Cognitive Surplus Chapter 1 Blog

I am an avid TV watcher. I have certain shows that I watch daily ( Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson) and weekly (NCIS, CASTLE, BONES, Big Bang Theory).  All my shows are recorded weekly on the DVR for my husband to watch when he comes home off the road. My son is autistic and the television is one of his “things”. He watches entirely too much TV-but his favorite shows are all learning shows. My nine-year-old daughter has a TV hooked up to Dish Network and the DVR and she has favorite shows we tape weekly. Overall, we watch a lot of TV. The television is my backdrop for the day-the thing is my background noise. The house is too quiet without the “sqawkbox”. I am also a gamer-mostly RPGs like Skyrim and Final Fantasy XIII. My family is convinced that I need a twelve-step program for my Skyrim addiction. As much TV as I watch I also read a lot! My kids also have picked up my love of books.


I do not participate in any web sites except for Facebook. I do have a few blogs out there-but they would not be appropriate for class! I do have notes on Facebook that would qualify as creative contributions, but I think that writing this essay is also a creative outlet. I would have loved to be an author! I wanted to try NanoWrimo ( year, but I just did not have time with school and my other obligations (Girl Scouts and PTA). I love Nano’s whole premise-write anything good or bad just to do it! I made it to 25000 words one year but had some issues with my children (is not that always the way?) and did not get to finish.


I think I understand the meaning of “more is different” to a point. More people with more access will equal more interactions than if you are just on the passive end-which is to say that sitting on the couch watching the news is less interactive than taking a video of the news-making incident and posting it online. I also liked the pizza analogy when the author said “…with a large enough crowd, unpredictable events become predictable.” (p. 24 Cognitive Surplus) I think that one phrase says so much!  When the “crowd” is global, how can anything be unpredictable?


I am buying the idea that contributing to sites like LOLCATS is better than sitting on the couch but I am surprised that he did not mention, in this chapter at least, how TV has also become interactive. Television programs like The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and America’s got Talent take sitting on the couch and watching television to a different level. You are able to make decisions that affect the show. I think television has concluded that its days are numbered if it does not become more like social media. Now days you can tweet about your favorite programs, sometimes as you are watching them. Shows like A&E’s Walking Dead have a television show after each new episode that viewers can text or tweet questions to, to be answered by actors/producers/writers/directors of the show. Most popular shows have websites complete with discussion boards, games you can play and ways to “talk” to the show’s casts.( Here is the one for Walking Dead: ( I think that this is a trend we will see more of in the future.

I also really enjoyed the comments he made about gaming. I used to play Dungeons and Dragons as a youngster-well as an adult too-and I think online gaming is the new D&D. People used to say the same thing about D&D as they do about Warcraft and such now. Even then I thought it was better to be cursing out my Dungeon Master than sitting and watching the Cosby Show! Now days it is yelling at your crew for not covering your but during an online Halo adventure!(p. 21)