Thursday, March 04, 2010

Information Overload vs. Filter Failure

There has been a lot of writing the last 15 years about the 'information overload'-phenomena. Mr. Shirky makes the point that "If you have the same problem for a long time; maybe it is'nt a problem, maybe it's a fact." That might be questionable semantics; but his point is quite valid.

Since the 1500's, some 50 years after Johann Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg's discovery (or 'invention' relative to your basic philosophical view of the world) of the printing press there has been more information availiable than any person possibly could read in a lifetime.

The following is an oversimplification not bringing factors such as altruism and propaganda into its analizys: The basic principle of the publisher has always been an economic principle: To print a book has a high price, and usually you can't sell a book until it is printed; thus printing comes with economic risk. The solution for non subsidised publishers is to act as 'information filters' - not to print everything but what you know to be good. Or atleast sellable.

With the advent of the world wide web the cost of publishing "fell through the floor": and while information overload is no new problem, the total [information] filter failures of our era are.

So while I will continue to overload you with personal opinion and (maybe too) personal information; I have gained a boost in my side-mission to help you filter information. The sheer mass of crappola you have to endure to find those gems in any kind of media; makes it important for all of us to share the gems and warn against the most flamboyant thefts of your most precious time. (Do feel free to use the comments-field to point me and other readers to gems.)

I pledge to you: I will do my outmost to be a gem, a shining star; and not a timethief; informational overloader; a cultural spammer; a grey man.

Clay Shirky on the web 2.0 expo on information overload vs. filter failure.

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