Information Overload

One of my favorite obsessions is information. Naturally so considering that I am an economist, and markets and information are inseparable. Information is the lubricant that keeps the huge big machinery of the market humming. Which is of course why information and communications technology (ICT) is so critical today as the modern world is a huge marketplace where stuff gets exchanged. Globalization (which I define as the integration of markets on a global scale) and the explosion of ICT are conjoined twins.

My fear is that we are entering, or perhaps some of us have already entered, the age of too much information. In June 2005, nearly two years ago, I claimed that the World is Information Fat. In that post (and in many other places on this blog) I distinguish between informan and knowledge. Later in that article, make a prediction. “I contend that one can be information-rich and knowledge-poor. And further that in an information overloaded society, the poor people will be information-rich and knowledge-poor, and the rich people will be information-poor but knowledge-rich.”

I did a followup on the information fatness in July 2005 which is worth taking a peek at. Later in October 2005, I explored the necessary consequence of the so-called “information revolution” in an article titled “The Age of Superfluous Information.” I try to distinguish between being information fat and information fit (or healthy.) The follow up to that article I talk about the tradeoff involved between sorting and searching.

In a related post which I did February this year, I distinguish between what I call wide area content (WAC) and narrow area content (NAC). It needs a followup which I think I will do sometime soon.