A bit like Dave Bowman, in the final moments of 2001 A Space Odyssey, many people feel assaulted by the sheer volume of information they have to process at any given point in time. And most feel that this problem of “information overload” is simply an inevitable bi-product of new media.

In this brilliant recent talk, Clay Shirkey, the author who once coined the phrase: “the internet runs on love”, begs to differ on both counts…

Clay points out with great clarity, that “information overload” is, in fact, nothing new. Since the problem initially appeared with the first media revolution. The one that Johannes Gutenberg ushered in with the invention of movable type in the mid 15th century.

Within a few years, for the first time in human history, there were suddenly more books available than even the fastest reader could read in a lifetime.

Clay explains how we all need to get over this sense of feeling besieged by the wealth of information that appears to demand our attention, and describes the implications for re-evaluating our concepts of filtering, privacy, and urgency.

And with a phrase borrowed from Yitzhak Rabin sums it all up with some very smart advice:

“When you have the same problem for a long time… maybe it’s not a problem. Maybe it’s a fact”.

Click here for the talk.

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