Monday, May 21, 2007

waves of information

Information. Data. It is frankly amazing and almost ridiculous to view the volume of information that is available to 21st century individuals. The Internet is the obvious medium and message of this informational tsunami and I'm curious how this is going to affect humanity's preception of time spent in actually reading the collected material. I already find myself collecting, i.e. bookmarks, pdfs, mp3s, etc., and have to stop in order to spend time with the items collected to analyze, decipher and assign value to based on the inherent quality of the items. Are these worth keeping/not worth keeping etc?. I find myself like a kid in a blueberry field trying to fill my bucket as fast as possible but without the intent/ability of actually ever ingesting the berries so that eventually they grow old and moldy without ever being tasted. Frankly, the blueberry picker doesn't care because the purpose of the picker is just to pick and the supply of blueberries seems infinite but the ability to discern the quality of blueberries one is picking should be based on some criteria i.e. for pie, jam, pancakes, what have you, as the end result of the information gathered establishes the reason for its being gathered.
Is it better then, to understand a margin of the information available through careful consideration and analysis to prevent the information from going moldy? If I, a lone individual, have a difficult time balancing information wanted against information available, what qualifies me as a potential librarian to provide correct information to patrons? The reader response to information's application to one's research/needs defines the way the information is gathered and thus utilized. The collection of books seems different because the value behind them is monetary; I buy the book because I want to read it. My private library has more value to me than the public library that has the same, and more, books because I have sacrificed/exchanged something to retain the book.
When "trolling" for information on the web, the quality of the information is based on its relevance to the current state of interest that is currently occupying my mind. This causes the level of value to shift dramatically from day to day if not hour by hour. This is a bit half-baked for which I apologize but my mind is spinning pretty hard on this right now. The informational situation seems as though one must sell his soul to the information genies just to stay abreast of the crest but in doing so, causes one to miss out on the content because of the form in which it is generated.
Would appreciate feedback, thoughts and comments. I think/learn best when other people interact so I look forward to your feedback.

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