Is it me, or does it seem like everyone’s talking about the amount of information in the world? It’s an important topic for several reasons: We need to wade through it when we search, keeping on top of even a fraction is becoming progressively more impossible, and—as Shelley Podolny pointed out the other day in the New York Times—it occupies server farms that are both expensive and environmentally unfriendly. But is all the talk about the size of the beast taking focus off what we need to do to tame it?
Should you want to ponder the generation of information going back to antiquity, here are some items to add to your reading stack:
‘Too Much to Know’ (review of Ann Blair’s Too Much to Know by Serena Golden, Inside Higher Ed, March 17, 2011)
Information Overload’s 2,300-Year-Old History (Ann Blair, Harvard Business Review, March 14, 2011)
Drumbeat to E-Mail: The Medium and the Message (review of James Gleick’s The Information by Janet Maslin, New York Times, March 6, 2011)
The Information: How the Internet gets inside us (Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, February 14, 2011)
Rise of the digital information age (graphic, Washington Post, February 10, 2011)
Read more on the “exabytes” study (from USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism) here.