More overload, please

Yes, there’s information out there.

Information about you, me, your neighbor. Information about everything from lung cancer and M&Ms to trash cans and garage bands.

A Google search of “information” returns 3.7 trillion results in a quarter of a second.

Journalists often wear plenty of hats, including the requisite ballcap-turned-deerstalker. Our profession is in the business of information.

In our lives away from the the job, we are flooded with information like the buckets of confetti in Times Square on NYE.

This Washington Post graphic displays the staggering amount of information now stored digitally.

A Boston Globe article compared our current situation of oodles and gobs of 1’s and 0’s with the reaction to books after the printing press.

Ann Blair’s story drops a 16th century quote by Erasmus about the onslaught of books that “are foolish, ignorant, malignant, libelous, mad, impious and subversive; and such is the flood that even things that might have done some good lose all their goodness.

Sounds like the Internet.

Blair wisely points out that humans found a way to cope. A need of categorization led to the rise of tables of contents, indexes, encyclopedias, and the popularization of libraries.

“A new technology does not act alone, after all,” Blair wrote, “but in concert with our ambitions for it.”

New discoveries will still occur, more analog information will be uploaded, and our lives will increasingly merge with the digital world.

It can lead to paralysis by analysis, but why are we attempting to comprehend that information in one gulp?

Grab another glass and savor the ability to have the world at your fingertips.

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