Thursday, April 23, 2015

Clay Shirky S/R

Clay Shirky’s “How cognitive surplus will change the world” strongly expresses the idea that humans enjoy creating new things, and want to share them with people around them. He explains that there are two different values of sharing these new designs, communal and civic. Communal value is created by participants for each other to enjoy, and civic value is created by participants for society to enjoy altogether. Shirky claims that the desire to share new creations will change the world.

In his TED Talk “How cognitive surplus will change the world”, Clay Shirky correctly states that the human instinct of wanting to create and share will change society. The willingness people have to collaborate with each other over new ideas could lead to huge projects that have the ability to impact the world. Everyone has some aspect of creativity to them, even if it comes out in different ways. Shirky pointed out that the stupidest possible creative act is still a creative act. It does not matter whether some people find it more creative than others, in the end it is still creative.
People constantly create new ideas that they are eager to share with their friends and, a lot of times, the community. When anyone is proud of something they have come up with, they do not want to just keep it to themselves, they want to spread it around. In schools, the variety of projects and drawings seen from kids is incredible. Each one of them thinks a different way and produces a completely original result. Then, after school, they run to show it to their parents because they are so proud of what they have accomplished. The parents later talk about about their children to their friends and co-workers; it becomes a chain of spreading one idea throughout a community, sometimes starting with just a child. That idea can become something noticed globally, and start a project for people to collaborate on. It is not always greatly noticed though, even if the movement makes a difference.
(“Save the Children.”)
Save the Children is an organization where you can sponsor a child in need for less than $1 a day. It is also a website with guidelines on how to improve children’s education and safety. I personally know friends and family who sponsor children, because they heard about it from someone else. My family took a similar idea and “adopted” a family in need for Christmas last year, which meant buying them all presents. This impacted me in a way that made me want to do more for society, and share with others the great experience I had. This, as Shirky explained, is the desire to share ideas. The way Shirky expressed the theory made me curious, but it did not strike me very deeply. He presented in a very neat way and incorporated humor to keep the audience engaged, yet he failed to share his enthusiasm and passion with the viewers. His point that sharing creativity and ideas being a human desire that will change the world should be something that society begins to spread around. This idea could lead to so many more, changing the way we know society today.

Works Cited
Farnsworth, Brian. "How Do YOU Define CREATIVITY?" Simplivative. Simplivative and EJ Bartells, 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. <>.

"Save the Children." Johnson Banks Identity & Brand Not-for-profit. Johnson Banks, 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. <>.

1 comment:

  1. Good summary and response. Make sure to have the proper format to your response topic sentence: title, author, position, main idea and a why. Good start with concrete examples going beyond Shirky's work and our class examples. Where else can you see Shirky's ideas in the world today? Spend time analyzing the connection between Shirky's speaking style and its application to your own TED talk.