Quotes On Information Overwhelm

Value Of Information

“The information we consume matters just as much as the food we put in our body. It affects our thinking, our behavior, how we understand our place in the world. And how we understand others.” - Ev Williams


“I want to live happily in a world I don’t understand.” —Nassim Taleb

Data vs Knowledge vs Wisdom

“It takes knowledge to know that a tomato is a fruit, and wisdom not to put it in a fruit salad.” – Miles Kington
“Much of what we assume to be information is actually just data or worse.” —Wurman (2012)


Signal To Noise

The ratio of undistilled information to distilled is rising, saturating markets.” —Nassim Taleb
“It’s not information overload. It’s filter failure.” —Clay Shirky
“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.” — John Naisbitt, social researcher
“We live in the information age and the sheer volume of it being available everywhere, creates a need for information that has value. Yes, we can look anything up on Google but who has the time? Can we trust that the information comes from a trustworthy source?” ― Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, author, in Book Power: A Platform for Writing, Branding, Positioning & Publishing
“In the age of technology there is constant access to vast amounts of information. The basket overflows; people get overwhelmed; the eye of the storm is not so much what goes on in the world, it is the confusion of how to think, feel, digest, and react to what goes on.” — Criss Jami, American poet and essayist

Content Shock

“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” —Herbert Simon
“Too many books, so little time.” —Frank Zappa

Focus, Ignore, Erase

"We have shifted from the problem of what to save to the problem of what to erase. Something must be deleted or never recorded in the first place." —Luciano Floridi
"In ancient times having power meant having access to data. Today having power means knowing what to ignore." —Yuval Harari
“The fact that ignoring is an active process is critical to understanding the Distracted Mind because it emphasizes that it takes resources to filter out what is irrelevant.” —Adam Gazzaley
The most important thing today is to be able to focus. Especially if you have no guidance, the greatest danger you face is being flooded by enormous amounts of information and being completely distracted and unable to form a CLEAR MAP OF REALITY. "In the past, the main problem was lack of info. Info was scarce. Censorship worked by blocking what little flow of info there was. Now, it's the opposite... Censorship works by flooding people with info so they can't make sense of reality anymore." - Yuval Harari
"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." —George Bernard Shaw


“One of the jarring realizations of the 21st century is that democratic governments are only as good as the quality of information that their voters receive. Influence the information flow voters receive, and you’ll eventually influence the government.” —WaPo

Hidden Censorship

In contrast, in the twenty-first century we are flooded by enormous amounts of information, and the censors don’t even try to block it. Instead, they are busy spreading misinformation or distracting us with irrelevancies. —Yuval Noah Harari
“A good magician can make you see a lot of things happening that aren't happening and not see a lot things happening that are happening. We're all dealing with various people who through practice evolution, have become good at misleading us. It is very hard to be rational." —Charlie Munger
If you are a self-learner & you don't have this kind of a [reality map] structure, then this is your greatest challenge—how to find my way amidst this enormous ocean of info w/o drowning in it... I would just focus your attention that this is your greatest task. Yuval Harari


... there is no cure [for information overload]. Information breeds information as one thought leads to another and as answers lead to questions" (S.D. Neill 1992, p. 117).
"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? /Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?" — T.S Elliot
Most of the tasks of the executive require, for minimum effectiveness, a fairly large quantum of time. —Peter Drucker’s 1967 classic, The Effective Executive
Piotr Chrzastowski wrote ".. Information is merciless. It fills each gap it can penetrate, using every moment of our carelessness to encroach and occupy space wherever it can" (cited in translation by Babik 2018)
It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information Oscar Wilde (A few maxims for the instruction of the over-educated, Saturday Review, 17 November 1894)
Distringit librorum multitudo [the abundance of books is distraction] Seneca (Epistles, Book 1, 1st century CE)
As Rosenberg (2003, p. 1-2) puts it: "The notion of information overload appears everywhere in our popular media as a characterization of something specific and emblematic of our era, of life in a time of cell phones and web browsers and fax machines and innumerable other "information appliances".... [it] so much defines our self-understanding today that it is hard to remember that it has a history that stretches back to Vannevar Bush and the 1950s, much less to Samuel Johnson and the 1750s or to Conrad Gessner and the 1550s... Equally strange is the persistence of the rhetoric of novelty that accompanies so old a phenomenon"
We experience an overabundance of information whenever available information exceeds our capacity to evaluate it. This is a universal condition today" (Zurkowski 1974, p1).
The most important thing today is to be able to focus. Especially if you have no guidance, the greatest danger you face is being flooded by enormous amounts of information and being completely distracted and unable to form a CLEAR MAP OF REALITY. —Yuval Noah Harari

Info architecture is all of our responsibilities in a participative culture

Everything around you was architected by another person. Whether or not they were aware of what they were doing. Whether or not they did a good job. Whether or not they delegated the task to a computer. Information is a responsibility we all share. We're no longer on the shore watching the information age approach; we're up to our hips in it. If we're going to be successful in this new world, we need to see information as a workable material and learn to architect it in a way that gets us to our goals. —Abby Covert, author How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody

Information Warfare

We must hold our minds alert and receptive to the application of unglimpsed methods and weapons. The next war will be won in the future, not the past. We must go on, or we will go under. —General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, 1931

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