Friday, June 10, 2016

Info, infomania and infophobia

You get interested in birds, or members of the other main sex, or how banks work.  You find out some new information and you realize how little you know.  Even if you happen to actually BE a bird or a member of the opposite sex or a banker, you can see that you don't know very much, that you used to know somethings that you have now forgotten.  Besides that, there is the business of finding your knowledge is out-of-date or just plain wrong.

You could go the old encyclopedia route and open up volume A and read through it.  You could read volume B next or you could jump around.  Most likely, if you are old enough to read this blog post, you would not take that approach.  You are probably a modern person, familiar with the idea that a new computer or tablet or smartphone may be so complicated and have so many options and choices and possibilities that only a little introduction makes sense.

You could go the modern route and look things up in Google.  You could work on comparing the results with what the competing search engine Bing or the one called DuckDuckGo give for the same query.  I just tried "Is it important for my business to have a name that begins with A?" and got 403, 000,000 results.  That is definitely too many to read or compare with results from other search engines.  You could take the Hawaiian eating approach.  We were told on Molokai that Hawaiians don't eat until they are full, they eat until they are tired. That will probably be the approach, at least per day, that you use.  

You look, you read, you click, you get distracted, get a new idea, check it out.  You make some notes and then it is time to pick up the kids or see the doctor or start dinner.  You'll pick up the trail(s) another day.  I heard a decade or more ago that some philosophers hang out a shingle to professionally advise those hung up on the meaning of life and other mysteries.  Maybe they or librarians or wisemen or wisewomen are available for counseling somewhere if we get too deep in the clicking and the pursuing and the wondering.

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