The diversity and easy access of information are some of the distinctive features of our time. With technology advancing, we’ve got laptops, smartphones, tablets, e-book readers etc. and they are connected in an informational field called “Internet” – a vast and rapidly growing network of information. There are also books, newspapers, pamphlets, you name it… That seems great isn’t it? After all we have so much more access and information on the tips of our fingers – that should relieve our narrow-mindedness and make us smarter, right?
But wait, does it have any drawbacks – it’s too good to be truth, isn’t it?
Social scientist Herbert Simon found that out and made his famous statement: “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”, which I guess, few would try to dispute. We, humans, have quite limited attention capacity, so too much information and inability to pick the pearl from the chaff can be quite poisonous.
If you think about the thousands of advertising and propaganda messages poured to your head every day from various sources, it may turn out that the sifting out of large quantities of information is a life-saving skill even in today’s civilized society.
I can’t teach you how to do this, since I am struggling with it also. My tactic is to stick only with what is needed and/or enriches me. For example, a Bulgarian magazine I like is “Biograph”. It does not contain just lifestyle “tips and tricks”, gossips and other clich?s, but as his marketing manager Svetlio Kantardjiev says, it tries to satisfy even the most choosy and intelligent readers. Those readers’ time is expensive. They do not want to read things they don’t know, and they have better judgment if the given information is valuable and/or enriches their being. For example, in “Biograph” magazine you can find, as the title says, a lot of biographies of people, who made (the) difference in this world – like Charlie Chaplin, Luciano Pavarotti, Luc Besson, Hugo Chavez and many other famous people from arts to politics.
That is one source of information that I respect – it is not free, but I think it is the perfect combination for me, considering time, money and attention – none of which is cheap to me, and I do not give it away easily.
What are your favorite reads and how do you pick what information is valuable and worthy for you?