A nice little nudge from Information is Beautiful reminding me to post one of Clay Shirky's stickiest stats about cognitive surplus:
200 billion hours of television watched in the US vs the 100 million hours estimated to have been spent on the creation of Wikipedia. Or to put it another way the US watches a wikipedia's worth of TV advertising every weekend. It's pretty easy to go binary at this point (as many have) about what Clay Shirky's suggesting. TV bad, digital creation good. He's the first to acknowledge that there will always be those for whom consumption will continue to dominate and be preferrable. The point he's making is about what happens when technology enables two new actions - create and share - that amplify the ancient human behaviours of socialise and belong. This is where technology becomes it's most interesting and most powerful: the intersection between new enablement that amplify hard-wired primeval needs.