A Wiki’s-worth of Human Activity

Published by patrick honner on

This is an eye-opening visualization of “cognitive surplus” from www.informationisbeautiful.net:

cognitive surplus

Thus, in the amount of time U.S. adults spend watching TV in one year, roughly 2000 Wikipedia-style projects could be created.

I once heard someone suggest a wikipedia as a unit of measure of collective human cognitive output.  So every year, U.S. adults spend 2000 wikipedias watching TV.  How can we more efficiently harness this cognitive surplus?

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


Hilary · August 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

This reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s point in _The Outliers_ about “genius” being mostly about time dedicated to a task.

    MrHonner · August 26, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    I’ve just started reading “This is Your Brain on Music”, and there is mention of the 10000 hour rule–namely, that mastery of something is much less about innate talent and more about dedication, and that you need to log something like 10000 hours of practice to get in the door.

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