We must stand up against old age and make up for its drawbacks by taking pains. We must fight it as we should an illness. We must look after our health, use moderate exercise, take just enough food and drink to recruit, but not to overload, our strength. Nor is it the body alone that must be supported, but the intellect and soul much more.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
[T]he problem was too much information. The population was being inundated with conflicting versions of increasingly complex events. People were giving up on understanding anything. The glut of information was dulling awareness, not aiding it. Overload. It encouraged passivity, not involvement.
If you do have to look at polls, you should do it no more than once every few days, to get a general sense of the state of the race. I've seen the work on information overload, which makes people depressed, stressed and freezes their brains. I know that checking the polls constantly is a recipe for self-deception and anxiety.
History teaches us, in no mistaken language, how often customs and practices, which were originated without lawful warrant, and opposed to the sound construction of the law, have come to overload and pervert it, as commentators on the text of Holy Scripture have established doctrines wholly at variance with its true spirit.
Samuel Freeman Miller
Which is worse, overload or underload? Luckily, I never had to choose. One or Pass on to where? Back into my cells to lurk like a virus waiting for the next opportunity? Out into the ether of the world to wait for the circumstances that would provoke its reappearance? Endogenous or exogenous, nature or nurture - it's the great mystery of mental illness.
Traditional ways to deal with information-reading, listening, writing, talking-are painfully slow in comparison to "viewing the big picture." Those who survive information overload will be those who search for information with broadband thinking but apply it with a single-minded focus.
I felt I had nothing more to say. Everything would have had to be a replay of the previous two or three albums, and that decided me to stop. What bothered me most was not playing guitar at all anymore. I felt I had no more contact with the instrument. It was just a piece of wood to me. I even thought music had definitely left me. After fourteen albums, there may be an overload phase, a sort of lassitude.
What about confusing clutter? Information overload? Doesn't data have to be "boiled down" and "simplified"? These common questions miss the point, for the quantity of detail is an issue completely separate from the difficulty of reading. Clutter and confusion are failures of design, not attributes of information.
Edward R. Tufte
Digital warfare, in the Clausewitz definition as 'the continuation of policy by other means,' reached Western public consciousness via my own country, Estonia, in 2007 when our governmental, banking, and news media servers were hit with 'distributed denial-of-service attacks,' which is when hackers overload servers until they shut down.
Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Bombs Away!" he yelled, swooping low over StregaSchloss. He saw little figures on the ground fleeing from the large green projectile that was speeding their way. "And a direct hit, if I'm not mistaken, " he observed to himself. With a tremendous slapping sound, Ffup's digestive overload landed on a human target. There was a scream, a ghastly choking sound, and then silence.
Our current contempt for poverty stems from information overload-this is the enabler-our over education as privileged people- perhaps the real culprit-and our secret assurance that we ourselves owe no one anything beyond the exhausting daily round. We will defend our lack of idealism to anyone and be horrifyingly well received in this age. Indeed, many so called financial "philosophies" are in fact nothing more than elaborate justification for one petty selfishness after the next.
John Thomas Allen
Predating the Internet and predating videos, you had an active imagination. You would hear sounds and then get mental pictures of what these sounds felt like to you. It engaged you and made you more invested in it. It made you want to get tickets to the show, buy the album, put the poster on the wall. Now it's sensory overload.
In an age of information overload ... the last thing any of us needs is more information about God. We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned them dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the Bread of Life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God.
Rachel Held Evans
Normal people have an incredible lack of empathy. They have good emotional empathy, but they don't have much empathy for the autistic kid who is screaming at the baseball game because he can't stand the sensory overload. Or the autistic kid having a meltdown in the school cafeteria because there's too much stimulation.
I believe C++ instills fear in programmers, fear that the interaction of some details causes unpredictable results. Its unmanageable complexity has spawned more fear-preventing tools than any other language, but the solution should have been to create and use a language that does not overload the whole goddamn human brain with irrelevant details.
As far as stimulus from the visual arts specifically, there is today in most of us a visual appetite that is hungry, that is acutely undernourished. One might go so far as to say that Protestants in particular suffer from a form of visual anorexia. It is not that there is a lack of visual stimuli, but rather a lack of wholesomeness of form and content amidst the all-pervasive sensory overload.
I swallowed hard, a hot flush blazing a trail across my skin. Reminded me of that old television show, Bonanza. You know, the one with the burning map and the lively western tune? Yeah, my skin was that map, but the song blaring in my head leaned more toward a 'bow-chick-a-wow-wow' sound than anything else. Hormone overload!
When hungry, do not throw yourself upon food - else you will overload your heart and body. Eat slowly, without avidity, with reflection to the glory of God, remembering the God Who feeds us, and above all His incorruptible food, His Body and Blood, that out of love He has given Himself to us in food and drink, remembering also the holy word of the Gospel.
John of Kronstadt
Just as one spoils the stomach by overfeeding and thereby impairs the whole body, so can one overload and choke the mind by giving it too much nourishment. For the more one reads the fewer are the traces left of what one has read; the mind is like a tablet that has been written over and over. Hence it is impossible to reflect; and it is only by reflection that one can assimilate what one has read. If one reads straight ahead without pondering over it later, what has been read does not take root, but is for the most part lost.
I come from a tradition of Western culture, in which the ideal (my ideal) was the complex, dense, and 'cathedral-like' structure of the highly educated and articulate personality--a man or woman who carried inside themselves a personally constructed and unique version of the entire heritage of the West. [But now] I see within us all (myself included) there placement of complex inner density with a new kind of self--evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the 'instantly available.'
We really are living in an age of information overload. Google estimates that there are 300 exabytes (300 followed by 18 zeros) of human-made information in the world today. Only four years ago there were just 30 exabytes. We've created more information in the past few years than in all of human history before us.
With blue vinyl-tile floor, pale-green wainscoating, pink walls, a yellow ceiling, and orange-and-white stork-patterned drapes, the expectant fathers' lounge churned with the negative energy of color overload. It would have served well as the nervous-making set for a nightmare about a children's-show host who led a secret life as an ax murderer. The chain-smoking clown didn't improve the ambience.
Gene told me the next day that I got it wrong. But he was not in a taxi, after an evening of total sensory overload, with the most beautiful woman in the world. I believed I did well. I detected the trick question. I wanted Rosie to like me, and I remembered her passionate statement about men treating women as objects. She was testing to see if I saw her as an object or as a person. Obviously the correct answer was the latter. 'I haven't really noticed,' I told the most beautiful woman in the world.
There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won't go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds. It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.
I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. Then words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company.
Life is an art of managing conflicts-conflicts between our expectations and perceptions. It is like a tightrope walk. We load our expectations from life on one end of the bar and our perceptions about life on other, and move on the rope, relying on the balance of the stick. Overload, on any end, can fling us down, ruining the remaining journey. Some might survive such falls through repeated mood swings or with emotional breakdowns, while some might go down, diving deep into the bottom of depression.
Your everyday supermarket now carries roughly 40, 000 items - twice as many as a decade ago. There are so many products, so many brands and sub-species of those brands, that no consumer is safe from the bombardment of choice overload. A huge variety of product offering doesn't aid consumers. It is insanity. From the vast array of athletic shoes to bagels to portable CD players to bottled water, there quickly becomes a point at which mega-choices, like mega-information, do not serve the consumer; they abuse him.
The curse of the fall didn't affect only manual work, as we often seem to think. Excessive ambiguity that prevent us from figuring out how to navigate is really a form of confusion. Overload is one of the forms that frustration takes. The inordinate challenges we face in knowledge work can be traced to the fall just as much as the challenges in manual work. Send it especially lies behind the villain of lack of fulfillment. The reason we lack fulfillment is because we aren't fulfilling our true purpose, that is because we have sinned and deviated from God's path.
What's next for technology and design? A lot less thinking about technology for technology's sake, and a lot more thinking about design. Art humanizes technology and makes it understandable. Design is needed to make sense of information overload. It is why art and design will rise in importance during this century as we try to make sense of all the possibilities that digital technology now affords.
It's such a hopeful, almost utopian word, that word "phase." As if any minute, "we" would suffer some sort of Joad overload, come to "our" senses, and for heaven's sake, do something about our godforsaken shoes. But the book phase never ended. The book phase would bloom and grow into a whole series of seasonal affiliations including our communist phase, our beatnik phase, our vegetarian phase, and the three-year period known as Please Don't Talk to Me. Now that we are finishing up the third decade of the book phase, we ask ourselves if we have changed. Sure, we still dress in the bruise palette of gray, black, and blue, and we still haven't gotten around to piercing our ears. But we wear lipstick now, we own high-heeled shoes. Concessions have been made.
Home. Home was BAMA, the Sprawl, the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis. Program a map to display frequency of data exchange, every thousand megabytes a single pixel on a very large screen. Manhattan and Atlanta burn solid white. Then they start to pulse, the rate of traffic threatening to overload your simulation. Your map is about to go nova. Cool it down. Up your scale. Each pixel a million megabytes. At a hundred million megabytes per second, you begin to make out certain blocks in midtown Manhattan, outlines of hundred-year-old industrial parks ringing the old core of Atlanta...
You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the brain of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion... The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that - well, lucky you.
Three quick breaths triggered the responses: he fell into the floating awareness... focusing the consciousness... aortal dilation... avoiding the unfocused mechanism of consciousness... to be conscious by choice... blood enriched and swift-flooding the overload regions... one does not obtain food-safety freedom by instinct alone... animal consciousness does not extend beyond the given moment nor into the idea that its victims may become extinct... the animal destroys and does not produce... animal pleasures remain close to sensation levels and avoid the perceptual... the human requires a background grid through which to see his universe... focused consciousness by choice, this forms your grid... bodily integrity follows nerve-blood flow according to the deepest awareness of cell needs... all things/cells/beings are impermanent... strive for flow-permanence within...
You fight your superficiality, you shallowness, as as to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untank-like as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong, you might as well have the brain if a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and them you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion empty of all perception an astonishing farce of misperception. And yet what are we to do about this terribly significant business of other people, which gets bled of the significance we think it has and takes on instead a significance that is ludicrous, so ill equipped are we all to envision one another's interior workings and invisible aims? Is everyone to go off and lock the door and sit secluded like the lonely writers do, in a soundproof cell, summoning people out of words, and then proposing that there word people are closer to the real thing than we mangle with our ignorance every day? The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful consideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that - well, lucky you.