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Information Overload

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Adam John Miller

on 27 January 2014

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Transcript of Information Overload

Information Overload
The Library of Babel
The Middle Ages
The First Computers
The Printing Press
The Net of Babel
The Mega Machine
Information Literacy
“The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of
hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings...”

Jorge Luis Borges, The Library of Babel
Adam John Miller
Future Shock
"The Library was never infinite but something more dreadful: exhaustive, all-encompassing. Such words as
infinity are too often scrawled as a magical charm against thought. Those terrible hierarchies of the finite can break the mind as the bland infinity symbol does not."

David Langford, The Net of Babel
"The individual must become infinitely more adaptable and capable than ever before as we are now shaking under the hurricane impact of the accelerative thrust."

Alvin Toffler, Future Shock
“The deepest consequence of writing, for the individual and for the culture, could hardly have been foreseen...The power of this first artificial memory was incalculable... The new technology was both the virus and the vector”

James Gleick, The Information
“In 1255, Vincent of Beauvais articulated eloquently the key ingredients of the feeling of overload which are still with us today: "the multitude of books, the shortness of
time and the slipperiness of memory."

Anne Blair, Journal of the History of Ideas
"[The] horrible mass of books... keeps on growing. A single observation or demonstration of consequence is enough to make one immortal and deserving of posterity."

Gottfried Leibniz
“People began to feel that it was natural to possess machines dedicated to the sending and receiving of messages. These devices changed the topology – ripped the social fabric and reconnected it."

James Gleick, The Information
“The factual reality clearly shows that continents
have lost their geographical foundations and been supplanted by the tele-continents of a global communication system which has become

Paul Virilio, The Information Bomb
"The medium is the message."

Marshall McLuhan
"The fact of knowing how to read
is nothing, the whole point is
knowing what to read."

Jacques Ellul
Full transcript