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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Today's Forecast: Data Smog - Interruption Management

In his 1997 book Data Smog: Surviving The Information Glut, David Shenk remarkably predicted our current state of social affairs:

"The law of diminishing returns, applied to the growing speed and abundance of information, will produce infoglut that will no longer add to our quality of life. Infoglut is already beginning to cultivate stress, confusion, and ignorance," he said. "Information overload threatens our ability to educate ourselves, leaves us more vulnerable as consumers, and less cohesive as a society, and diminishes control over most of our lives."

Here are Shenk's first 12 Laws of Data Smog:

1. Information is now plentiful and taken for granted.
2. Silicon circuits evolve more quickly than human genes; a future information overload disease is called Nerve Attenuation Syndrome.
3. Computers are neither human nor humane.
4. Putting a computer in every classroom is like putting an electric power plant into every home; education cannot be fixed with a digital pipeline of data.
5. The sales goal of the information industry is information anxiety; by 1995, computer users considered their machines obsolete in just two years.
6. Too many experts spoil the clarity; the paralysis of analysis.
7. In a glutted environment, the most difficult task is finding a receptive audience.
8. As info supply increases, our common discourse and shared understanding decrease, and people turn to niche media and specialized knowledge.
9. The electronic town hall allows for speedy communication and bad decision-making; government is too responsive to an ill-informed citizenry.
10. Personal privacy has replaced censorship as the prime concern of civil liberties.
11. In our increasing distraction and speediness, the lies will move so much faster than the truth, they will too often become the truth.
12. On the info highway, most roads bypass journalists, reducing the power of the press
and enhancing the power of public relations.

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Jeff Davidson - Expert at Managing Interruption Overload

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Managing Interruption Overload

Is the constant crushing burden of information and communication overload dragging you down, pulling you off course, and impeding your effectiveness? By the end of your workday, do you feel overworked, overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted? Would you like to be more focused, productive, and competitive, while remaining balanced and in control?

If you're continually facing too many interruptions and too many demands, you need Breathing Space.


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