Cognitive Surplus is very interesting. I agree with Clay Shirky that creating anything online is better than sitting in front of a television. I do see drawbacks with some of the content online and how that content is utilized. I just think overall, the internet is more positive for our minds than the television.
A major drawback that I can think about from this course would have to be cyber weapons. I hate that hackers are out there, professional and not, trying to find ways to attack people using the internet. Our society is becoming to heavily wrapped around internet usage for something like that to happen! These ideas make me wish that those individuals would just go watch television.
It’s hard for me to think of a meaningful cognitive surplus project. I would think that all of the user generated content that helped me prepare for motherhood was meaningful. I read reviews for just about everything from car seats to bottles. I benefitted by saving time, energy, and money. I don’t think this is a civic duty though, people survived for years without all of the information I was given online!
A few years ago I met a roommate through Craigslist. That was a pretty big disaster that only lasted about a month but it was a very easy process. I would think that Craigslist was a cognitive surplus project. It happens to be incredibly dangerous but I know several people who have had success with it. If Craigslist was changed I might be more open to using it again. It would need to be better monitored and restricted. The content on Craigslist is shady to say the least. But if you’re looking to buy or sell something pretty quick, it’s a really good option.
Contributing to the efforts of a project reminded me of the lost cell phone that we read about. The cell phone was returned because of bloggers and a community pulling together. I’m very interested in blogging after I’ve taken this course!
I have no spare time now to contribute to anything besides a needy seven month old and my homework once he goes to sleep. Once he becomes more independent I’m going to get more involved in mommy blogging! I’ve read several and I’d love to contribute to that community. I’ve learned a lot of fun ways to jazz up my blogs and I have a lot of fun doing it. I’m not going to do that to try to make money, although several bloggers do, I’m mainly trying to connect with other moms. This will help me co-parent with my son’s father, who I’m not with. I will find creative, exciting things to do with my son, be it food, outdoors, play, fashion, school. I’m looking for an all around multifaceted way to bring him culture and understanding. I don’t want him to be just raised in a small town doing everything that small town people do. Plus I’m an English major and love reading and writing.