I’ve done one statement a number of times: information overload is an opportunity for pattern recognition and thus leads to better abilities to sense what is going on and how to respond to it. Therefore, information overload is actually a good thing. Obviously it brings anxiety at certain times, but if you position yourself with it in a different attitude based on the flow/perceiving metaphor rather than collection/consumption metaphor, you will have much easier time coping with it.
Check out this video below. It’s about subliminal advertising and the result might surprise you:
This is exactly why those people who use RSS readers to scan through thousands of feeds, read blog posts from various decentrally connected sources and who engage themselves into assembling multiple unrelated sources of information into one (probing connections between them) have much greater ability to sense and respond to changing conditions in increasingly complex environments than those who read only the major newspapers, watch only the major news networks and don’t put themselves into a difficult situation of being hammered with a lot of stuff at once.
Linear, intentional learning was how you learned in the past. Enter nonlinear, visually active way of learning of the future.
The blogosphere is like a digital photograph: one pixel is one blog post. The details don’t make any sense but once the pixels appear to be connected, it forms a pattern, a picture perhaps that you can recognize. This is exactly what happens if you swim in information overload and try to perceive how things fit together. As a result, you might think that you have almost psychic capabilities to know what is happening at the market right now and how to respond.
If you are an individual, start using RSS readers and expand your field of subliminal vision. Use sources that regularly provide insight into your life. If you are a corporation, create information overload inside your organization and give people tools to follow and perceive patterns. Otherwise your competitors will soon know better than you what to do next.