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Why Information Overload Isn’t A Real Thing

This entry is part of 3 in the series Information Overload

So, I forget where it was I read it, but some smart, insightful, Clay Shirky-ish type of guy (whenever someone says something iconoclastic, I picture some combination of Ken Wilbur and/or Clay Shirky and/or Professor Xavier from the 1990s “X-Men” cartoon series about 60~80% of the time lol) said that there’s actually no such thing as information overload. There has always been a lot of information, he said — at the very least for all of the time that life has existed on earth and probably even for most of the life of our universe. When we experience the feeling of information overload, then, what we’re suffering from is not an actual (new) overabundance of information but a collapse or failure or absence of filter(ing mechanism)s. Or so the thinking goes.

That was a really poorly written paragraph, but it made sense the first time I wrote it, and (hopefully) it’ll make sense the tenth time you read it.

Moral of the story: ignore and discard more stuff.

You know, when you sit down and write it out like this, it does sound like a bit of a “guns don’t kill people, I do” line of reasoning — factually accurate, but decidedly unhelpful to the dead. Having said that, in a reverse analogy to the way that overly strict gun laws primarily disarm law-abiding citizens (hence harming rather than helping), the idea that we need (to create and use) more and better filters gives us leverage, a fulcrum point, a target, a place and thing at which to productively direct our energies.

Don’t whine that your house is full or too small (“them doors is too narrow!”). Let less in and throw more out.

In terms of Japanese and SRS cards, that means delete more, and add cards primarily/exclusively from easy-to-add digital sources.

And, while we’re still on the subject (you know the one I mean!), here’s some Japanese linklove:

  • “compulsive hoarding” [小さなことが気になるあなたへ/OCDコラム>第74回]
  • “ホーディング(hoarding)” [溜め込み症候群 【片付けられない.com 】]
  • “ホーディング(強迫性貯蔵症)の心理” [ホーディング(強迫性貯蔵症)の心理 | *ListFreak]
  • [集めたモノを捨てられない!ゴミ屋敷を生む病気「ホーディング」 – NAVER まとめ]
  • [もったいないから捨てられない!汚部屋化の原因が精神疾患というケースも | 50歳を過ぎたら生活習慣病ナビ |糖尿病・高血圧・肥満・ガン・うつ病などの生活習慣病を予防・改善する為の総合情報サイト]


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