These are just some personal notes for verbalizing the issue of information overflow. There's been a couple interesting followups in the past few days, so worth summarizing...
- URLs map time to space (well, into a non-linear, accessible dimension) - permalinks, archives ensure means that it's all available - thanks to Google and the nature of the normal activity of web browsing (voluntary), doesn't tend to invoke the same sense of digital guilt (see also, paradox of choice
- Normally, television (channel-surfing) has functioned in the same way - you don't worry that much if you missed a show, or if there are other good things on. However, Tivo changes this relationship for many people. There's a "queue" to go through. Note that current generation RSS readers linearize blogs analogously. This is bad.
"I feel like I make things un-bold for a living now."
-- Lane Becker
- Winer former the alternative model the river of news analogy. Bradbury calls it surfer style, which within conventional metaphors. My own comparative metaphor is the hose and the stream: the former works fine for drops, but is uncontrollable at larger volumes/pressure, while when dipping into a stream, you're free to get as wet or stay as dry as you want. You're not trying to catch last drop.
- MacManus follows up by with the term Aggregator Ambience, as a way of describing Continous Partial Attention (see also). I like the ambience metaphor from a lighting perspective because it suggests the manner in which one might turn up and down the dial.
- The rise of blogs (originally as filters), then aggregators (ostensbility as filters for filters, but not doing a good job), social networking (more filtering, but not working as well as they could, TBD) and techniques and sites (GTD, 43folders) dedicated to dealing w/ infoglut
Some more reference links:
- Wikipedia: Flow (psychology)
- K5: Getting Back To Work: A Personal Productivity Toolkit
- Structured Procrastination
- CNN: E-mails 'hurt IQ more than pot' (Five fast email productivity tips)
- Principia Cybernetica: Change and Information Overload: negative effects
- Wikipedia: Information Processing (see also: The Basic Period of Individual Mental Speed (BIP), Underlying IQ
- Cognitive strategies and design heuristics for dealing with information overload on the web
- Coping With Information Overload & Keeping Up with Your Profession
- How Much Information? 2003 (Berkely SIMS study)