JCL Blog

Finding the Time

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!