By David Shenk
Media pupil ( and net fanatic ) David Shenk examines the troubling results of data proliferation on bodies, our brains, our relations, and our tradition, then bargains strikingly down-to-earth insights for dealing with the deluge. With a skillful mix of own essay, firsthand reportage, and sharp research, Shenk illustrates the relevant paradox of our time: as our international will get extra advanced, our responses to it turn into more and more simplistic.He attracts convincing hyperlinks among information smog and pressure distraction, indecision, cultural fragmentation, social vulgarity, and more.But there is desire for a saner, extra significant destiny, as Shenk deals a wealth of novel prescriptions--both own and societal--for dispelling information smog.
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Extra resources for Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut Revised and Updated Edition
From the computer’s perspective, this is all entirely manageable. But in human terms, it is burdensome. Information that starts out looking like a useful set of tools soon winds up resembling an overstocked hardware store. Instead of spending time using my tools, I am forced to waste time organizing them and then combing through them. My huge notes file is accessible by technical means, but for practical purposes it is virtually inaccessible to me, except by key-word search. Browsing through my electronic notes with any degree of diligence would take months.
If these symptoms sound eerily familiar, it is because we may be on the verge of an ADD epidemic. ” “With so many of these [distracted] people running around,” writes Evan I. ” Artists have also taken notice of a new high-stim angst. The celebrated off-Broadway theatrical troupe Blue Man Group playfully suggests some alternative syndrome names: 36 / Data Smog Info-Biological Inadequacy Syndrome A form of anxiety brought on when a person wishes he or she could absorb information at a rate somewhat faster than the level that was hard-wired into human DNA back in the Paleolithic Era.
Marshall McLuhan warned us about taking the mind out of the body, speeding it up, and giving it the ability to float into the electronic void. He called this the Discarnate Effect. “We’re pushing ourselves to speeds beyond which it appears we were designed to live,” says Nelson Thall, director of research at the University of Toronto’s Marshall McLuhan Center. “Man wakes up today and electric technology speeds up his mind to an extraordinary degree, but his body stays in place. This gap causes a lot of stress.