Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Lispian
Ambient Overload

Nicholas Carr talks about Ambient Overload. A fascinating take on “information overload”. Instead of it being a “failure of filters” it’s instead the success of filters that we’re seeing, allowing information of interest to flood our screens and inboxes. I’d not thought of it that way, but I think he’s right. We can find just about anything. And the Internet provides it to us immediately. When pulling “interesting bits of information” from an infinite supply should it be any surprise that we end up with a near infinite quantity of interesting tidbits?

His closing paragraph sums it up nicely, so I include it here: “When the amount of information available to be filtered is effectively unlimited, as is the case on the Net, then every improvement in the quality of filters will make information overload worse.”

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March 2011
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