Clay Shirky Cognitive Surplus

I headed back to ITP on Wednesday for the launch of Clay Shirky’s new book, Cognitive Surplus. Catherine White and I are starting a book club to discuss the book in a couple weeks, join the Google Group here (and tell me who you are if I don’t know you in real life) and here are some photos I took of the presentation at ITP:

Clay on the 2008 US Beef Protests in South Korea

Clay on lolcats

Clay on the Gneezy and Rustichini Haifa day care center study

Clay on the Grobanites for Charity

Cognitive Surplus on Amazon

Follow @cshirky on Twitter

Noisy Idiots


My ITP classmate, Catherine White, has set up a community on Ning to discuss her ongoing project.  In her own words:

My research is primarily focused on how we work together in groups, particularly how to make collaboration more fruitful, and efficient (and less painful – because it sometimes is). Specifically, I am looking at groups we are part of online.

My thesis project came out of a midterm paper I wrote in March for Clay Shirky’s Social Facts class. I studied a forum online and discovered that there are some people who can be pretty disruptive in groups – even though they may not be violating the rules of the group. Its these people I’m interested in studying, to see how we can structure and govern groups to make collaboration enjoyable, not painful – and to ensure that group decisions reflect the group as a whole….

One small explanation about the term ‘Noisy Idiots’ – my main aim is to find ways to include people in debate and groups. The phrase came about in a playful manner due to sheer frustration at seeing some people dominate group discussion in a disruptive way. This paper tackles tricky issues such as balancing free speech and constructive conversation, but the aim is to get us all talking and listening to each other. I also understand the very important role that minority voices play in conversation – and am in no way suggesting that we shouldn’t listen to those with a view that is different to ours.

I’d be hugely grateful to hear your thoughts – and your ideas, thank you.

Read the the draft of Catherine’s paper and join the conversation at the Noisy Idiots Ning Community. Continue reading Noisy Idiots