To elaborate on the previous post:
Clay Shirky has a Daniel-Bell-cum-Norbert Wiener-like theory that goes something like:
Earlier societies had to deal with surpluses in the form of agriculture or industrial capacity, which were problems, just like scarcities are a problem.
Our society has a cognitive surplus, resulting from too much leisure time.
In the '50s and '60s this surplus went to watching hours of TV.
In the '00s a portion of the surplus goes to making YouTubes and photocartoons of cats, as well as political activism.
It is important, now that a potentially upsetting surplus has been identified, that we begin to quantify and apportion it so its detrimental impact to society is minimized. Cognitive surplus credits would be a system similar to "cap and trade" agreements for pollution control among companies or nations.
Example from the previous post (a small beginning): artists are limited in the number of YouTubes they can post vs. posts with substantive argument. YouTubes are taken off for high fiving other artists online.
Another example: You watch an hour of Lost and must devote an equal amount of time to helping Barack Obama in a get out the vote email campaign. Credits would be added and subtracted online in a database managed by an NGO run jointly by Microsoft and AT&T.