

Post a Comment