"America has, in fact, transformed journalism from what it once was, the periodical expression of the thought of the time, the opportune record of the questions and answers of contemporary life, into an agency for collecting, condensing and assimilating the trivialities of the entire human existence, [...] the frantic haste with which we bolt everything we take, seconded by the eager wish of the journalist not to be a day behind his competitor, abolishes deliberation from judgment and sound digestion from our mental constitutions. We have no time to go below surfaces, and, as a general thing, no disposition."
Yesterday's George Will column? Guess again. The year is 1891 and journalist W. J. Stillman is complaining about the telegraph and the death of "real" news!
I have been interested in the process of managing information overload for some time now. The most interesting recent thoughts I have seen come out about how to deal with this fundamental (and apparently long-term) problem come from NYU professor and tech guru Clay Shirky. I have pointed to Shirky's work before but, if you have not seen Shirky's recent speech at the Web 2.0 Expo and you are at all concerned with the issue of information overload, you owe it to yourself to do whatever you have to do to see this video. Shirky's a good speaker and the insight he provides into this problem is brilliant: