Suggested Reading: Data Smog

David Shenk — Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut (Revised and Updated Edition) — Harper One, 1998, 256 pp. ISBN 978-0062515513

(Buy at Amazon.com)

This book, not unrelated to Schwartz’s Paradox of Choice, presents the fundamental paradox of information: the more you get, the less you can understand, the more you get, the narrower the vision you must have; the more you get, the more isolated you are. In a dozen “information glut laws”, Shenk discusses the various problems due to information glut (not only from classical media but also from the Internet) and offers tentative solutions to keep your head out of the water.

What’s the most interesting about this book is, maybe, the fact that it was written in 1997, a bit before the Internet became truly mainstream, and before his conclusions became somewhat self-evident (especially a posteriori). It can be read as a prelude to Pariser’s Filter Bubble.

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