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[- Do you feel the overload?
By LukeKrissenger, Section Filter It Yourself!
Posted on Sun Sep 28th, 2003 at 03:06:41 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
The age of information overload and my fear of posting.


[ --------------------------------------------- ]

I feel like a homless guy walking into a five star hotel.I stumble in and look around,is everyone staring?And immediately I am judged.
But that is not true,that's a bad anaolgy.The only one I've got,though.
So here is what I want to say/ask and I am sure it has been said before:I feel overloaded and alone,but more complete than anywhere else.All this knowledge at my finger tips and I don't know where to go really.Yesterday my friend asked me where I would like to travel to.
I said this:
"I don't know."
But I'm not talking about the world of dirt and water,I'm talking about the place you are in now.
The internet.Cyberspace.
What do you feel?

[ --------------------------------------------- ]

Do you feel the overload? | 5 comments
[new] Interpassivity - too many words (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#5)
by Aileen on Tue Sep 30th, 2003 at 12:45:59 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
(User Info)

Robert Pfaller's favorite example for explaining his concept of "interpassivity" (Robert Pfaller, Interpassivität: Studien über delegiertes Genießen, Springer 2000) is the video recorder that watches films for us that we don't have time to watch. He also mentions Douglas Adams' figure of the electric monk, which was invented to believe in things that people don't have time to believe in. That one works for me: I have an "electric monk" installed as a user on my computer, whose sole function is to subscribe to mailing lists that I would like to know about, but not too closely.
On the other hand, that means that when I periodically check to see what the electric monk is believing these days, I am only distantly, passively consuming what is posted to all these lists (for whatever it's worth) without contributing anything. Sometimes there are ideas that seem to be worth believing - or at least thinking about, and sometimes I have the feeling that I have collected so many interesting ideas - from lists and websites and the books stacked up next to my bed and all the texts that go in and out of my computer - that I think I need to "do something" with them.
But do what, when there are so many words already?
So I keep waiting and watching to see if someone else may find just the right few words to make a difference. Can words make a difference, actually change something that needs changing?

[new] No one can see the whole world. (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#4)
by Eric Hughes on Tue Sep 30th, 2003 at 05:17:40 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
(User Info)

For the best illustration I know of why no one should feel obligated to understand the entire world (of which the web is only a fraction, but large enough to induce the same feeling), read Borges's story "The Aleph". The protagonist finds, in a dark basement, an image of the entire universe, an ikon through which he can view anything he cares to. He finds himself, though, drawn to the most intimate facts, of the most emotional character. This is not a tragedy, merely inevitable.

If I could wish upon the world a single insight I have, it would be that mankind is finite--finite in spatial and temporal extent, finite in perception and understanding, finite in each of the unbounded ways it's possible to be finite. Seeing that-which-is-larger-than-anybody should be an opportunity to experience the sublime, not the dread of inadequacy.

[new] try rdf feeds (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#1)
by saul on Sun Sep 28th, 2003 at 03:12:13 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
(User Info)

just to be spectacularly unhelpful...


- Avoiding email mailing lists, or use a group subscription that you and your allies filter collaboratively and discuss off-line.
- use RDF feeds rather than checking every website you know of. There's an explanation of how to do this here:
- use a text based mail client such as mutt. It's just *much* faster and you don't have to deal with graphics which often make me depressed.
- start smoking cigarettes. they're good for you.

any other suggestions?

Do you feel the overload? | 5 comments

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