Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Gin, Television, and Social Surplus

There are a number of gems is this speech from Clay Shirky (in essay form). Two “aha” moments for me:

“No one who works in TV gets to ask that question [where do people find the time to edit Wikipedia]. You know where the time comes from. It comes from the cognitive surplus you’ve been masking for 50 years.” (People watching a little less TV leaves a whole lot of time.)

“This information may or may not exist some place in society, but it’s actually easier for me to try to rebuild it from scratch than to try and get it from the authorities who might have it now.” (This is one of those things I’m pretty sure is hugely important but can’t yet articulate.)

April 26, 2008