Computer scientist Scott White has a melancholy, thoughtful and provocative piece up about information overload, its consequences, and when and how we should say “Enough”. It is recommended reading.
[obDisclosure: Scott is a friend.]


  1. Scott makes a good point, I recommend reading David Shenk’s now somewhat outdated “Data Smog” for a longer version of the same rant.
    I almost never read commentary anymore, except from a few trusted sources (like this one). I just don’t have the time to bother with 99% of the non-insightful braindroppings out there.
    Also people need to realize that 99% of this data is in fact irrelevant. People seem to think that the world will turn on the comments of this blogger or that startup, but in aggregate the world moves a little slower than we think. You will have plenty of time to react to obvious trends, you don’t need to see everything in its pre-pre-pre-embryonic stage.

  2. David Bennett says:

    The problem runs pretty deep. I believe I’ve encountered it here with comments about such and such a paper being pretty long. That’s the symptom. Contrary to the previous commentator I strive to read new people and especially make an attempt to research something of interest in some detail frequently.
    The whole issue is quality of information and we face a society where it isn’t “more interaction” as the article you quoted says but lots and lots of interaction at the same level, a focus on the urgent rather than the important, executives who focus on events rather than finding the mental space to do strategy.
    It completely baffles me thay individuals of power fall into this, to me it seems as possibly a necessity for the strivers, they need all these frequent contacts into the chattering system, but at some point one would think someone has the position to chose their encounters and to breathe.
    It may be exceedingly dangerous to society because years ago our (even then) hectic approach was contrasted with that of east Asians who it was claimed had leaders who delegated and spent lots of time on the big picture of planning and relationships, an attempt at depth.