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Create Value, Not Consume Time

Life-long gamer Brian Schmoyer reflects on his gaming addiction, the vast amount of time he wasted on them, and how that impacted his life:

I remember Clay Shirky once commented on about our collective surplus, unused brain power, and how it could be utilized if we turned off our TVs:

How big is that surplus? If you take Wikipedia as a kind of unit, all of Wikipedia, the whole project — every page, every edit, every line of code, in every language Wikipedia exists in — that represents something like the cumulation of 98 million hours of human thought. I worked this out with Martin Wattenberg at IBM; it’s a back-of-the-envelope calculation, but it’s the right order of magnitude, about 98 million hours of thought.

And television watching? Two hundred billion hours, in the U.S. alone, every year. Put another way, now that we have a unit, that’s 2,000 Wikipedia projects a year spent watching television.

Thank you Brian for once again reminding us that creating is better than consuming, that being in a community and in relation with one another is better than sitting alone in front of the TV smashing buttons.

Book Recommendation: Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling by Andy Crouch

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2 Responses

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  1. Rob Haskell says

    That’s a good word. Doesn’t just apply to video games. There are lots of computer related activities that can consume us.

    • Anson says

      Yeah, we are being consumed by many things. We think we are consumers, but we are actually “consumees”.