At the dawn of the industrial
revolution, London was awash in gin. Getting drunk was a collective (and very
public) way of spending free time. After the 1950s, TV was the new ‘gin’ for the
masses in many countries. Bored with all that extra time? Turn on I Love
Lucy. Buy the stuff hawked on the advertisements. It became a way of life. A
free-time life that most people continue to accept without much thought.
As Wikipedia suggests, some people
have capped the gin bottle, turned off their TV, rolled up their sleeves, and
contributed their two cents worth.
It is about our overwhelming desire
to consume, to be judged by what we consume, to draw our identity from
consumption. These are the ideas that Clay Shirky has been exploring.
The Edge, I came across Clay Shirky’s thoughtful talk titled GIN, TELEVISION, AND COGNITIVE SURPLUS “This is something that
people in the media world don't understand. Media in the 20th century was run as
a single race—consumption. How much can we produce? How much can you consume?
Can we produce more and you'll consume more? And the answer to that question has
generally been yes. But media is actually a triathlon, it 's three different
events. People like to consume, but they also like to produce, and they like to
Clay Shirky also wrote: Here Comes
I can highly recommend the