Here's an interesting and informative TED video I just came across, where Clay Shirky talks about cognitive surplus and how it will change the world.

The idea behind the concept of "cognitive surplus" is that we use spare brain cycles while online to build a more cooperative world.  In other words, new technologies enable loose collaborations to evolve.

I'm not sure I like the term 'cognitive surplus' but Shirky is an eloquent, thoughtful and engaging speaker who is well worth listening to: