The TV dividend
Where did Wikipedia come from?
All those hours, all that work. Where did the time and effort come from?
Clay Shirky points out that it comes from the TV we're not watching.
Take a look at Netroidcomics, courtesy of Bert. Sure, some of these folks were at work, goofing off, but the real influx of time and energy we're seeing online comes from TV. Three, four or even six hours a day not spent doing virtually nothing. Multiply it by 800 million people online and suddenly, there's a huge influx of hours just waiting to be put to good use.
I don't watch TV and I don't go to meetings. You'd be amazed at the difference it makes.
While the last few years have been devoted to mostly trivial pursuits, I would imagine we're going to see a rapid acceleration in the quality and meaning of things we manage to create with our new-found time. At least I hope so.