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Machines Like Us

The Potential of Cognitive Surplus

Saturday, 18 August 2012

During his lecture at Singularity University's 2011 Graduate Studies Program, Clay Shirky talked about the emergence of global interconnectedness and its effects on business, culture and human rights. Individuals are now able to transcend their immediate environment to work with people around the world based on shared interests and ideals. It's led to platforms like Ushahidi, which collects, aggregates, and mines data about inhumane and corrupt political events; and Linux, the operating system developed under the model of free and open source software distribution. Platforms that constrain themselves to people "in house' are missing out, as Sun Microsystem co-counder Bill Joy famously remarked: "no matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else."