Publication Date

2-2010

Abstract

{Excerpt} Information has become ubiquitous because producing, manipulating, and disseminating it is now cheap and easy. But perceptions of information overload have less to do with quantity than with the qualities by which knowledge is presented.

In the 21st century, the digital world provides a myriad means of communication. Distance, speed, and time no longer hold the importance they once did. Each day and night feed a growing flow. Are today’s (and tomorrow’s) technologies leading to information overload in a variety of formats? Information has become ubiquitous because producing, manipulating, and disseminating it is now cheap and easy.

But is more information necessarily good? A few responses follow. First, although we may be becoming better at capturing and storing information, there are processing limitations. (Observation suggests that “attention economy” emerges naturally from information overload.) Second, in reaction to the overabundance of views, we may avoid drawing conclusions. Third, with the increase in channels of information, people seem to have abandoned storytelling, that age-old technique that every society used to educate, entertain, and preserve culture; and to instill moral values. Fourth, without knowing the validity of content, we run the risk of misinformation. Fifth, are important discoveries, accomplishments, or initiatives being missed because vital papers are buried among others?

Comments

Suggested Citation

Serrat, O. (2010). Showcasing knowledge. Washington, DC: Asian Development Bank.

Required Publisher's Statement

This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (www.adb.org)

Share

COinS