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Information Overload

October 7, 2010

One morning last week I was talking about “Google Goggles“, the search by image tool you can get for your smart-phone.  I illustrated how I took a picture of a reference in a book I was reading last night and the phone scanned the text, interpreted it, and spat me out a list of sites to download the article from.  Within 60 seconds of wanting the article, I had it as a PDF file on my phone to read, another 30 seconds it was send to my printer via blue-tooth for printing.

Dont get me wrong, I am not complaining.  In fact if there is any complaint it is we now have so much Instant data at hand it is making us great collaters of information, but perhaps lazy, or complacent critical thinkers.  There has always been much research material available, and the more available the more considerations and viewpoints you need to interpret.  My problem now though, is that I have collated so many sources of various types, I am finding it hard to actually consume and consider the content.

ICT by nature is a fast moving industry where change is constant, trends are always in a state of flux, viewpoints are always being amended, and instead of going through rigorous testing and research, products are being released and modified on the go.  Great for the companies and the users, not so for a researcher trying to decide if adoption of technology can be a good thing.

We may need the the equivalent of Harry Truman’s one handed economist to be get to the real answer.

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