Not new

At Lift 07 there was a panel on technological overload. The video of the panel is available here.

Update: Since Google Video is no more, the video can be viewed on Vimeo

Panel Discussion:Dealing with technological overload (Lift07 EN) from Lift Conference on Vimeo.

Fellow blogger Mlle. A. pointed out that this kind of discussion isn’t new.

A couple of days ago she sent in an article by Ann Blair on “Reading Strategies for Coping with Information Overload ca. 1550-1700” published in 2003 in the Journal of the History of Ideas.

As more and more books were published, academics worried about keeping up: they discussed the effects of reading manuals and encyclopedias or reading “only in parts”. And discussed strategies to classify information, added indexes and used cut and paste to arrange the information they received.

Blogging isn’t new either:

“Reading is useless, vain and silly when no writing is involved, unless you are reading (devotionally) Thomas a Kempis or some such. Although I would not want even that kind of reading to be devoid of all note taking.”

Interesting stuff.

11 Comments

nchenga 10 August, 2014 Reply

Not new…

https://twitter.com/dianacbiggs/status/498491001930268672

“Today’s privacy technopanic is nothing new.”

mlle a. 30 May, 2014 Reply

I forgot to post the link from our thread in early 2013: Anne M.
Blair wrote a great piece in 2011:
http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300112511 She has a
good interview on it here:
http://www.npr.org/2010/11/29/131671951/information-overload-is-not-unique-to-digital-age
Prior, in 2010, she had a good preview up in the Boston Globe:
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/11/28/information_overload_the_early_years/?page=full

nchenga 1 December, 2013 Reply

@a, this could be a good photo for your presentation https://twitter.com/johnmaeda/status/406759966712684544

nchenga 23 June, 2013 Reply

Blog entry referring to above NYT article:
http://kevin.lexblog.com/2013/06/22/coffeehouses-of-the-1600s-the-precursor-to-todays-social-networking/

Apparently there’s a book called:

Writing on the Wall: Social Media ”” The First 2,000 Years

by Tom Standage

nchenga 23 June, 2013 Reply

Yet another link for a. (I just coined a new abbreviation… YALA):

https://twitter.com/davewiner/status/348647381417476097

Related to the ongoing discussion on social networking and productivity, NYT has article on coffeehouses in the late 1600s.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/opinion/sunday/social-networking-in-the-1600s.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

“In England in the late 1600s, very similar concerns were expressed about another new media-sharing environment, the allure of which seemed to be undermining young people’s ability to concentrate on their studies or their work: the coffeehouse. It was the social-networking site of its day.”

(…)

“A study published in 2012 by McKinsey & Company, the consulting firm, found that the use of social networking within companies increased the productivity of “knowledge workers” by 20 to 25 percent.”

(…)

“But the lesson of the coffeehouse is that modern fears about the dangers of social networking are overdone. This kind of media, in fact, has a long history: Martin Luther’s use of pamphlets in the Reformation casts new light on the role of social media in the Arab Spring, for example, and there are parallels between the gossipy poems that circulated in pre-Revolutionary France and the uses of microblogging in modern China.”

nchenga 26 August, 2007 Reply

Laurent:
I agree. This is a big issue.

I liked the panel at Lift 07. Lots of food for thought.

Mlle A.:
looking forward to reading your paper… 🙂

Laurent 25 August, 2007 Reply

The subject is not new, but imho its importance is getting bigger with each day passing. There is a big issue for our society (and our economy), we are reaching a point were it will soon be legitimate to ask whether technology really makes us more productive.

mlle a. 25 August, 2007 Reply

Another proof of information overload – took me since Feb. to link you up to that article….

(the whole issue -vol.64, no.1, 2003- is dedicated to aspects of early modern information overload; I am quite tempted to write a paper on the parallels to modern information overload and reading strategies…maybe a follow-up project for Lift08? I wouldn’t assume that those who built feedreaders actually were aware of all those parallels.)

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