Matt's rant resonates for me, especially late at night when my mind has been enervated by trying to process the deluge of text that streams through my consciousness on an hourly basis. It's as though the March Hare were my personal town-crier. He's "late" of course and I'm even later, dollars short, and agog by all the content, non-content, information, misinformation, and disinformation. (More cappuccio, please!)
About three years ago I realized that the Information Explosion and Information Glut would result in a major "filtering" problem. I also realized when word-processing took off that everyone and anyone now had their OWN PRINTING PRESS and the real-world forces that normally inhibit and suppress mediocre writing were removed. The dam burst. And when the Internet soared to heights unimagined by Kubrick, Asimov, Clarke, or H.G. Wells, every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Bruce became movie critics, book reviewers, authors, pundits, lecturers, garage-band experts, ass-roots commentators, and whiz-bang Edisons of "takes," "spins," and minor variations of every bloody pedigree. As Jimmy Durante used to lament, "Everbody wants ta get in ta-da act!"
The result is that the stage is now overcrowded. The forums are over-wrought. The circuits are jammed. The lines are busy. The computers are periodically "frozen." The pathways are clogged or blocked. The din is dinny. True Babel is upon us.
Again, the problem is sorting and filtering.
What should we buy?
What should we read?
What should we learn?
Who should we trust?
What's really important, useful, relevant, and valuable?
Everytime I take notes on a little finesse or variation, I ask myself: "What am I doing?"
Admittedly I'm a media junkie and I buy lots and lots of stuff. In fact, I buy more books than I can possibly read or digest. More magazines. More newsletters...and I go to the library and BORROW at least 10 books WEEKLY.
I also grind out lots of text myself...which I fear is mostly EPHEMERA, FLUFF, and FLOTSAM...and perhaps this is why I'm trying (like a mendicant doing penance for my excesses) to provide a surfeit of material on my Website in the hopes that after a year of posting, the users will have filtered through all of it and have found more than they invested in time and money. At least, this is my objective. Whether I reach that goal remains to be seen...
In the meantime, the Glut gets gluttier and the tsunami of TEXT keeps on coming...I hear the late Carl Sagan whispering from the grave..."Billions and billions and billions..."
Soon we will all be muttering, "Gazzillions and gazillions and gazillions..."
It adds up...don't it?
Dare I say at this point, "Onward!"?
Two rants in a row.
Time for a coffee break.
Time for a trip to Disney World.
[ March 13, 2002: Message edited by: Jon Racherbaumer ]