Cognitive surplus

Triggered by a weblog entry by the always-interesting Seth Godin, I stumbled on this fascinating 17-minute presentation by Clay Shirky, with his always-skillful way to present deep insights and analyses.

I no longer go watch TV. That trend started many years ago. Oh sure, I do watch movies, documentaries, and interviews (not news - all the Dutch news channels seem to be aimed at infants). But it’s been ages since I sat down to do nothing, waiting to be distracted or entertained. I’m grateful that Shirky finally explains how “the media” - as they are today - are essentially an aberration.

It also explains why open source communities have a virtually unlimited amount of time, energy, and talent at their disposal.

Reality sinks in...

Offensive wars are an offense against humanity.
When natural disaster strikes, we act, immediately.
When man-made ones are being created... we don’t?

One day, I will look back on my life and feel infinite shame and guilt.
To know and to ignore. To postpone compassion - indefinitely.
Burying myself in helplessness - can’t change things anyway, right?

Right. Yet so wrong.

Getting things done

No, not David Allen’s stuff...

Great interview (audio) + fantastic presentation (video) about why finishing is so hard.

I don't tweet

Captain Picard, eh... I mean Sir Patrick Stewart.

Not doing what everyone else does matters. In times of war, and in times of luxury.

Debilitating complexity

At last, someone who points out that computers are far too complex still (and how the iPad might change that). I’ve been waiting for decades for someone to spell it out. Non-nerds have suffered nerd lock-in way too long. Not a day goes by without someone asking me something about computers, because they can’t solve it or fix it, or understand it.