Since starting this blog I have stopped using time constraints as an excuse. Reinforcing the fact that I have control over my time is one of the benefits of writing regularly for fun. Clearly this activity is not essential -- so if I have time to write on my blog every day, I must have time for a lot of other things.
This weekend I started reading Clay Shirky's Cognitive Surplus. Right in the beginning he sets up a very interesting contrast: Volunteers editing Wikipedia vs watching TV. Shirky estimates that the cumulative time spent on Wikipedia writing/editing is something like 100 million hours of human effort. Say what you will about Wikipedia, but I find it quite useful. I would trade 100 million hours of everyone's TV watching time to get a Wikipedia.
It turns out that Americans watch about 100 million hours of TV commercials -- every weekend. Can you believe that? We could create something as valuable as Wikipedia -- every weekend -- just by not watching the commercials on TV!