Cognitive Surplus at Conferences

It struck me that Clay Shirky’s lovely notion of cognitive surplus has another expression in these panel and single speaker conferences. Where sitcoms mask cognitive surplus, occasions like this NESTA Innovation conference amplify and magnify it. We have 3,000 smart people (ok not smart enough to not come, but pretty smart nonetheless) sitting in a room listening to 4 other smart people on stage. The weight of ideas, thoughts, inspiration and excitement is enormous, and for me anyway painful – we all rush out to grab food and talk rapidly before coming back in to listen to the prime minister. Gaaaah! Cue Desperate Housewives.

Tim Berners-Lee on web science.

Just a snippet. Cross not to have power supply.

Sir Tim says something to the effect of:

People doing interesting things fall between stools. The web has to be thought of as humanity connected, rather than an interconnection of computer systems. And you have to remember it’s big, very big and it’s complex. It’s not apparent yet what all of its characteristics are. We don’t know yet for example what the blogosphere is and how it will behave. We just don’t know – we can’t show that it’s stable. So we have to study it, we have to understand it better so that we can take care of it.

The Innovation Edge

Live blogging a bit from the Royal Festival Hall as and when today. No power in the hall at all, so currently on 53 minutes 😛

We’ve got a whole bunch of big names talking to us this morning, TB-L & Bob Geldof with a rumoured appearance by the PM. First impression – it’s bloody huge! We’ve heard talk of 3-4,000 people. The hall is full and I think we’re just about to be moved out of the front-row seats we’d grabbed by being the first in. It was too good to be true.

Or maybe not. No, we’re sitting still Ha Ha!