April 3, 2023

Way Too Much Information

“In the Information Age, the first step to sanity is FILTERING. Filter the information: extract for knowledge.

Filter first for substance. Filter second for significance. These filters protect against advertising.

Filter third for reliability. This filter protects against politicians.

Filter fourth for completeness. This filter protects against the media.” 
― Marc Stiegler

Life today is a big dose of TMI. Or WTMI.

Way Too Much Information.

We talk about dangerous qualities of information, but no one talks about the dangers of the quantity of information. 

I like what Greg McKeown says that applies in this context: 

"You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything."

The news is WTMI. So is most all of what passes for entertainment. 

Social media? WTMI. It doesn't matter who is wearing underwear and who isn't. 

Avoiding information overload and simplifying the mental environment is critical if one is to maintain their sanity. 

Here are a few things that work for me.

1. Ignore irrelevant information (which is most of it).

More than misinformation or malformation or disinformation, keep in mind the dangers of being swamped in irrelevant information.

2. More is not necessarily better. 

Be discerning when selecting information sources, and set limits. An overwhelming number of choices leads to mental paralysis.

3. Choose activities carefully.

Time and energy are limited and precious. Use them wisely.

4. Quit.

Stop engaging in things that don't improve quality of life.

Also widely recommended are things that help reset and reprogram your brain. 

Here we find exercise/movement, sleep, hydration, and spending time in nature.

Another brain reset activity is spending time alone doing nothing, which is the ultimate cure for information overload.

Finally, I am forced to consider that perhaps reading a blog about information overload is information overload...




  1. Anonymous4/03/2023

    No, I find this is a just-right amount of information on the subject -- and even better, a perfect amount of inspiration. Thank you for a nudge toward sanity!

  2. Brilliant. Almost all the information I keep reading/watching/listening to nowadays is ultimately unimportant and not adding any sort of quality to my life. I couldn't care less about social media or famous people or the latest TV show. Unless I learn new info about about growing food....then I love it lol. Some information definitely adds value, it's just likely not to be shown or found in the mainstream.

    1. Anonymous4/05/2023

      Linda and I have learned a great deal about growing, preserving, preparing, and enjoying good food from internet sources. Besides music, it is probably what we use our computer for the most.

      - Gregg


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