…is the excellent title of this post by someone with the delightful name of Clay Shirky. The nub and, indeed, the crux of it is as follows
For the first time, society forced onto an enormous number of its citizens the requirement to manage something they had never had to manage before–free time. And what did we do with that free time? Well, mostly we spent it watching TV … And it’s only now, as we’re waking up from that collective bender, that we’re starting to see the cognitive surplus as an asset rather than as a crisis. We’re seeing things being designed to take advantage of that surplus, to deploy it in ways more engaging than just having a TV in everybody’s basement.
This is true. And important. And you should read the article, but not before you’ve finished catching up with the progress of our observing run over at the Galaxy Zoo blog.
Hat tip : Pamela.