What could humanity achieve with the time spent watching viral videos? In Economics, there is a key concept called "opportunity cost". The idea is that the true cost of a choice is the potential value gained from choosing the best alternatives.
This week, the wildly popular music video "Gangnam Style" exceeded two billion views on YouTube. The Economist created an interesting chart to show what humanity could have theoretically produced with the collective time spent watching the video:
"The opportunity cost of watching PSY’s frivolity is huge, but humanity has at least been entertained."