Friday, 21 March 2008

Infovore - Need for Information Filtering and Selection

Great WSJ article - Why We're Powerless To Resist Grazing On Endless Web Data (via Will Richardson). The article looks at various information consumption behaviors:
Coming across new and richly interpretable information triggers a chemical reaction that makes us feel good, which in turn causes us to seek out even more of it. The reverse is true as well: We want to avoid not getting those hits because, for one, we are so averse to boredom.

It is something we seem hard-wired to do. When you find new information, you get an opioid hit, and we are junkies for those. You might call us 'infovores.' "

The same thing happens with information as with food. We are programmed for scarcity and can't dial back when something is abundant.
I was just talking about the importance of filtering skills for my ASTD 2008 presentation. Of course, it's a balance. We can't just shut off the flow of information. We have to get better at selection and filtering.

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