Information Overload

I can’t reblog as such but I thought this was one of the best blog posts I have read in a long time. I read The Big Picture everyday and this one I have saved to my Evernote files.

This is just a sample of some of the issues tackled.


Knowledge for itself is pooh-poohed, other than at the most elite institutions, where the liberal arts are vaunted but everybody’s an entrepreneur making money while studying. Traditional culture, whether it be the symphony or the opera or…is dying because no one studies it, it’s not seen as relevant or important. America is all business, all of the time.

When I worked my organisation used a think called StrengthsFinder. Initially I gave it short shrift. Over time I came to recognise much of what it said about me was indeed accurate. One of top 5 strengths was Learner, described as:

“You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered — this is the process that entices you.”

© Gallup

I’m sure everyone will find something that resonates in this piece.



7 thoughts on “Information Overload

  1. The blogger writes: “America is all business, all of the time.”

    Gross overstatement. There’s not much bizness going on where I live. The city folk do their share, but they find time to slow down and live their lives, too. We evil United States Americans actually do other things besides work and conduct business. In the big town not so far to the east of 3 Dog Acres, there are orchestras, community theatre, walking trails, an arboretum, dance studios, a food co-operative dating back to hippie days…. Other stuff not so commercial, too. Some folks here in the hillbilly Ozark Highlands actually go the classes at the public university for the joy of learning.

    Business all of the time is a universal condition, amplified by global corporate capitalism, a form of endeavor that is not defined by nation-state boundaries.

    So, yes, Andrew, I got something out of that post.

    Ebenezer Baldwin Bowles

    • Eb, your point is well made. Most of these articles exaggerate for effect to some extent. Sadly in many parts of the world the semi-rural communities are dying out and urbanisation is taking over. I suspect your population density is low compared to Europe and most of Asia. Hong Kong also has the resources you mention but they are under appreciated and despite their presence the dominance of what is loosely termed ‘big business’ is overwhelming.

      Some people definitely enjoy learning but I observe first hand that too many people are either “too busy” or don’t see the reward. I try to coach people towards what I call a restless or insatiable curiosity. It enriches our lives. The challenge is to filter the good from the bad from the indifferent. We have a perspective that perhaps the new generation has not been blessed with. In Asia children are largely taught by rote. The result is a very narrow mind that struggles when presented with something that requires creative thought. Schools exist that teach differently but they are few and far between and rarely free.

      I don’t think these issues are at all about state boundaries. And globalisation is by no means a universally good thing. I went looking for a pair of hiking trousers today. We searched high and low to see if, as an experiment, we could find something not made in China. No matter what the brand – Columbia, North Face, Aigle…. they all manufacture in the PRC with a very limited range made in Vietnam. It is the hollowing out of manufacturing that creates such social stresses in the West – Britain is a good example. M&S used to boast 95% of their goods were British made. Now you would struggle to find anything made at home. Virtually no car industry – gone to Japan, Korea and China.

      Your lifestyle would suit me fine. You are the Renaissance Man and appreciate the quality of time. It may survive in the Ozarks and that does not make you hillybillys. Maybe “All America” should be qualified but it generates a reaction and a debate and that is good. Now I must send Mrs. Ha off to her Korean lessons, just for fun.

      • Andrew states: “Maybe “All America” should be qualified but it generates a reaction and a debate and that is good.” Yes! A response beyond the typical fragment. The antithesis, leading to a mini-synthesis tied the moment. A reaction that inspires you, dear Andrew, to write with eloquence and precision.

        We are not as bad as the critics and prophets cry, not as good as the jingoists and patriots shout. _Kyrie, eleison!

        The problem with the text that launched this discussion is the failure of exaggeration to create irony.

        We bought a very sweet new automobile last month. The Honda CRV was designed in Japan, manufactured in Canada, sold at a discount — of course! — in rural U.S.A., and financed from an office in Dallas, Texas. Where shall flow the profit from this little transaction?

        Frankly, Andrew, I prefer your beautiful birds and street scenes, but bird talk is esoteric and street scenes speak for themselves. Now we move onto the slippery slope of opinion!


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