Monday, 25 August 2008

I was just reading about the Information Overload Research Group (IORG) Inaugural Conference, which was held on July 15, 2008. It’s interesting to see who some of the participants are, and what they are up to. In this particular conference: David Goldes, Basex’ president, Max Christoff from Morgan Stanley, Shari Pfleeger Lawrence from the Rand Corporation, and Nathan Zeldes from Intel. All of them talking about the problems their organizations face with respect to information overload. It’s gotten to the point where their businesses are actually losing money: the cost of unnecessary interruptions plus recovery time (time spent getting back to where you were, if indeed you do get back there) to the U.S. economy is $650 billion as of 2007. That’s 28% of the knowledge worker’s day, while only 12% of the knowledge worker’s day is spent in thought or reflection.

In his post on IORG’s blog, Jonathan B. Spira, Chief Analyst at Basex and Vice President, Research, of IORG, comments about an interesting paradox described by David Levy, one of the presenters:

“just as we are creating new tools for knowledge work and collaboration (and as our economy is becoming more knowledge based), we are losing the time we need to think.”

As a way to overcome this predicament, Levy suggests “more contemplative practices into both work and academic settings”. A truly hard exercise in today’s world, but it’s indeed a pleasure to find that Caymmi was right after all! And, as an adopted ‘baiana’, weary of stereotyping jokes, I’m more than serious here. Much as Levy’s suggestion sounds misplaced in today’s world, I’m trying to commit myself to some contemplative, deep thinking exercise. Even if that means not getting all the new information I could be getting. Or maybe because of that.


Nathan Zeldes said...

Actually, the interesting mix of people from diverse backgrounds - industry, academia, startups and consultants - is a key element in the vision that led me to initiate the IORG. The Information Overload problem is affecting all segments of society, at work and at home, but different people view it in different ways. The flow of ideas between these members is extremely beneficial!

Anamaria Camargo said...

Yes, Nathan; I agree. As a teacher, my concern is how information overload has impacted on education, and how e-learning in particular can be affected by (or how it can affect)it.