by Chris Anderson.

Really good food for thought.

‘In a world where food, shelter, and the rest of Maslow’s subsistence needs are met without having to labor in the fields from dawn to dusk, we find ourselves with “spare cycles”, or what sociologists call “cognitive surplus” -energy and knowledge not fully tapped by our jobs. At the same time we have emotional and intellectual needs that aren’t fully satisfied at work, either. What our “free labor” in an area that we value grants us is respect, attention, expression and an audience.

In short, doing things we like without pay often makes us happier than the work we do for a salary. You still have to eat, but as Maslow showed, there is more to life than that. The opportunity to contribute in a way that is both creative and appreciated is exactly the short of fulfillment that Maslow privileged above all other aspirations, and what many jobs so seldom provide. No wonder the Web exploded, driven by volunteer labor – it made people happy to be creative, to contribute, to have an impact and to be recognized as expert in something. The potential for such a nonmonetary production economy has been in our society for centuries waiting for the social systems and tools to emerge to fully realize it The Web provides those tools, and suddenly a market of free exchange arose.’

And the audiobook can be downloaded for free.