By David Shenk
Media student ( and net fanatic ) David Shenk examines the troubling results of data proliferation on bodies, our brains, our relations, and our tradition, then deals strikingly down-to-earth insights for dealing with the deluge. With a skillful mix of own essay, firsthand reportage, and sharp research, Shenk illustrates the valuable paradox of our time: as our global will get extra advanced, our responses to it turn into more and more simplistic.He attracts convincing hyperlinks among info smog and pressure distraction, indecision, cultural fragmentation, social vulgarity, and more.But there is desire for a saner, extra significant destiny, as Shenk deals a wealth of novel prescriptions--both own and societal--for dispelling facts smog.
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Additional info for Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut Revised and Updated Edition
After many faceless phone conversations, here at long last are two eyes to look into, a hand to shake. Inside, I cautiously remove a microcassette recorder from my coat pocket, trying to nudge him to finally speak on the record. Just as I had feared, a tight grimace takes hold of his face. “I’d rather not,” he says in a familiar tone. ” For the sake of my own enlightenment, then, anonymity will have to suffice. K. ” We step out back onto a brick patio and down the terraced lawn to a private wooden pier stretching into the murky green water.
According to Frederick Jackson Turner’s popular “frontier thesis,” economic expansion depended on finding a replacement for the dwindling supply of undeveloped western land. In July 1945, Bush boldly named that precious new resource: information. The same month that his Atlantic Monthly article appeared, he also presented President Harry Truman with “Science—The Endless Frontier,” a report recommending the creation of a National Research Foundation. ” So emerged the postwar zeitgeist of techno-utopianism.
Perhaps most fittingly, William Gibson, the man who first coined the word and even the very concept of “cyberspace” in his novel Neuromancer, also prophesied a nightmarish future of information overload disease called Nerve Attenuation Syndrome, aka The Black Shakes. No matter how creatively we name it, however, the effects of information overload do not add up to one single debilitating syndrome that we can easily highlight, recoil in horror from, and muster a simple defense against. A careful review of thirty years of psychological research reveals a wide variety of effects from information and stimulus overload.