The Cognotive Surplus

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. A new job is always stressful and tends to take something of an emotional toll. That’s why I haven’t written anything on my blog. I’ve been too busy. I have needed to just chill out. I have needed to let my brain completely disengage.

It was after watching this video of Clay Shirky that I realised that I wasn’t too busy…and I didn’t need to completely disengage by doing nothing. The reality was that I couldn’t be bothered. I was being lazy. Shirky talks about ‘cognotive surplus’ and how everybody has time and that this time is far better spent sharing, contributing etc rather than just being a passive consumer of…crap basically!

Its really inspiring stuff. He makes a great point about Wikipedia. I like Wikipedia. I regularly use it. I have however never contributed to it. I have certain interests that I could write about. Admittedly most of my entries would be about youth players from a North London football team who play in red and white…but at least I would be contributing. And if we all contributed, imagine the increase in the level of power we would be beginning to harness.

This is the point. There seems to be a tacit acknowledgement that to relax – we need to do something mind-numbing. We need to dumb down and do nothing. The challenge I am setting myself is to do the opposite and utilise free time to make my brain work in different ways – to experience new things.

Last Friday, I went to a (like mind) coffee morning. This is where likeminded creative people have a natter over some coffee. It’s not scary and not high brow like people I spoke to thought it would be…but is fun, inspiring and relevant. I really enjoyed it because it really fits with the idea of filling the cognotive surplus with STUFF.

On Twitter today, a guy called Iain Tait, whose blog I really like was challenged online to fulfill some unusual tasks – making butter, knitting etc. He set out to achieve these things and did so. It wasn’t self congratulatory but summed up his curiousity in life. Thats my task in hand… To challenge, to think…to not simply accept…

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